Balustrade Height UK

February 2024
Anton White

Navigating the intricacies of balustrade height UK regulations is crucial for anyone looking to enhance their outdoor spaces with safety and elegance in mind.

At Ovaeda, our years of expertise in crafting and installing premium exterior balustrades and accessories have equipped us with a deep understanding of these guidelines.

This article delves into the essential height regulations for balustrades across residential and commercial properties, material considerations, and specific requirements for areas like decks and staircases.

With this guide, you can ensure your project not only meets legal standards but also embodies safety and aesthetic appeal.

What this article covers:

Balustrade Height Building Regulations in the UK

When it comes to balustrades, whether they're for your balcony, decking, or stairs, the UK doesn't skimp on safety. From our experience, adhering to these regulations not only ensures safety but also smooths the path to project approval.

The Basics

According to our research and the guidelines set out in Document K and BS6180, there are clear standards for balustrade heights in the UK.

For instance, in residential settings, any change in floor level over 600mm necessitates a balustrade. This height drops to 380mm for public buildings, acknowledging the increased risk due to higher foot traffic and unfamiliarity with the layout.

For Your Home

After putting it to the test in numerous projects, we've found that for single-family dwellings, the minimum height from the finished floor level should be:

  • 800mm for barriers in front of windows
  • 900mm for stairs, landings, ramps, and edges of internal floors
  • 1100mm for external balconies, including Juliet balconies and edges of roofs

For Commercial Spaces

In commercial properties, the stakes are a bit higher (pun intended). The minimum height requirement for balustrades is generally 1100mm, especially in areas where the public has access. This ensures a uniform safety standard across various types of buildings and uses.

Material Matters

Whether you opt for glass balustrade ideas or metal balustrades, the height regulations remain consistent no matter the types of balustrade.

However, the design and installation might vary slightly to accommodate material-specific features, such as the need for a handrail with glass balustrades, which, contrary to popular belief, isn't always mandatory.

Keep in mind that balustrades will also have other regulations, such as specific ways of fitting balustrade or the distance between balustrade posts.

Where Are Balustrades Required?

Simply put, balustrades are required wherever there's a significant change in floor level—over 600mm for homes and 380mm for public buildings.

This includes decks, balconies, staircases, and landings. It's all about preventing falls and ensuring everyone's safety, from the little ones running around to your guests enjoying the view from your balcony.

Do Deck Stairs Need Railings?

Yes, they do. If your deck stairs have more than two risers, you'll need to install railings for safety. And if those stairs are wider than 1 metre, you'll need railings on both sides. It's a small addition that can make a big difference in preventing mishaps.


Navigating the regulations for balustrade heights in the UK might seem daunting at first, but with the right information and a bit of expert guidance (that's where we come in!), it's perfectly manageable.

Remember, these regulations are in place for everyone's safety, and adhering to them not only ensures a safer outdoor space but also a smoother project approval process.

building regulations balustrade UK

So, whether you're a DIY enthusiast or planning to hire professionals, keep these guidelines in mind, and you'll be on your way to creating a beautiful, safe, and regulation-compliant outdoor haven.

If you're looking for a balustrading solution that you can be sure meets safety and height requirements, explore Ovaeda's range of elegant and compliant balustrade solutions to elevate your outdoor space with confidence and style.

Did our blog meet your needs? You might also find our other guides helpful: