Many of the customers we serve that are looking for glass balustrades, end up asking SHP’s experts about privacy screens. A lot of homeowners fail to realise that privacy screens are often a legal requirement when it comes to building regulations, and others are keen to install them for their own privacy.
In this article we have put together some of the most frequently asked questions we get about privacy screens and glass balustrades.
What Is a Privacy Screen?
Privacy screens are a type of glass balustrade which is taller and not transparent. They are used to prevent other people from looking into your property and vice versa. Basic privacy screens generally look like tall balustrades made from black or opaque glass, but there are also plenty of options for decorative privacy screens as well.
When considering a decorative or bespoke privacy screen, you need to stay aware of the building requirements that come with these installations.
What Are the Regulations for Privacy Screens?
A privacy screen is considered to be a visual barrier which sits between an outdoor living space or room, and an adjoining property. Most local authorities will require privacy screens to be put in place in order to protect yourself and your neighbours. This is particularly true if you have a balcony or terrace which overlooks a neighbouring home.
If building regulations state that you must have a privacy screen for your project, then you need to make sure it meets the requirements. Generally speaking, privacy screens must be 1,800 millimetres tall and made from some form of opaque material, such as glass.
Common choices are frosted glass or black glass, but you could also use other materials like aluminium.
When choosing the exact height of a privacy screen, you will need to consider other factors including the height of the property, wind speed and any other environmental factors.
Can I Have a Bespoke Privacy Screen?
A lot of our customers assume that because privacy screens need to meet these building regulations, they have to stick with standard designs and finishes. In actual fact, you have complete control over the look of your privacy screen, as long as it meets the regulations.
You can have a completely bespoke privacy screen for your project, and you can choose any colour, shape, or size you need. When it comes to privacy balustrades, there is no need to compromise on aesthetics.
Does My Privacy Screen Have to Look Different to The Rest Of My Balustrade?
When you are designing a new balcony or terrace, you want it to look the best it possibly can. A common worry for those who require a privacy screen on their project, is that it will look unsightly or out of place with the rest of their design.
Here at Stainless Handrail Products, we can create privacy screens which blend seamlessly with the rest of your balustrades. If you are having clear glass balustrades all around your new balcony, we can design privacy screens for one side which use the same fixings, railings, and design.
In many cases, the only difference will be the type of glass used, as privacy screens will need opaque glass as opposed to transparent. If there is going to be a height difference between your privacy screen and balustrade, we can create a privacy screen with stepped height.
This creates a gradual gradient up to the required height for privacy, without looking significantly different to the rest of the installation.
What Thickness Does a Privacy Screen Need to Be?
Height is not the only measurement to consider when it comes to privacy screens. There are also some regulations on the thickness of the glass that is used. These regulations are the same as for all glass balustrades, and they do not change in regard to screens for privacy.
The thickness ultimately depends on the type of screen you have chosen, where the screen is being installed and the location of your property. Fully framed balustrades have different thickness requirements to semi frameless and frameless options.
Are Privacy Screens Required for Swimming Pools?
In most cases, swimming pools are not legally required to have privacy screens, unless they are overlooking a neighbouring property. The height of balustrades required near a pool will depend on the depth of the pool, so in some cases you could need an installation which is 1,800 metres high anyway.
Many of our customers choose to install privacy screens around their swimming pools and hot tubs despite it not being part of building regulations. They can create a secluded space for you to enjoy with friends and family, while still looking stunning.
For more information and if you have any further questions about privacy screens and glass balustrades, contact us today.