SHS Guide to measuring your project area for a bespoke balustrade

3 years ago 0 category Knowledge Centre
  1. What do you need? – You will need a pen/pencil/marker, tape measure, notepad/sketchpad to begin. For larger and/or more complex areas you may want to opt for a second pair of hands, so one person focuses on holding the tape and the other taking measurements and notes.

For stairs/ ramps/ sloped surfaces we always request the angle of these surfaces so we can allow for this in our design process, this can be done manually by using a tape or by using a digital angle finder.


  1. Get drawing! – We always suggest drawing out a plan of the area, this is a bird’s eye view of your project area to which you can add measurements and other important details. This does not have to be complex as sometimes too much information can confuse matters.

Be sure to note any obstructions (doors, windows, drainage channels, etc), sloping surfaces, etc. You will also need to note what you are proposing to fix the balustrade to (E.g. brick, stone, concrete, steel, timber, etc).


  1. What do I measure? – When including measurements, always start with the overall/outer measurements of your area, for example, the outside perimeter of a brick wall.

 These measurements help us to do the hard work and calculate the measurements bespoke to your area for your chosen balustrade system.

When doing this, take into account the fixable area for the balustrade, for example, if you have a cavity wall you will need to provide details of the wall construction as well as the outer edge measurements to help us calculate where the balustrade can fix too. This is common when fixing to parapet walls.


  1. Tips to measuring – We work in metric measurements (mm & cm) but if you feel more comfortable measuring in imperial (inches) then we are happy to do the conversions our end.

When using a measuring tape be sure to be consistent in your measuring technique, most tape measures will have a silver tip which may move ever so slightly. The metal tip at the end of your tape measure is a little bit loose for a reason. The first inch of the tape is short by 1/16 of an inch. This isn’t an error: it’s meant to provide you with accurate readings whether you’re measuring the inside or outside edge of a surface


  1. Take note of your measurements! – while measuring, be sure to record your figures on your drawing to ensure you don’t confuse one figure with another. Ensure measurements are legible and are marked clearly against the specific area they are identifying.

Make notes to help interpret areas further, remember to measure twice as they say…


  1. Pictures speak a thousand words – Here at SHS, we love the before pictures as they make the after pictures look amazing! On a serious note, pictures help us along with your sketch to understand your specific requirements, they depict your area as it is and we can raise any concerns we have before anything gets made.

Take as many pictures as you can from various angles, close-ups of obstacles are always advised. You can also take pictures of your tape measure as you take measurements so the interpretation of measurements is even more clear and concise.


For more information or if you have any questions please contact us and we will get back to you with accurate information in no time at all.





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