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Posted on 2nd May 2012

As the old saying goes, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

It’s a lesson some architects and contractors have discovered to their cost, after falling for the startlingly low prices offered by metal fabricators who are emerging in the handrail and balustrade industry.

So how can we be sure that the balustrades and handrails we specify and buy meet compliance and regulation standards, or whether we are risking our reputation on an inferior product?

Here, Delta Balustrades offers advice on how to select a reputable supplier and avoid those that don’t make the grade.

  1. Nuances of design, maintenance, and safety compliance require detailed technical expertise right through the supply process. Ask for your supplier’s credentials so you can be sure they’re up to the task.
  2. Is your supplier offering detailed drawings through CAD-based design? This is essential in ensuring the manufacturers have a clear understanding of your specification.
  3. Better still, 3D product design and BIM objects, using software such as Autodesk’s Revit, will allow you to see your product from all angles. Product-specific images mean that often you can see your exact model in situ so you’re not taking any chances on the final product.
  4. Look for professional structural calculations. They are essential in ensuring that the product you receive meets building inspectors’ high standards.
  5. Ensure your suppliers put your materials to the test to prove products can literally take the strain.
  6. Demand a single source of contact and responsibility so you can have confidence that you have somewhere to turn if you have a concern.
  7. Finally, you get what you pay for. Safety, quality and design are not worth cutting costs for.