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Materials for balustrade and terrace on a mid century renovation?

Heather N
3 months ago


We have an odd mid century (late 60s) house which was slightly awkwardly extended in the 70s. At the rear of the house, we have a terrace on top of the room below (on the left in the photo), a mini balcony with steps down to a patio (on the right of the first photo, and in the second photo), and some separate steps leading down to a patio (third photo). Everything is dangerous (we have a 1 and 3 year old) and slippery!

We will be squaring off the terrace, on top of the study below, and using it as an outside seating area. The dining room will open out onto it, so it doesn't need a place to eat. We have great views, but not a lot of privacy as we overlook a public footpath, and our neighbour's faux-old house.

The balcony currently connects to the terrace, and has steps running down to the patio. We'll be removing the steps, and removing the connection with the terrace to make more use of the space (it's ~62cm lower). We imagine we might just pop two chairs on it, either side of the sliding door.

With the steps going down to the patio, we are planning to change the layout of these to make more space on the patio, but not sure how yet as we are planning to drop the patio level due to damp issues.

Here are the existing and proposed plans, in case helpful!



Most of the windows, fascia, and guttering will hopefully be dark grey aluminium. (For cost we are retaining the huge wooden windows that open onto the balcony, and the steps down to the patio, as they are functional - perhaps we could paint them dark grey to match in a bit.)

We're happy with the layout, but stuck on how to construct them. We're hoping to figure out something which is safe and low maintenance, but also goes with the mid century style of the house.

The questions we are struggling with are:

...what we should use for the balustrade (glass? glass with metal posts? glass with wooden posts? no glass, just aluminium railing to match the windows? If glass, we could use that film that looks like a mirror on the outside, for privacy?)

...what should we use for the side of the terrace where we want more privacy (we assumed wood, but realised after we change the windows, not much external will be wood)

...what we should do for flooring that's good but economical (some sort of outdoor tiles?)

...what we should construct the frame of the balcony and steps out of (wood or metal? should we make the steps from the same material we use for the floor of the terrace and balcony? would it be best to have spiral steps down to the patio, to save space?)

Thanks hugely in advance of any help - really appreciate it!!

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United Kingdom
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