If you are renovating your home and want to create a more pleasing environment for an upstairs, external deck, then you should consider a special type of balustrade. You may be able to create a perimeter to the deck which is safe and allows you and your visitors to enjoy the vista, without blocking the view. What option is available?
The Latest Option
In older homes, the boundary to an upstairs deck might well have glass panelling, but it would also have a sturdy framework intended to provide strength and safety. Nevertheless, it would block the view. You can choose to replace this with a structural glass balustrade, where the glass is actually the component that provides the strength. They are made to certain dimensions that can resist any loads placed on them.
Removing the Handrail
Also, you can choose an option without a hand rail on top which will give even more visibility. This will require you to use laminated glass in the panelling, which is unbreakable should a sharp or heavy object come into contact with it. Certainly, one side may crack but the other will be entirely capable of withstanding the pressure.
A structural glass balustrade sits in a special component at the base, known as the "shoe." This is typically made from aluminium and comes in a "U" shape. It can be glued into place with a special epoxy material, or you can choose the latest innovation, which is to use pressure screw clamps instead.
If you really want to be safe, then you should fit toughened glass that conforms with government regulations for public places. These have additional safety measures built in. They are typically specified whenever members of the public have access to an elevated balcony or location such as this.
Decreasing the Iron Content
However, always bear in mind that the thicker or more substantial the glass panel, the more difficult it will be to see through. This is because a greenish tint will be evident within the glass and will become more pronounced as the depth increases. There is a fix for this as well, however and this is to specify glass panels with a low iron content. They are a little bit more expensive, but you can improve your view of the surrounding countryside accordingly.
Determining Your Best Options
Have a word with your contractor to see what type and specification of custom glass balustrade would be ideal, for your project.