Ensuring your decking is installed safely is essential. The correct installation procedures must be followed to ensure the structural integrity of the decking is secure and materials work to the best of their capabilities.
Poor installation can compromise the quality of performance and the life expectancy of the deck and runs the risk of invalidating product warranties.
Another way to ensure that your decking area is as safe as possible is by installing a balustrade system.
This article will explore the purpose of composite balustrades and when they are required on decking or terracing projects.
What is a Composite Balustrade?
Balustrades are vertical pillars that provide support to spindles or other protective materials to create a fencing system.
They typically include a top handrail and are used on the decking where there is a risk of people falling over an edge.
Balustrades can also be installed on stairs to provide additional security.
Composite Balustrade Purposes
Balustrades are installed to improve safety on raised decking and stairs in domestic, residential, and commercial properties.
Ecoscape composite balustrade systems come in a range of styles and colours to suit any property. Some models include wire or glass, rather than spindles, as a way to ensure the decking area still enjoys plenty of light and views are not obstructed.
When Does Decking Require a Composite Balustrade?
Composite balustrades can provide an additional level of style to a decking area. However, in some cases, balustrades are a requirement in order to adhere to building regulations.
If you are planning to install decking or terracing on your property, you should speak with your local planning authority to confirm whether planning permission is required and whether your plans meet the relevant regulations.
Decking typically won’t require planning permission if it is 30 cm from the ground or less, but decking projects that will be raised above this will require planning permission.
Decking will require planning permission if the area planned, along with other outbuildings or extensions, exceed 50% of the property’s garden area.
Certain areas such as National Parks, areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and World Heritage Sites will have limitations in place that should be investigated before submitting plans.
Domestic, single-family dwellings require a 1,100 mm barrier when the decking area is raised above 600 mm. All balcony decks require protective barriers of at least 1,100 mm.
Multiple occupancy residential properties and commercial properties where people gather, such as bars and restaurants, require 1,100 mm protective barriers.
Any spaces between spindles, glass, or wire cannot allow a 100 mm sphere to pass through. This adds additional safety for properties so that children will have safe access to the decking area.
Composite systems that include glass panels must use thermally toughened safety glass with a maximum span of 1,800 mm for decking areas below 600 mm and 1,500 mm for areas above 600 mm in height.
When Do Decking Stairs Require Handrails?
Stairs that lead from decking areas require at least one handrail if the width is less than 1 meter. If the stair width exceeds 1 meter, two handrails are required. Decking stair handrails should be installed at 900 mm.
Ecoscape Composite Balustrade Systems
Ecoscape offers an excellent range of decking balustrade colours and styles. Whether you are exploring options for domestic or commercial properties or want a contemporary or traditional style, Ecoscape can help.
Explore the composite, composite and glass, or composite and wire balustrade systems available in a range of colours, including Ash, Autumn, Charcoal, Graphite, and Walnut.
The colour range matches the Ecoscape Clarity range, meaning you will be able to match your composite balustrades with decking, fencing, or cladding products purchased from Ecoscape.
Like the composite decking range, Ecoscape provides a hidden fixing system that guarantees an excellent finish.
The low-maintenance material won’t require expensive paints or treatments to provide a stylish appearance and protect it from the weather.
Visit the dedicated Ecoscape composite balustrade page to discover more about the extensive range of products, including detailed installation guides, product specifications, and warranty information.
Are composite balustrades expensive?
Composite decking balustrades are typically more expensive than timber alternatives. Ecoscape’s range of composite wood plastic decking balustrades costs £77.60 per meter for the composite system, £99.50 for the composite wire system, and £128 for the composite and glass system.
Prices may vary between suppliers and manufacturers, and while you may be able to find lower-priced options, it is worth checking the product specifications and warranty information.
You should view buying decking and decking materials as an investment, and higher quality materials will typically last longer and provide better performance.
Are composite balustrades environmentally friendly?
Ecoscape’s high-quality composite decking railings and balustrades are made using recycled materials, offering consumers an environmentally friendly way to improve the safety of their decking area.
The synthetic composite materials produced by Ecoscape are produced using 55% reclaimed wood fibres. The wood used in Ecoscape products is FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified. This ensures the wood is ethically and sustainably sourced.
The sawdust, wood chips, and other wood fibres are natural byproducts of industries that use timber and would otherwise be landfilled.
The plastic used in Ecoscape’s composite balustrades is recycled HDPE (high-density polyethene), and thousands of tons of plastic are recycled by Ecoscape every year.
Not only does Ecoscape’s recycling minimise waste, but it also reduces plastic production and the need to cut down trees.
Do composite balustrades increase property value?
High-quality deck or terrace installations can, in some cases, increase property value. In order for the property value to be increased, the decking must add something and improve the property.
The first thing to consider will be the quality of the products used and the installation. If the best materials are used, and the installation has been carried out to a high specification, it will last for a longer time.
The safety of the installation will also be considered. Installing a high-quality balustrade system will improve the aesthetic appeal of the decking or terracing and also improve its safety.
Composite decking and balustrade systems must adhere to building regulations in order for them to be an asset to a property. Failure to get proper planning permission can result in the installation being removed.
What is the best material for balustrades?
As well as offering an extensive range of composite decking boards, fencing, cladding, and balustrades, Ecoscape also offers stainless steel and aluminium balustrades that look great and last a long time.
Exploring all the materials available will help you pick the perfect option for your property. Composite is popular in the UK because it is not as affected by the UK weather as timber alternatives are.
You will not have to worry about your balustrades rotting or warping like traditional wood balustrades. The low-maintenance material does not need to be painted or treated and is incredibly durable.
Ecoscape composite deck boards and balustrades are tested to ensure they are scratch, weather, mould, and impact resistant.
Another significant benefit of Ecoscape composite decking balustrades is their longevity. Ecoscape offers a 20-year warranty on all balustrade systems. These systems must be installed by following the Ecoscape installation guidelines to protect your warranty and guarantee longevity.
Are composite balustrades easy to install?
Thanks to the straightforward installation guides provided by Ecoscape, as well as the specially designed components and accessories, installation of the balustrade systems is easy.
It is advised that only professionals or those with adequate experience take on composite decking installation jobs.
This is to protect the warranty and ensure the installation is safe. Poorly installed composite decking systems compromise the performance of the products and how long they last.
Composite decking balustrades are not always required with decking projects. It is worth checking with your local planning authority to ensure your plans are compliant with building regulations and meet any planning requirements.
While they will be an additional expense, composite balustrades and railings can be a great way to improve the safety around your new deck and improve the aesthetic of your outdoor space.
Ecoscape offers a range of high-quality products that complement other composite ranges on offer.
Choose from those with a minimal design, so they aren’t obtrusive or block light or views, or choose a more traditional design that includes classic spindles.
Whether you plan to entertain, have kids, or are designing a deck area for a commercial property, the safety and security that balustrades and stair handrails can provide are essential.
Installation is relatively straightforward for those with experience, and the low-maintenance material means you won’t have to spend lots of time on money on upkeep.