Thursday, February 14, 2013

Rear Balcony Balustrades

Because the house is so tall to satisfy flood regulations and the lot slopes to the back of the property, the rear balcony is ridiculously high.

What this means is that I can't have horizontal balustrades as children can climb up them and fall from from them. This put an end to my plan to match the rear balcony with the front balcony which has horizontal stainless steel wire.

I did explore the option of glass panels, but this would be an additional $1209 over and above the PC amount already allocated. Also, being glass and outdoors I think it would be difficult to keep clean.

We then explored the option of vertical stainless steel wire like this blog entry, but again,  because of regulations, the wires would have to be 100mm apart, which I thought would end up looking like a jail. The clasps to hold the wire too were expensive and by the sheer number needed, it would end up probably being just as expensive as glass.

Normally I would be happy to stretch the budget a little, but we have a couple of issues at the moment which is threatening to blow the budget out of the water so for once, I took a step back and thought long and hard about what was important.

A timber balustrade was included in the builder's price and while I didn't like his initial design, I decided keeping under budget was more important, as long as there was a plan to change it in the future.

Instead of round dowels of pine, which was originally included, the builder has created flat panels in kwila to match the handrails and screwed them in rather than nail so it's easy to remove and replace with stainless steel in the future if I can ever afford it. The builder didn't charge me any extra for it, despite enormous amounts of additional work they would have had to do.

While it's not my first choice, I'm happy with it and even more happy I'm still on budget.

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