Last Updated Oct 12, 2010 · Written by Jaclyn Fitzgerald
A deck is a great addition to any home but you still need balustrades for safety. Wire balustrades look fantastic and give you the safety that you need. Find out more.
The best decks are practical, look good and are safe. You can use wooden or metal fencing or railings around your deck for safety but these can often make your deck feel closed in. Using wire balustrades gives the barrier that you need while still preserving your views as they are less obstructive. The thin wires make the deck feel much more open and spacious, no matter how large it actually is!
So what exactly are wire balustrades? Wire balustrades are made from stainless steel wires that are strung between posts that are evenly spaced around the deck. The Australian building codes state that any deck that is more than a metre off the ground has to have a balustrade or railing. These codes also specify the types of materials that are allowed, what the allowance is between the gap in wires, and the numbers of wires. Because of these regulations, it is a good idea to talk to a professional balustrade manufacturer or supplier.
Most balustrade manufacturers can supply DIY kits if you decide that you want to install the balustrade yourself. You just need to give them the dimensions of your deck and they can make the kit to the specifications. The turnbuckles and other rigging parts need to be suitable for stringing the wires at high tension between the posts. Once you have everything you need for the balustrade, putting it together is not complicated. However, it is vital that the balustrade is made specifically to the dimensions of your deck.
If you are building a new deck, you will have to submit the deck design, including balustrades, for council approval. If you are retrofitting a new balustrade to the existing deck, you may need approval anyway so it's always good to check with your local council first.
The cost of a wire balustrade depends on if you are having it professionally installed or if you are doing it yourself. Fully installed, the balustrade will cost between $600 and $700 per lineal metre. DIY balustrades will cost around $300 per lineal metre. The final price will depend on your situation; particularly how many turns in direction there are in the balustrade as the most expensive components are the turnbuckles and rigging screws.
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