Balcony Remediation and Refurbishment: Where is the market at and what do you need to know? with Luke Bedford

Your Guide to the Building Safety Regime

Thousands of buildings in the UK are in need of remediation work in order to make them safe and compliant with the latest Building Safety Regulations. After the banning of combustible materials in high-rise buildings based on the findings of the tragic Grenfell Tower fire, hundreds of thousands of residents all over the UK are stuck in homes that are unsafe.

We speak to Luke Bedford, Sales Director at MyDek, about the crisis and state of remediation and refurbishment in the country.

When it comes to balcony refurbishment, what are your top tips for reducing costs?

Over the years, MyDek has provided more than 45,000 balconies’ worth of decking. From all our experience, there are some things we have noticed that can help greatly with reducing the costs of refurbishment. The key thing is early engagement with design teams, consultants and residents to understand the best outcome for all. This allows us to come up with creative solutions that help reduce costs and save time.

For example, we have worked on numerous projects where we have saved scaffolding due to creative access and remediation solutions and working with trusted installers. In all our years of involvement with balcony remediation, we haven’t come across a single project where we were unable to find a suitable solution.

Another thing to keep in mind is finding simple solutions for remediation and refurbishment cases. Simplicity is hard but essential; we are constantly refining and streamlining our range to give greater clarity and efficiencies and bring down costs and reduce complexity.

Lastly, when you are going out to market and getting ‘square metre rates’, make sure you contact us to sense-check and quantify these before you put them forward to the client, to save giving an under- or overinflated figure. In many instances they will be ‘board only’ rates that do not consider the substructure or structural requirements. Remember: you have to dispose of any material you remove, and you must also factor the costs of access, scaffolding and welfare facilities into your budget. We are happy to visit with an approved installer to fully scope this and provide a report, to give you confidence that due diligence has been done and there will be no hidden nasties or red faces.

Does MyDek help with installation and other processes?

Currently, we are supply only. However, we have a raft of approved installers we can recommend based on your projects size, location, and complexity. We also have years of experience working with high-rise structural balconies, so we are able to make recommendations based on our experiences. We also offer free consultation and no-obligation site visits as well as knowledge, training, experience, and contacts to those in need – our mission is to make balconies safe for the apartment community.

Our website is constantly being fine-tuned to make it as easy as possible to navigate and to have on hand all the technical specifications and datasheets required by architects and engineers.

What advice do you have for picking the right decking range for a project?

MyDek offers both aluminium and Luxura® decking ranges for you to choose from. Each of them has specific advantages. It is key to have early interaction with residents to understand the needs of those who will be using the balcony for years to come. This information will help us recommend the best range based on the likely usage.

All our ranges have been developed keeping simplicity in mind. This means that they are easy to install and maintain over the years. They have also been impact tested to ensure durability and they come with a warranty.

Can the decking be installed without the use of scaffolding and without disrupting lives?

We developed a unique rapid access system to installers so that they can access balconies without scaffolding or going through apartments and enables the whole project to be more agile and less disruptive to residents. Please check with us to ensure suitability on your project.

Can decking be included in the BSF funding?

We have thorough knowledge of BS 8579, EWS1, PAS 9980 and have in some instances, due to our knowledge of the legislation, worked to include the decking in the BSF funding where before it was likely to have to be funded by residents. Call us to discuss points to be aware of and we can put you in touch with contacts who can give professional advice.

Check out our decking range and please get in touch with our team for further queries.