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Glass Balcony / Balustrades Frequently Asked Questions

Glass balcony balustrades look very simple but there are a lot of technical details to understand when specifying and installing. Here we answer many of our frequently asked questions to assist you in their specification and installation.

Do you install?

Our systems are designed to be easily installed; however, if you require a full supply and install solution then, depending on the size, scope and location of the project, we do have installation teams and may be able to install your glass balustrade project. We also have a network of registered installers & partners around the country. Please enquire specifically with details of your requirements.

What is your current manufacturing lead time for balustrade orders?

For balustrade orders, our current manufacturing lead times are 30 working-days from sign-off of technical drawings “standard lead time” or, for an additional 10% surcharge, our “fast-track lead time” is currently 18 working-days from signed technical drawings.

Glass Balcony

Are you the manufacturer? Or selling someone else’s product?

Here at Balconette we manufacture all our glass balustrades and have a large two acre site with over 20,000 square feet of manufacturing, office and warehouse space at our Surrey headquarters. We design the systems in-house and are proud to sell our own products, manufactured by us here in the UK.

I am a self-builder, should I buy this myself or do I need a professional fitter?

We have thousands of delighted customers that have bought directly from us, some have installed themselves, some have used their builder and some have used other experienced tradesmen. It’s really down to what you feel comfortable with. Whichever way you choose we will ensure your project is a success and the balustrade fits and adds the quality and aesthetics that you want for your property.

Do you measure or survey?

We have a very good and streamlined technical process to ensure dimensions are correct and that everything suits and fits as required. In the majority of cases where we ‘supply only’, the customer conducts the survey and this is achieved in liaison with our technical team. If however you require a site survey we can, in most cases, accommodate. Please enquire with our sales team. This will be an additional and paid service.

Do you supply to the trade?

We certainly do and we have a very big base of professional builders and installers that work with us. If glass balustrades or Juliet balconies are a regular offering of yours, or if you want them to be, then please get in touch with us and we can discuss our various options for regular trade customers.

Curved Glass Balcony

Is the balustrade system supplied cut to size?

Yes, the systems are supplied cut to exact sizes and fully fabricated “ready to install”. You will not need to cut or fabricate anything on site as the system will be fully ready to assemble and install.

Do you supply the fixings?

We supply the screws and accessories that put the balustrade system parts together, but we DO NOT supply the fixings that are used to attach the system to the structure/walls. These fixings need to be matched to suit the building structure/wall construction. We will provide you with the information, sizes and loads the fixings need to meet and these coupled with the construction material will allow you to source the correct fixings. It is of course assumed that the structure has been made and is suitable to carry the required loads and system.

Do you manufacture the balcony structure?

We do not manufacture the Balcony structure; we only manufacture the glass balustrade. Our balustrades will work with almost any balcony structure though.

Are your systems structural glass balustrades?

We have two types of glass balustrades, our Hybrid® systems (Orbit & Aerofoil) which are not structural glass systems, and our frameless systems (SG12) which are.

Is the Hybrid® system balustrade a structural or frameless system?

Our Hybrid® systems (Orbit & Aerofoil) are a composite system utilising both the glass and handrail to take the loads, which makes the whole system a lot lighter and allows the balustrade to span certain vertical lengths without the need for vertical posts.

Glass Balustrade with Royal Chrome handrail

For Frameless systems can you supply the track before the glass for early installation?

Yes, we can manufacture the structural track and supply this for early installation with the glass to follow later on when site is ready.

For the Hybrid® systems can the primary posts be supplied early?

Yes, this is quite a common request so we hold the steel structural posts in stock. We can supply them for early installation with the full system and glass to follow later on when site is ready.

How do the Hybrid® glass balustrade system posts work?

The Hybrid ® glass balustrade posts are made from two parts. The first is the structural post, which is a galvanised steel tube with a welded baseplate. The second part is the cover post sleeve. This slides all the way over the structural post.

What are the handrails made from?

The handrails of all our systems are made from anodised aluminium. Anodised aluminium is the most resistant and durable material that the handrails can be made from and this is the main reason we use this material.

Royal Chrome bal 2 Glass Balcony

Can your frameless systems be curved?

Yes they can! We bend the tracks in house and you can have a curved frameless balustrade made to your design. This includes the supply of curved laminated and toughened 21.5mm glass. We do have a minimum radius, which is a limitation for both the glass and the rails, which is around 1.6m radius (diameter 3.2m). Length wise, there shouldn’t be any problems. Please share your requirements or vision with us and we will see what we can do that best matches what you require.

What is the approximate weight per metre of the system including the glass?

Our Hybrid® systems (Orbit & Aerofoil) at standard height will typically weigh 34-35 kg per linear metre. Our frameless systems (SG12) use 21.5mm laminated and toughened glass and so at standard height will typically weigh 75-80 kg per linear metre.

Do your systems comply with regulations?

Yes, our systems are designed to meet all the current regulations and requirements. Each of ours systems will have a structural calculation to show confirmation as a whole and for the individual parts. Our systems have also been rigorously tested, on and off-site. In June 2004, we commissioned independent testing and consulting engineers, Sandberg LLP, to test our systems with regard to compliance to BS 6180:1999 and BS 6399:1996 and here you can see their findings.

Will my local authority require any paperwork?

Your local authority will require confirmation that your balustrade conforms and is in compliance with BS6180:2011. This can be in the form of structural calculations, load tests or other proof that demonstrates that the balustrading system in question meets the required standards.

Wind Load Assessment & Compliance: The assessment of wind loads is part of the same BS6180:2011 standard, and in some instances wind loads exceed the regular balustrade loads and become the dominant design criterion. This is particularly true of tall balustrades such as privacy screens and of balustrades on tall buildings and in exposed locations. You may be asked to demonstrate that wind loads have been considered and, where they are the dominant design factor, that the balustrading system is designed to the correct wind loads.

Composite Decking and Bal 2 Balustrade

Can water drain away under the system’s bottom rail?

Our Hybrid® systems (Orbit & Aerofoil) can have 5mm spacers supplied as part of the system to raise the bottom rail and allow water to run freely underneath the track.

In what colours do you make your handrails?

Our most popular colours are Matt Silver anodised and our unique “Royal Chrome” anodised finish. Some of our systems are also available in Bronze and White. We can supply orders in RAL powder coating if the quantity is sufficient.

What is the difference between your Royal Chrome finish and Stainless steel?

Despite the name, “stainless” steel requires polishing to keep its appearance, as it does tend to tarnish. Our Royal Chrome finish creates a brushed stainless steel appearance but is made of anodised aluminium and is virtually maintenance free, as well as being considerably more lightweight than steel. We also offer a ten-year warranty on our Royal Chrome finish, even in a marine environment.

How are the handrail corners joined? Are they welded?

Our handrail corners are mechanically joined with a special internal aluminium plate and use our proprietary “Mitre Protection Plates”. We do not recommend or use welding on the corners. Read more about post-less corners.

Wide Silver curved balustrades and Juliet balcony

What thickness of glass do you supply?

Our Hybrid® systems (Orbit & Aerofoil) use 10mm toughened glass and our frameless systems (SG12) use 21.5mm laminated and toughened glass.

How wide are the sections of glass you provide?

Glass panels do not usually exceed 1.2m in width; this is for ease of installation and transportation. The exception to this rule will be the Frameless Juliets which require the panel to span the entire size of the opening.

Why do you leave a gap in between the glass panels?

Glass panels must have a gap between them and must not be touching each other after installation. The space allows for expansion and contraction tolerances.

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