How to Choose a Balustrade: Enhancing Safety and Aesthetics

When it comes to designing a deck or pool area in New Zealand, a well-crafted balustrade can be the defining element that elevates both the aesthetics and safety of your outdoor space. 

Fencing Experts understand the importance of a stylish balustrade that enhances the beauty of your home while providing essential safety features. 

In this article, we will explore the art of balustrades, exploring their versatility, design options, and key role in creating an elegant and secure deck environment. Helping you choose a balustrade that is best for you and your outdoor area.

Understanding the Purpose and Benefits of Balustrades

Balustrades serve the primary purpose of providing safety by preventing falls from elevated decks or balconies. They act as a protective barrier, ensuring peace of mind, particularly for families with children or pets.

In addition to safety, balustrades offer numerous benefits. They enhance the visual appeal of your deck, define separate areas, and add architectural interest to the overall design. With various materials, styles, and finishes available, balustrades can be customised to match your personal taste and complement your home’s aesthetic.

Integrating balustrades into your deck or fence creates a secure and enclosed environment that maintains privacy while allowing you to enjoy the surrounding landscape. They are an architectural element, adding character and charm to your outdoor space. Check out our article on how to choose a fence here.

Professionals understand the importance of striking a balance between safety and style when it comes to balustrades. With their expertise, they are dedicated to helping you choose appropriate materials and designs for your balustrades. A professional builder will prioritise seamless integration with your existing deck, ensuring that the balustrades meet the necessary safety requirements and enhance the visual appeal of your outdoor space.

The Versatility of Balustrades

Balustrades offer more than just safety for decks; they have many applications, including balconies, staircases, terraces, and retaining walls. Their flexibility in design makes them suitable for various architectural styles and outdoor environments.

Balustrades are adaptable and can seamlessly complement different architectural themes, whether modern or traditional. With materials such as glass, timber, wrought iron, and stainless steel, you can find a design that matches your home’s unique style.

Also, balustrades are durable and weather-resistant, making them suitable for outdoor settings.

balustrade around a deck

Balustrade Materials and Finishes: Choosing the Right Option for Your Needs

When it comes to balustrades, there is a range of materials to consider, each offering unique characteristics and aesthetic appeal. A professional builder will understand the importance of selecting the most suitable material for your balustrade, considering factors such as aesthetics, durability, maintenance requirements, and suitability for New Zealand’s climate.

  1. Wood: Wood balustrades exude natural warmth and charm, adding a timeless touch to any outdoor space. They are versatile and can be customised to match different architectural styles. However, wood requires regular maintenance, including sealing and staining, to protect it from weathering and ensure longevity.
  2. Wrought Iron: Wrought iron balustrades offer an elegant and sophisticated look. They are known for their intricate designs and durability. While requiring minimal maintenance, occasional touch-ups and rust prevention, measures may be necessary, especially in coastal environments.
  3. Glass: Glass balustrades provide a sleek and modern aesthetic, offering unobstructed views and a sense of openness. They are highly versatile, blending well with any architectural style. Glass is durable and easy to maintain, requiring occasional cleaning to keep it looking its best. However, it is essential to consider the potential for smudging and the need for regular cleaning, particularly in areas prone to dirt and dust accumulation.
  4. Stainless Steel: Stainless steel balustrades offer a contemporary and stylish appeal. They are highly durable, resistant to corrosion, and require minimal maintenance. Stainless steel is well-suited to Tauranga’s climate, as it can withstand the coastal environment and provide long-lasting performance.

When selecting the most appropriate material for your balustrade, it is crucial to consider your specific requirements, preferences, and the unique characteristics of your outdoor space. Your professional builder will guide you through the decision-making process, providing insights into the pros and cons of each material and helping you make an informed choice.

Design Options and Styles: Finding the Perfect Balustrade Design

When it comes to balustrades, there are numerous design options available, allowing you to personalise your deck and create a visually stunning space. Most professional builders will offer a wide range of design styles, including traditional, contemporary, minimalist, and custom designs, ensuring that you find the perfect match for your deck and home.

When you choose a balustrade design it needs to complement the overall style of your deck and home as it’s essential to create a cohesive and harmonious look. Suppose your home leans towards a traditional aesthetic. In that case, a balustrade featuring ornate details and decorative spindles can enhance its timeless charm. On the other hand, if you prefer a contemporary and sleek look, a minimalist design with clean lines and glass panels may be the ideal choice.

Custom designs provide the opportunity to tailor the balustrade to your unique vision. Whether you desire intricate patterns, personalised motifs, or specific materials, our team can bring your ideas to life, ensuring that your balustrade becomes a standout feature that reflects your style and taste.

In addition to the overall design, ornamental features significantly add character to your balustrade. Handrails, newel posts, and decorative spindles serve as focal points, showcasing exquisite craftsmanship and attention to detail. These elements can be customised to match your desired style, whether it’s a traditional twist design, sleek stainless steel, or a combination of materials for a contemporary fusion.

Choosing an Attractive and Safe Balustrade

When you choose a balustrade for your home, it’s essential to consider its attractiveness and safety features. To narrow down your options, start by identifying the style of your home and the design elements that appeal to you. Whether you prefer minimalist or country-inspired styles, drawing inspiration from your existing décor will guide your decision-making process.

Additionally, consider the fixing required for your balustrade and ensure it seamlessly integrates with your deck or balcony structure. 

Also, choosing a colour that complements your home’s aesthetic will create a cohesive and visually pleasing look.



When it comes to maintenance, the chosen balustrade material comes into play. Glass, wire, and stainless steel balustrades are generally low-maintenance, requiring occasional cleaning. Steel balustrades may need a top coat after a few years, while timber balustrades require some maintenance and treatment to stay in good condition. You will need to keep this in mind when you choose a balustrade.

Balustrade Regulations and Building Codes in Tauranga

  • Provide an overview of local building regulations and codes related to balustrades in Tauranga. We will cover the regulations required below:
  • Emphasise the importance of complying with safety standards to ensure a secure and legally compliant deck structure.

how to choose a balustrade

Measuring the Height of Fall from a Deck

According to the rules around barriers and handrails. Considering the height of fall regulations to ensure compliance and maximise protection is crucial. In New Zealand, the Building Code’s Clause F4 (Safety from Falling) emphasises the provision of barriers for any potential fall of one metre or more from the external envelope or floor of a building. This requirement applies to decks, balconies, and areas with sudden level changes.

Measuring the height of  ‘fall’ involves assessing the distance someone could potentially descend from an elevated deck. While vertical falls are significant, it is essential to recognise that ‘fall’ need not be strictly vertical. Even a slope of 45° can result in tumbling and injuries. Therefore, it is crucial to consider the entire space and potential hazards surrounding the deck.

Recent determination decisions further emphasise the importance of maintaining safety. For instance, Determination 2008/81 for building performance established that a low deck situated near a steep rock retaining wall requires a minimum distance of 1200mm between the deck and the wall to prevent falls.

To comply with regulations and ensure the safety of your deck, consult with experienced deck builders as they can advise you on what’s expected. We possess the knowledge and expertise to assess the specific requirements of your deck, including measuring the height of ‘fall’ and recommending appropriate safety measures. 


Expert Installation and Customisation: Ensuring Structural Integrity and Personalised Design

When it comes to installing a deck, it is crucial to prioritise professional expertise and experience. By entrusting your deck installation to experienced builders in New Zealand, you can ensure structural integrity and the highest level of safety for you and your loved ones.

Experienced builders possess the knowledge and expertise to handle every aspect of the installation process. They understand the complexities of deck construction, ensuring that your deck meets all necessary safety standards and building codes. From proper foundation and support structures to secure railings and connections, professional builders leave no room for compromise when it comes to your safety.


In Summary

Selecting a suitable balustrade for your deck is a crucial decision that balances safety and aesthetics. A well-crafted balustrade provides essential protection and elevates the overall appeal of your outdoor space. By entrusting your project to experienced builders, you can ensure the highest level of expertise, ensuring structural integrity and compliance with safety standards.

With a wide range of design options, materials, and finishes available, you should choose a balustrade that perfectly complements your deck and home. The choices are endless, from traditional to contemporary styles, ornate details to sleek and minimalist designs. Professional builders understand the importance of seamlessly integrating the balustrade with your deck, creating a cohesive and visually pleasing environment.

The materials chosen for your balustrade are vital in its durability and maintenance requirements. Wood, wrought iron, glass, and stainless steel each offer unique benefits and aesthetic appeal. Considering factors such as weather resistance, maintenance, and suitability for the local climate will help you make an informed decision.

Balustrades go beyond providing safety; they add character and charm to your outdoor space. Customisable features like handrails, newel posts, and decorative spindles allow you to create a unique and personalised design that reflects your style and taste. Whether you prefer a traditional, contemporary, or custom design, professional builders have the expertise to bring your vision to life.

When you choose a balustrade, it involves carefully considering various factors, including safety, aesthetics, material durability, and compliance with local regulations. By consulting with experienced builders, you can navigate these considerations and make informed choices to ensure a stunning and secure deck environment.

In conclusion, entrust your balustrade selection and installation to professionals prioritising safety, style, and customer satisfaction. Choosing the perfect balustrade transforms your deck into a captivating outdoor sanctuary that harmonises elegance, functionality, and peace of mind. Contact reputable builders in your area today and embark on creating a deck that epitomises safety and aesthetics.

Also, take a look at our article on things to choose when building a new home.