Balustrades above Parking Level

Installing new powder coated balustrades on stairways and walkways above the car parking level at the Whitsunday Terraces resort was a long job. It has finally been completed, and the resort looks much smarter as a result.

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One Whole Building Not Feasible

Body Corporate committee initially attempted to have all the other wooden rails replaced in one Terrace building at a time, to reduce the disruption to a single job in a single building at a time. This would have made life far easier for Whitsunday Terraces Resort Management, and everyone else.

It did however have the disadvantage that the sheltered wooden rails under some buildings were still mostly in good condition. For a while, it seemed that good railings could be salvaged from whatever building was done first, and used to replace poorer sections of rail.

This one building at a time ideal turned out not to be possible, mostly due to the scarcity to local installers.

Upper Balustrades

Missing image balcony repair 2007Upper balcony repairs reached practical limit

After the seaward balcony rails were complete, the exposed railings on stairs and walkways above the car park level became the next job at the Whitsunday Terraces. Being exposed to weather, these were also next to fail. In addition, doing these very visible railings next presented a much better appearance for tourists arriving at the Whitsunday Terraces. Body Corporate reluctantly delayed whole building replacement of railings to concentrate on balustrades above the car park level. These were completed in 2010.

Missing image balustrades new in 2010 5The new balustrades

Minimum Walkway Widths

Missing image balustrades new in 2010Side mounting on narrow stairs and walkways

There were issues with fire safety regulations, which required a redesign of the railing mountings to side mounts to ensure the width on stairways and outside walkways met minimum width requirements for evacuations. The scaffolding and other extra work required for this mounting method increased the cost to the point where the original plans to do entire buildings on one move had to be changed.

To help contain costs, every railing is by default top mounted on the concrete pad. This generally means that you do not need scaffolding for the work, just local safety lines. However for stairways and elevated walkways, the fire safety requirement to allow one metre minimum for evacuations means that you have to side mount railings. This adds a lot of scaffolding and other costs. It is also why sometimes only part of a project is done in the first stage.

Missing image balustrades new in 2010 2Side mounting on narrow stairs and walkways

Problems with Upper Balustrades

Missing image balustrade install problemPaint not restored when old balustrade removed

There were problems we did not initially notice when the upper balustrades were installed. To some extent we were spoiled by having a well regarded, award winning local builder we had used several times previously. Plus we had a decade of very hands on Resort Managers who generally supervised construction works very well. Normally you contracted a job, and admired it at the next meeting. As far as I can tell, touch up has now been completed.

The touch up work after removing the old balustrades was initially not up to the standard we would anticipate. I am very sensitive to this, as in some areas this inattention leads to water leaks.

One balustrade railing has scratched power coat. I doubt this was supplied that way, and it is a single length leading to one door. I can not imagine what was moved along the passageway that could do the damage.

Missing image balustrade damaged by scratchesPower coating scratched