An airline pilot made excellent use of his time on furlough by completely refurbishing his spacious outdoor deck and self-installing this spectacular multi-level Balconette Glass Balustrade at his home in rural Worcestershire.
With more time on his hands, James Hill, a long-haul pilot with British Airways, decided to tackle the pandemic project himself, although it was not all ‘plane sailing’.
The existing rotten timber deck had to be stripped back to its supporting steel superstructure before new joists and low-maintenance composite decking could be installed.
Having a vague idea of what he wanted for the balustrading, an internet search for glass balustrade images led to the Balconette website where he liked the look of the company’s products.
“Glass balustrading was important as we’ve got a beautiful view overlooking the Severn Valley,” explains James. “We wanted to maximise the view, and because I was using the old structure to support the joists and decking, I had to come up with an engineering solution for how to attach the balcony to the steels and retain the rigidity that is needed.
“A frameless balustrade system was not possible, so that’s why I opted for the post and handrail set-up as it is more rigid. I chose the Silver Anodised wing-shaped handrail as I thought it is more interesting than the round profile, and I thought it was amusing because I’m a pilot. So, I felt the Balconette Aerofoil System would be more in keeping with my job.”
Due to the complexity of the 25-metre-long design, including bespoke angular panes for the steps to the lawn, James had paid extra for Balconette to measure up. “Unfortunately, there were a couple of sections of handrail and two panes of glass that turned out to be the wrong size, which caused me some frustration when they didn’t meet up properly,” he continues.
Having consulted Balconette’s technical team for advice, he was able to identify the wrong pieces and his issues were swiftly rectified, saying “They kindly sent someone up to help me to re-measure and to correct some of the things that were causing me the biggest difficulties. Throughout the whole process, everybody I spoke to when I did have trouble was very accommodating and very good at correcting the issues. Then the actual fitting of the whole system with the correctly measured pieces was brilliant!” He acknowledges that for a project of this complexity Balconette’s measuring service is “well worth doing.”
James says visitors are impressed with the balustrade, adding: “Overall, the final finish is great. What I like best are the clean lines, visibility and the fact that it looks good quality as well. I think the quality of the handrail itself, the glass and everything looks expensive, looks posh and is in keeping with what I wanted.”