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SHS Products installs glass balustrade system for BBC DIY SOS: The Big Build special ‘Best for Ben’

As part of the BBC’s DIY SOS: The Big Build, Avening episode SHS Products donated and installed a frameless glass balustrade for the ‘Best for Ben’ home adaptation project. The highly anticipated episode, which aired on Wednesday, 3 October on BBC 1 at 8PM, shared the triumphant tale of a father’s return home after 14 months of rehabilitation following a tragic pool accident in Cyprus in 2016.  

 

Ben Wernhem, a 33 year old project manager from Avening, was left paralysed from the neck down after slipping and falling head first into the shallow end of a pool. Ben underwent treatment in Cyprus, Germany and the Salisbury Spinal Unit in the UK and made amazing progress during his rehabilitation.  

 

To reunite Ben with his wife and two daughters and make it possible for them to live together again, their family home was readapted with front access, an impressive 3 metre bridge, lush landscaping, a two-story extension with a through-floor lift, and bespoke care provisions including a home-office space. 

 

The community came together to raise funds and begin the adaptations. They then called upon the DIY SOS Team to join forces and help make this dream build a reality. A number of local tradesman and businesses offered their services to aid in the completion of the restoration, among them was SHS Products – a well known UK glass and stainless steel balustrade company.  

 

Rebecca Ashmore, Sales and Marketing Director of SHS Products said: 

 

“As soon as we heard Ben’s story, we knew we needed to be part of the project that would reunite him with his family and enable him to support this wife and two daughters once again.    

 

The footbridge that was added to the property required a balustrade system that would provide safety without distracting from the beautiful new landscaping. For this project, the SHS Frameless Balustrade System was a perfect fit.  

 

Our in-house installation team fitted 6 metres of aluminium channels and laminated glass panels to the footbridge that connects the garden to Ben’s new home office on the first floor. Like all SHS products, this balustrade system was certified strength tested, assuring that this prominent feature was not only a beautiful addition but also a safe one. 

 

It was an honour to be part of the community that brought the Wernhams back together. We are a UK company that is proud to manufacture high quality products made in Britain and we will continue to do all we can to support our local communities as best we can.”  

 

To learn more about the range of stainless steel and handrail systems available for domestic and commercial properties, please visit www.shsproducts.co.uk. 

 

     

Balustrade Posts: How Strong Do They Need To Be?

Balustrade posts and railings have become increasingly popular architectural features. Not only are they safe and durable, but well-designed balustrades can add more than you might expect to the aesthetics of a building, while at the same time creating privacy for its inhabitants and users.

Many people are confused about what balustrades are and how they differ from fences, railings, and handrails. A balustrade is essentially a railing system made up of supporting posts called “balusters”. These balusters are connected to form a unit with a handrail positioned along the top. The term “balustrade” refers to the completed construction of the balusters and handrail, which together form a complete railing system.

What is the purpose of a balustrade?

Balustrades (or railing systems) can be used for decoration, safety, privacy or a combination of all three. They provide support for people who can’t walk or move around easily and help cordon off certain areas for clarity, safety or privacy. All balustrades and railing systems do more or less the same job. However, there are crucial differences in their construction which alter how they can be used.

The strength of your balustrade posts will depend on variables, such as:

Material type

Most balustrade posts are made using a combination of steel or aluminium and glass. All of these materials are durable, easy to clean and don’t block the light, creating what architects refer to as an “open field of view”.

When used in balustrade design, glass needs to be thick enough to support the balustrade construction. The thickness of the glass panels varies on the design and location of the balustrade posts, as well as what type of building they are attached to.

There are two types of safety glass used in balustrade construction:

  • Toughened (or tempered) glass
  • Laminated glass

Toughened glass

Toughened glass gets heated to around 700 degrees Celsius during the manufacturing process. It is then rapidly cooled, or “quenched”, to create an outer later on the panel, making it around five times stronger than regular glass. If the glass breaks, it will shatter into small pieces rather than large shards that could cause serious injury. Toughened glass panels framed by balustrade posts should be around 10mm in thickness.

Laminated glass

Laminated glass consists of two standard glass panels separated by a resin layer. If the glass smashes, the resin layer will keep the panel intact, again leaving no large shards. The exact thickness of laminated glass depends on the balustrade construction, but around 17.5mm is recommended for most applications.

Stainless steel

Stainless steel balustrade posts can also be attached to wire rope systems to complement a modern design aesthetic. A rope system is a great option for those who want to create a walkway on flat ground or give the illusion of privacy without using glass (the system can be fitted to a stainless steel top rail to achieve structural integrity).

Marine-grade stainless steel is often used for areas exposed to water to reduce the risk of corrosion. The material is also used for the most handrails to ensure a safer gripping service. Aluminium is another popular choice among architects and can be used as an alternative to stainless steel for many applications.

Balustrade height

The required height of a balustrade post varies according to the building it is being installed on or around. It also depends whether the railings are intended for interior or exterior use. The minimum required height is 1.1 metres from the point of standing for external glass balustrades. If the balustrade is on a wall, however, the height of the balustrade posts needs to be 1.1 metres above the point of a person standing on the wall.

Load requirements

Building regulations specify that balustrades and railings must have a pressure requirement they can withstand before falling. Load pressure is measured in kN/m (kiloNewton per metre).

Load requirements vary according to a building’s purpose and size, but external glass balustrades on domestic properties tend to have a legal load requirement of 0.74kN/m. Your balustrade contractor will be able to tell you the load pressure of your construction.

Design

It’s important to consider the building or outside area’s existing design before erecting a balustrade system. Balustrade posts and railings in schools or hospitals, for example, need to allow people to move around the building safely and comfortably without constructing access areas.

Although balustrade construction doesn’t usually require planning permission, you should always consult a qualified contractor to ensure the design and installation of your balustrade meets the requirements of the space.

Aesthetics

Many designers choose balustrades to ensure safety and privacy of a property, but they don’t want to compromise on the view. In this instance, a frameless grass balustrade system would be the best choice, as a glass construction provides support without compromising panoramic balcony views. Glass panels are often available in a variety of finishes – such as patterned or frosted, as long as they are compliant with building regulations.

Some providers give you the option to customise the colour or finish of your balustrade posts. You may be able to select black, silver, grey or charcoal for instance. Stainless steel posts are usually available in either a satin or mirror finish, while aluminium is powder coated. Other balustrade customisation options might include built-in lights, a choice of handrail, and a selection of corner posts and caps.

Safety

Some balustrades are constructed purely for aesthetic purposes, while others are paramount for safety. For example, when they are positioned around stairs and lobbies or balconies, balustrade posts prevent people and objects falling from a height.

Balustrade posts are often used as swimming pool barriers to prevent people from falling into the pool. Depending on the structure, they can also help keep a pool clean by limiting the amount of debris blown into the water. Balustrades are often used for privacy for outdoor pools, often with tinted or frosted glass panels. Custom panels can also add to the aesthetic of a garden or outdoor swimming area.

Installers should also use bolt-through lugs as a safety precaution when fixing glass infills, as traditional clamp lugs may lead to glass slippage over time. Not only would these lead to costly infill replacements, but they also pose a safety issue.

How strong do your balustrade posts need to be?

As you can see, the required strength of a balustrade post is dependent on various factors – including building type, purpose, safety precautions, materials used and aesthetic preference. There is no one strength requirement all balustrades must adhere to, but installers must still comply with government building regulations (BS6180:2011).

Balustrade posts and handrails appear in some form in almost all buildings and outdoor areas. Whether they exist as critical safety structures or design features, balustrades should be strong, sturdy and durable.

When choosing a balustrade for your building, it’s important to consider the best materials, design and aesthetic elements for the project. At SHS Products, our fully trained CAD technicians will help you select the best balustrade posts and railings to accommodate your needs, while ensuring you remain compliant with building regulations. For more information, call us today on 01922 743842.

Jargon Buster Vol.9 – Professional Balustrade System Components

Welcome back to another edition of the SHS Products Jargon Buster, today in Vol. 9 we’ll be simplifying the Professional Balustrade System components. If this is your first time with us let us fill you in. The Jargon Buster is where we go through a few of the terms regularly used in the balustrade industry. Whilst some words are more obscure than others it’s always good to have a refresher on the basics as well.

 

3 Way Elbow

The 3 Way Elbow is part of the handrail attached to your Professional Balustrade. It attaches to your corner post and then attaches to the top rail of your system that run perpendicular to one another giving your handrail a continuous effect when going around corners.

professional balustrade system 3-way elbow

 

Adjustable Corner Saddle

The Adjustable Corner Saddle is much like the 3 way elbow as it allows your handrail to move around corners. However, the Adjustable Corner Saddle can be used to negotiate any corner that runs at any angle. It simply slots into your corner post and then the handrail slides onto the Corner Saddle.

adjustable corner sadle

 

Tube Rest

The Tube Rest is another part of your handrail. Instead of being able to negotiate corners, the Tube Rest simply holds your handrail in place. It does this as the rest itself is curved slightly and the handrail simply lies in there and then gets screwed in place.

tube rest

 

Tube Connector

The Tube Connector is another part of your handrail. This piece is used to connect together 2 runs of handrail. It simply fits to each part of your handrail and gives a continuous effect to your handrail.

tube connector

All of these components make up a stunning balustrade system that goes nicely in any domestic or commercial setting. We’ll be back soon with another edition of the SHS Jargon Buster! If you have any questions or suggestions then contact us on any of our social media channels. You can find us on FacebookTwitter and more.

If you’re ready to try designing your own professional balustrade system, try our free design tool and receive a free instant quote.

Not quite ready? Need more information? View our Professional Glass Balustrade System product page here.

Fitting Your Balustrade: Fixing Depths & Compatible Materials

There are lots of details to consider before buying a balustrade, but that’s why our team is on hand to answer any questions you may have. You shouldn’t wait until the installation stage to find out what depth you need to fix your posts or channel base into. Ensuring your fixing area is suitable for what you want is crucial. That’s why we’ve put together a handy guide below to show you what systems are compatible with what type of surface and the depth you need to fit into.

 

Fixing Depth

This one will be quick. As a minimum you will need 150mm of adequate substrate (fixing material e.g. steel) to fix your posts to.

 

Fixing Materials

Always find out exactly what you are fixing your system into. You may think you have solid bricks that turn out to be ventilated bricks. It’s also crucial to work out the dimensions and location of any cavities or insulation as these will impact how your balustrade will be fixed.

 

Wood, Metal, Brick or Concrete

The systems pictured below are suitable for fixing into wood, metal, brick or concrete surfaces.

SHS Products - Professional Glass and Stainless Steel Balustrade

Professional Glass Balustrade

SHS Products - Stainless Steel and Glass Square Tube Balustrade

Square Tube Glass Balustrade

SHS Products - Pinion Glass and Stainless Steel Balustrade

Pinion Glass Balustrade

SHS Products - Elegance Glass Balustrade - Cream Slab Patio

Elegance Glass Balustrade

SHS Products - Infinity Glass Balustrade - Aluminium Glass Balustrade

Infinity Glass Balustrade

SHS Products - Palisade Aluminium Railing Poolside

Palisade Railing

SHS Products - Wire Rope Stainless Steel Cable Balustrade Restaurant Decking

Wire Rope Balustrade


Steel or Concrete

The systems below are compatible with steel or concrete surfaces.

SHS Products - Stainless Steel Clarion Glass Balustrade Swimming Pool Fencing

Clarion Glass Balustrade

SHS Products - Round Spigot Glass Balustrade Poolside

Spigot Glass Balustrade

SHS Products - Balcony Side Fixed Glass Button Stainless Steel Balustrade

Glass Button Balustrade

SHS Products - Frameless Glass Balustrade Stainless Steel Cladding

Frameless Glass Balustrade

SHS Products - Afina Aluminium Glass Balustrade

Afina Glass Balustrade


Metal, Brick or Concrete

Our Professional Juliet Balcony is the only product we currently offer that we suggest fitting into only metal, brick or concrete.

SHS Products Professional Glass Juliet Balcony

Professional Juliet Glass Balcony


Steel

Our Parasol and Parasol Plus glass canopies, exclusive to SHS Products, are the systems we recommend fitting into steel only.

SHS Products Parasol Glass Canopy Porches on Street

Parasol Glass Canopy

SHS Products Parasol Plus Glass Canopy Anodised Aluminium Track

Parasol Plus Glass Canopy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At SHS Products we have strength test certification for fitting into concrete and steel in line with industry standards. Contact our team today to discuss your options further, or try our 3D online balustrade planner and quote tool.

BBC Gardeners’ World Live GOLD Award

The NEC, Birmingham was the venue for the 2018 BBC Gardeners’ World Live exhibition. SHS Products were not exhibiting directly at the show, but we did have some involvement in one of the stands.

We were contact by the very talented Rupert Keys of Keyscape Landscape Design & Construction Ltd. who asked us to supply a quantity of our Stainless Steel Wire Rope components. After seeing the concept drawings and hearing more about their plans, we were delighted to supply them to Rupert and were even more excited to see the innovative design from he and Martyn Wilson, of Wilson Associates Garden Design, come to life.

 

 

After the show we received some images from Rupert and Martyn and this is how their brilliant exhibit was displayed. The Association of Professional Landscapers (APL) returned to the show with five Show Gardens on APL Avenue, created by APL accredited landscaping companies. Using our Stainless Steel Wire Rope system as a vertical trellis, including the splashes of vivid orange that caught the eye of many of the shows visitors, Rupert and Martyn received the Gold Award from the APL. I’m sure you’ll agree they deserved it!

 

 

We would like to extend our thanks to Rupert and Martyn, and say a hugely deserved congratulations on their show success. It was a pleasure to work with you both and look forward to collaborating again.

Bespoke Systems by SHS Products

This blog takes a look back over some of the bespoke systems we at SHS Products have worked on over the years.

A bespoke system is one made to order by SHS Products and customized for the use of the customer. We will look at a selection of commercial and domestic systems and explain why they’re bespoke.

You can mix together certain systems to make a unique balustrade design.

 

Bespoke Systems: Commercial

We have worked on a number of unusual bespoke commercial systems. Here are a few examples.

Safety railings

bespoke system - safety railing

This system is used to guard a propane tank ensuring the safety of passers-by. This bespoke system was made to order and uses our railing systems only without our glass infills.

Patio table dividers for a sea view cafe

bespoke system, patio dividers

This system is very bespoke; It uses our Elegance posts, but uses two types of glass. It has a frosted glass lower infill, with a clear glass upper infill. We weld all the posts together for strength, creating the perfect contemporary table dividers for this seaside cafe.

We scored an absolute strike with this next system!

bespoke system, bowling centre

This bespoke system in a bowling centre uses our Professional balustrade with customized glass. It has a frosted interior with a transparent border with the company logo featured inside.

Balustrade Done; Time To Relax

bespoke system, garden steps

This bespoke system is unusual. It is made entirely out of our stainless steel handrails but has additional stainless handrails and glass infills in the walls.

 

Bespoke Systems: Domestic

We’ve worked on a substantial amount of domestic residential systems too.

 

Two different systems, one job!

bespoke system, rear garden

Our Wire Rope combined our Professional system, we didn’t think it would work, but it totally does! Our Professional system has a tinted glass infill which merges into our Wire Rope System when descending down the steps.

Gold standard, Bronze glass

bespoke systems, patio area

Again our Professional system is used, but this time it has a bronze glass infill which gives the decked area a completely different look.

All systems supplied by SHS are made with either Toughened or Toughened Laminated safety glass.

For more information or for any queries you may have, call our team today on 01922-743-842 or why not build you own basic system via our smart builder tool.

How to install our Stainless Steel Handrails

Welcome back to the SHS blog, in this edition we will look at how to install our Stainless Steel Handrails. They are sturdy and very fashionable. We offer 3 different types of handrail end cap at SHS Products, we have; the tapered end cap, the domed end cap and the flat end cap. Installation for all 3 handrails remains the same. However, the process is different depending on which brackets you use.

No Hole Bracket

The no-hole bracket can sometimes be complicated because there is no visible way of attaching your handrail to the wall, however; if you follow these simple steps, it’s very easy.

  • First you will need to fix the brackets to the handrail with the screws provided.
  • Then you will need one or two partners to hold the handrail in the desired position as you draw around the brackets.
  • You will then need to un-attach the brackets from the handrail.
  • Once you’ve done this, you will need to remove the holding screws from the brackets using an Allen Key.
  • Hold the bracket in place and mark on the wall your center holes.
  • Drill the center holes and put rawl plugs into the 3 holes.
  • Then use the double ended screws to connect the support to the bracket.
  • Finally attach the brackets to the wall and reconnect the handrail to the brackets.

 

Three Hole Bracket

The three hole bracket is much more straightforward, compared to the no hole bracket, as you only have to attach the brackets once.

  • First, you will need to fix the brackets to your handrail with the screws provided.
  • Then, you will again need one or two partners to hold your handrail in the desired position while you mark the holes for the screws.
  • You then need to drill the holes with an 8mm drill bit and place the rawl plugs provided into the holes for the screws.
  • Finally, fix the handrails in place with the screws provided and you’re done.

 

If you have any queries or questions regarding this process or our Stainless Steel Handrails, don’t hesitate to call a member of our team today! Or check out our YouTube Channel for more installation videos.

Jargon Buster Vol.8 – Wire Rope Products Edition

It’s time for another edition of the SHS Products Jargon Buster. Today in Vol. 8 we are simplifying Wire Rope. If this is your first time with us let us fill you in. In the Jargon Buster we go through some of the terms used in the balustrade industry and attempt to simplify them for you. Whilst some words are more obscure than others it’s always good to have a refresher on the basics as well.

 

Swage Rigging Screw

The Swage Rigging Screw is a length of metal that fixes to your stainless steel posts and is used to tighten your wire rope infills.

 

Swage Fork Terminal

The Swage Fork Terminal is like the Rigging screw in that it holds your wire rope infills in place. However, the Fork Terminal cannot be used to tighten your wire rope infill.

 

Eyelet (Metal)

The metal eyelet is a blunt ended screw with a small metal loop at the end. This is used to hold your Swage Rigging Screw and Swage Fork Terminal in place as part of your balustrade, however; this is to be used on metal posts only.

 

Eyelet (Wood)

The wood eyelet is a sharpened screw with a small loop at the end. Like the metal eyelet it is used to hold your Swage Rigging Screw and Swage Fork Terminal in place as part of your balustrade, however; this is to be used on wooden posts only.

 

Wall Flange

The wall flange is a disc of metal that is used to screw into the wall and holds your handrail in place.

 

All of these components are used to create the wire rope balustrade which has both domestic and commercial capabilities. If you have any questions about this or any of our systems, then don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can call us on 01922 743842 0r find us on social media. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter and more

FAQ’s

There’s no such thing as a silly question. While we are on the phone to our customers gathering information for their balustrade we get asked lots of questions. Some of them are more common and asked more frequently than others. Here we will answer some of those most frequently asked questions.

 

Do I need a top rail?

One question we get asked a lot is ‘Do I need a handrail?’ and the truth is, only 2 of our systems are not available with a handrail.

Elegance

SHS Products - Elegance glass balustrade on decking

Infinity

SHS Products - Infinity glass balustrade on pation

All of our other systems either come with a top rail as standard or have the option of adding a top rail.

You do not need a handrail to comply with Building Regulations, however; if you do not use a top rail you will need a specific type of glass. You will need to use Toughened Laminated glass of a width of 21.5mm to ensure it is safe to use.

A top rail can also be used to add an extra bit of height to your balustrade. If your balustrade is not the correct height to comply with Building Regulations, you can add a top rail on to add to the height.

 

How Big is the baseplate?

At SHS Products, we offer two different baseplates and we have the round baseplate and the square baseplate.

Round Baseplate

The round baseplate has a diameter of 120mm for the full plate and a diameter of 42.7mm for the center hole that holds your stainless steel posts.

Diagram showing dimensions of a round baseplate

Square Baseplate

The square baseplate has dimensions of 110mm x 110mm and 24mm depth from the floor to the top of the baseplate.

diagram showing dimensions of a square baseplate

 

Is It safe Free-Standing?

All of the systems we hold strength testing certificates for were tested when they were free-standing. So yes, your balustrade will be safe if it is free-standing.

 

Do we offer any different colours for our stainless steel posts?

The only system we offer in a range of different colours is our infinity system. We supply:

Black

White

Silver Matt

Coastal Grey

Anthracite Grey (RAL7016)

However, all of our other balustrade systems come with the option of having a Satin or Mirror polished finish.

 

For more information about any of our Balustrade systems or if you have a question that we haven’t mentioned, don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can call a member of our team today on 01922 743842 or find us on social media. We operate on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more.

Homebuilding & Renovating Show 2018

Between the 22nd and the 25th of March SHS Products attended the Homebuilding and Renovating show at the NEC in Birmingham. We used this as a marketing tool attempting to generate a high number and quality of leads.

 

Before the Show

In the run up to the show we promoted our attendance on our social media channels and also offered free tickets to our digital following. We also offered free tickets to existing customers.

 

 

About the Show

The show ran from March 22nd until March 25th and had visitors from various working backgrounds in attendance. There were a number of architects, builders, landscape gardeners, amongst other trades  as well domestic customers in the planning stage of their projects. On offer at the show was a variety of seminars offering expert advice in all aspects of renovating your home. There was a total of 36,233 visitors at the show over the course of the 4 days.

While we were at the show we offered branded SHS pens, 950 new look brochures were distributed and discount codes were given for potential customers.

 

 

During the exhibition we showcased our products and were approached by a large number of potentially interested customers. We generated leads using our fact finder and sketch sheets and also offering one to one consultations and expert advise. Overall, the exhibition was a great experience for us and has generated a large number of high quality leads.

 

 

We will be looking to attend various shows in the future, however; we are looking at expanding our stand to promote new and exciting products.

Make sure you follow us on social media to keep up to date with everything at SHS Products. We’ll keep you updated with our attendance to exhibitions on: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.