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When are balustrades required? There are certain areas that legally require balustrades to be installed that meet specific regulations. In this blog post we talk about the requirements for balustrades in domestic properties. It is important to note that for commercial project these requirements will differ. These are just some of the main points to consider. We advise that for more in depth information you refer to Approved Document K of The Building Regulations 2010 or contact us for more advice.

External balustrade on decking

Where?

Document K and BS6180 contain a lot of information on the requirements for balustrades and handrail for specific environments, including single-family dwellings. Document K and BS6180 require that in a single-family dwelling, any raised area where the difference in adjacent levels is greater than 600mm should be guarded. In other buildings this height is often reduced to 380mm, and lots of people decide to do this in domestic buildings as well for extra safety.

Some of these areas with different levels at different heights can include landings, stairs, balconies, sunken areas and more.

Height Requirements

The height of the balustrade depends on where it will be for. For example, for barriers in front of windows the minimum height should be 800mm. For stairs, ramps, internal floors, and landings it’s 900mm. And for exterior balconies, Juliet balconies, roof edges, and terrace areas, it’s 1100mm.

Again, for certain areas anything under 1100mm could feel too small, so many opt for 1100mm instead.

Again, these minimum heights are different for commercial properties.

External balustrade on step

It’s always necessary to check building regulations as it will be essential to install balustrades in many areas. Make sure you meet all requirements and talk to a professional to ensure maximum safety for people in these environments. It’s also important to note that in certain areas there will be small steps, or parapets, which the balustrade will be installed on top of. This will then constitute as the ‘floor level’ and you will need to measure from here. This means if someone then stands on this step or platform, the balustrade will still be high enough.