It is not safe to have a balcony without a railing. Along with safety for all members of the family, balcony railings add beauty to your house and make it look complete. You can consider the railing as the cherry on top of a cake that brings the whole look together.
Wrought Iron Art is one of the best balcony railing installation contractors you’ll find in Toronto. Their team includes highly skilled and experienced professionals, who make sure that you receive the best service.
The Type of railing material
When it comes to the railing installation, what is right for you will depend on different things. For instance, there are typically seven balcony railing materials to choose from. These include
1. What is the Wood like?
A cheap and durable option, wood should be your choice if your house decor is rustic or mid-century contemporary. There are a lot of wood varieties to choose from including pressure treated lumber, which is also the most commonly used variety, cedar, mahogany, and redwood. Wood is the easiest to work with because you can cut it into any shape you want.
2. What about the Wrought iron?
A costly investment but definitely worth it, wrought iron balcony railings look the most beautiful. If your house has a Victorian or Mediterranean architecture, look no further because you’ve found your right material. Value of wrought iron increases with its age, so when you sold the house after several years down the line, you will be able to sell it at a very high price. However, if you live near the sea, go for a different material because wrought iron isn’t galvanised and is highly susceptible to corrosion and rust.
Another affordable material, steel is a commonly used building material because it is durable and strong. It is mostly used for building the structure but as an outdoor material, it has a high susceptibility of getting rusted. This means, if you live in coastal areas, you can’t get steel balcony railings. If you want to pick it as your material of choice, you can galvanize or powder coat the steel railing.
A foolproof choice for any weather conditions, glass is one of the latest materials to add to the collection. It is chic, modern, and sophisticated and removes the barrier between you and the outside world. The only downfall is that glass balcony railings get dirty easily and need repeated cleaning. It also resists extreme weather conditions, so if you have time to clean regularly, your should definitely go with this choice.
A lightweight option that can be mold into different shapes and sizes easily, aluminum is anti-corrosive and anti-rust. Polishing it with powder coating will make it last even longer. The weather proof material can be painted in any color you want and is a perfect choice if you want a balcony railing with delicate designs.
Vinyl is a lightweight material that five times stronger than wood, doesn’t decompose, doesn’t rust, and virtually weather proof. It doesn’t require any maintenance and still looks as attractive as a new balcony railing. You can color it in any colors except black because the color absorbs too much heat, which makes it heat up excessively.
7. Have a look at the Composite material
Composite material used for balcony railings is called plywood and is a mix of maple wood powder and PVC. Wood gives it strength and agility to be shaped into anything wanted, while PVC makes it weather resistant and affordable. These two substances are very different from each other and when they come together, they make a new material, which is stronger and much better.
Why you should choose Wrought Iron Art as your balcony railing installers?
Just like the quality of balcony railing, installation expertise matters too. When we look for a balcony railing, we are concerned about the material used, whether the design goes with house interiors and architecture or doesn’t, color, and size and length. It is the same with the installation process. If the railing isn’t installed properly, you won’t be able to use it and it won’t be able to perform its most basic function of keeping you and your family members safe as well.
To know more, call us at 416-770-2233 and we’ll help you to pick the best railings for your balcony and the installation services that come with it.
Complex process of installing the balcony railing After selecting the material, style, design, and height, it is time for the installation process to begin. The process can be simple or complex depending on the balcony weight and shape and whether you are a first-time installer or not. This is where it gets a little complex. Don’t place the balusters too closely as it gives a jail-like appearance or look overwhelming. Here’s how a typical balcony railing installation process looks like:
1. Notch Railing Posts
You will need to measure the distance between the two ends using a measuring tape. Minus 1⁄2 inch of the distance and make a mark, where you will have to make a clear and sharp notch at an angle of 45 degrees. You’ll have to do this for every railing and secure them by using nuts and bolts.
2. Baluster installation
If your railing has an intricate design, you’ll have to install the balusters first, so that you get support to put the remaining pieces together. Use a circular saw to adjust it to the height of your railing. After the baluster is installed in place, do the same with the remaining ones and install the top and bottom railings.
Once you finish installing, go through all fittings and make sure the nuts and screws are held tightly in place. Clean up and you are all done.
Even though, all these things might not sound as difficult, your real skills will be tested when you’ll have to do the lifting.
Wrought iron and glass balcony railings are the most difficult to carry because they are heavy. Glass is highly susceptible to breaking, so you need to have at least two more people working with you.
Here’s a list of things that’ll you need keep in the work area during the installation process:
1. Measuring tape
2. Wood screws
3. Pry bars
4. Finishing nails
6. Dark pencil
7. Electric drill
9. Circular saw
10. Crossout saw
13. Cleaning brush
14. Vacuum cleaner
Safety rules and regulations
Every city has its own set of safety rules and regulations when it comes to balcony railing. They are usually given in the form of minimum requirements, which means balcony you install should be at least that height. You can extend however you may like.
According to the Building Codes and Standards, balcony railings should at least be one meter in height from the balcony floor.
Distance between two vertical or horizontal bars or railings shouldn’t be more than 125 mm. That’s the maximum you can go.
The average circumference of a child’s head is 125 mm.
If the balcony is railing is taller than four meters, you cannot have horizontal elements for at least 150 mm and 760 mm from the ground level. The rules is to avoid anyone climbing the balcony or slipping through the gap.
The Canadian Building Code mentions that all balcony railings should be strong enough to bear 200 lbs of weight at a time.
IRC and IBC building codes for balcony railings Every balcony railing design should pass certain tests for being eligible to be put into use. The International Residential Code and International Building Code have three tests to prove the strength of the balcony railing. These include:
1. Uniform Load Test
The test checks load strength of the top railing. It should be able
to bear at least 125 lbs when force is applied horizontally or
2. Infill Load Test
This test checks strength of the balusters. One-square foot area
should be able to bear a minimum of 125 lbs of force.
3. Concentrated Load Test
The Concentrated Load Test should be able to bear at least 200
lbs of force at one point at the mid span, on the side and top
2.5 count of safety factor is usually added to all the tests. Usually, a third-party company conducts the testing so that there the results aren’t biased. Balcony railings you choose should pass all these tests to pass the inspection.
Balcony railings increase the cost of your house Balcony railings and all other types of railings brings together the house architecture. You pick the design tastefully to match the house, which means you can consider it as a decor. If you plan to live in the house only for a few years, you may as well invest in good quality railings. Glass railings and wrought iron railings are going to gain you the highest payback. They cost the highest, so they are going to offer you the most returns.
There are two purposes for installing a balcony railing. One is safety and protection and other is purely aesthetic. When people come to view your house, they should be wowed the moment they see it. And that’s only possible when you choose an impressive balcony railing design. Strength and durability are two factors that will play a huge role in deciding the cost.
If your budget doesn’t permit for a fancy or intricately designed balcony railing, go for a high quality and simple design that lasts for a lifetime.
Always keep wrought iron as your first choice if your house has a mid-century, Victorian, or Mediterranean decor. If your house is modern or contemporary, choose glass as your choice of material for balcony railing.
A wrought iron railing costs $80 to $120 per foot. So if the base price of the house you are selling costs $750,000, you can easily add $45,000 to the total cost, because the entire cost including labor fees and maintenance over the years will come up to the price.
One of the major concerns family have is whether the existing homeowners took any safety precautions to avoid accidents. And that’s why, you should always hire a reputed company with years of experience and good reviews. Ask your friends and extended family because you can trust their word of mouth. Before deciding on one company, get all the information you can get about the type of materials, average cost, quality standards, rules and regulations to follow, and installation procedure.
Stay as involved as possible and don’t settle for anything less. If you feel that a particular company is being suspiciously secretive, you should be concerned.
With Wrought Iron Art, you can be tensionless. We understand that our clients have put all their money in the house and will not take it lightly. All your demands will be carefully looked after and the best possible service and quality is offered.
Contact us today to get a customized quote for your needs!