Title:
System for construction of balustrades for terraces or the like
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A system for construction of balustrades for terraces or the like, includes vertically extending posts (1, 2, 3), and horizontally extending beams (20, 21) connected to the posts and supported by the posts. According to the invention, each post (1, 2, 3) includes at least one elongate support member (5) which carries at least one securing element (6, 7) for fastening a beam (20, 21), and at least two elongate cover elements (8), which can be secured to one another, cooperate to surround the support member (5) when secured to one another and have recesses (14, 15, 18, 19) for each securing element (6, 7) to pass through, so that part of the securing element (6, 7) protrudes outside the cover elements (8) when these are secured to one another and surround each elongate support member (5) included in the post.



Inventors:
Wilhelmsson, Lennart (Rundvik, SE)
Application Number:
11/097200
Publication Date:
11/17/2005
Filing Date:
04/04/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04F11/00; E04F11/18; E04H17/14; E04H17/20; (IPC1-7): E04F11/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
LAUX, JESSICA L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NIXON & VANDERHYE, PC (ARLINGTON, VA, US)
Claims:
1. A system for construction of balustrades for terraces or the like, comprising vertically extending posts (1, 2, 3), and horizontally extending beams (20, 21) connected to the posts and supported by said posts, characterized in that each post (1, 2, 3) includes at least one elongate support member (5) which carries at least one securing element (6, 7) for fastening a beam (20, 21), and at least two elongate cover elements (8), which can be secured to one another, cooperate to surround the support member (5) when secured to one another and have recesses (14, 15, 18, 19) for each securing element (6, 7) to pass through, so that part of the securing element (6, 7) protrudes outside the cover elements (8) when these are secured to one another and surround each elongate support member (5) included in the post.

2. The system as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that each securing element (6, 7) for a beam (20, 21) protrudes at right angles with respect to an outer surface of the elongate cover elements (8) when these are secured to one another and surround each elongate support member (5) included in the post.

3. The system as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that each securing element (6, 7) for a beam (20, 21) is secured to the support member (5) such that it is displaceable in the longitudinal direction of the support member.

4. The system as claimed in claim 3, characterized in that the support member (5) comprises a bar having an external thread cooperating with an internal thread in a hole in the securing element (6, 7).

5. The system as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that each securing element (6, 7) comprises an elongate plate of rectangular cross section, in that the elongate cover elements (8) comprise a longitudinal central recess for accommodating the elongate support member, and transverse slits (14, 15) or cutouts (18) through which the plate-shaped securing elements pass.

6. The system as claimed in claim 5, characterized in that, with the cover elements (8; 8″) secured to one another, those parts of their mutually facing surfaces located outside the central recesses are plane, and in that, on both sides of the central recess, the mutually facing plane surfaces of two mutually secured cover elements (8; 8″) diverge from one another in the direction toward the central recess (see FIGS. 7 and 10).

7. The system as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that each post (1, 2, 3) comprises securing elements (6, 7) for fastening an upper beam and lower beam (20 and 21) in the post, and in that each beam comprises a series of slats (22) which are separated from one another in the longitudinal direction of the beam and which extend transversely relative to the longitudinal direction of the beams.

8. The system as claimed in claim 7, characterized in that each beam (20, 21) comprises, at its opposite ends, a recess (25) for introduction of a part of a securing element (6, 7) protruding from a post (1, 2, 3).

9. The system as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that screw connections are used for connecting the cover elements (8) to one another and for connecting the beams (20, 21) to the securing elements (6, 7).

10. The system as claimed in claim 4, characterized in that the support member (5) comprises a threaded upper part, and in that a cover plate (16) with a central, internally threaded blind hole (17) is provided to permit turning of the support member and, consequently, movement of the securing elements (6, 7) in the longitudinal direction of the support member.

11. The system as claimed in claim 4, wherein all or some of the posts extend upwardly from an upper securing element and have in the upper end of the post an element for attaching an end of a rafter for a pergola.

12. The system as claimed in claim 2, characterized in that each securing element (6, 7) for a beam (20, 21) is secured to the support member (5) such that it is displaceable in the longitudinal direction of the support member.

13. The system as claimed in claim 2, characterized in that each securing element (6, 7) comprises an elongate plate of rectangular cross section, in that the elongate cover elements (8) comprise a longitudinal central recess for accommodating the elongate support member, and transverse slits (14, 15) or cutouts (18) through which the plate-shaped securing elements pass.

14. The system as claimed in claim 3, characterized in that each securing element (6, 7) comprises an elongate plate of rectangular cross section, in that the elongate cover elements (8) comprise a longitudinal central recess for accommodating the elongate support member, and transverse slits (14, 15) or cutouts (18) through which the plate-shaped securing elements pass.

15. The system as claimed in claim 4, characterized in that each securing element (6, 7) comprises an elongate plate of rectangular cross section, in that the elongate cover elements (8) comprise a longitudinal central recess for accommodating the elongate support member, and transverse slits (14, 15) or cutouts (18) through which the plate-shaped securing elements pass.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to a system for construction of balustrades for terraces or the like, comprising vertically extending posts, and horizontally extending beams connected to the posts and supported by said posts.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Instead of calling on skilled tradesmen, it has become increasingly common for people to undertake home improvement and renovation projects themselves, for example painting, hanging wallpaper, and laying floors. To meet this need, floor constructions, for example, have been designed which are easier for do-it-yourself enthusiasts to lay without using special tools. The construction of patios, terraces or the like is one building project often undertaken by do-it-yourself enthusiasts. There is a need for constructions that make it easier for such people to construct terrace balustrades or the like.

It is an object of the present invention to meet this need by providing a system for construction of balustrades for terraces or the like, which system comprises a small number of different components that, by different combinations, permit construction both of corner posts and also intermediate posts, is easy to transport by car, and permits construction of terrace balustrades without material being wasted. A further object of the invention is to configure the system in such a way that it can be assembled into a balustrade simply with the aid of a screwdriver as tool.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to the invention, these objects are achieved by means of a system for construction of balustrades for terraces or the like, comprising vertically extending posts, and horizontally extending beams connected to the posts and supported by said posts, characterized in that each post includes at least one elongate support member which carries at least one securing element for fastening a beam, and at least two elongate cover elements, which can be secured to one another, cooperate to surround the support member when secured to one another and have recesses for each securing element to pass through, so that part of the securing element protrudes outside the cover elements when these are secured to one another and surround the elongate support member.

In a preferred embodiment, each securing element for a beam protrudes at right angles with respect to an outer surface of the elongate cover elements when these are secured to one another and surround the elongate support member. Moreover, each securing element for a beam is secured to the support member such that it is displaceable in the longitudinal direction of the support member.

The support member preferably comprises a bar which has an external thread cooperating with an internal thread in a hole in the securing element, and each securing element preferably comprises an elongate plate of rectangular cross section. The elongate cover elements comprise a longitudinal central recess for accommodating the elongate support member, and transverse slits or cutouts through which the plate-shaped securing elements pass.

With the cover elements secured to one another, those parts of their mutually facing surfaces located outside the central recesses are plane, and, on both sides of the central recess, the mutually facing plane surfaces of two mutually secured cover elements diverge from one another in the direction toward the central recess.

In a preferred variant, each post comprises securing elements for fastening an upper beam and lower beam in the post, and each beam comprises a series of slats or bars which are separated from one another in the longitudinal direction of the beam and which extend transversely relative to the longitudinal direction of the beams. Each beam also comprises, at its opposite ends, a recess for introduction of a part of a securing element protruding from a post.

Screw connections are advantageously used for connecting the cover elements to one another and for connecting the beams to the securing elements.

In the preferred embodiment, the support member comprises a threaded upper part, and a cover plate with a central, internally threaded blind hole is provided to permit turning of the support member and, consequently, movement of the securing elements in the longitudinal direction of the support member.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will now be described with reference to the attached figures, in which:

FIG. 1 shows a schematic perspective view of a terrace balustrade according to a first embodiment of the invention,

FIG. 2 shows a schematic side view of a support member with securing elements included in a post of a balustrade according to the invention,

FIGS. 3, 4 and 5 show schematic views of different types of cover elements included in posts,

FIG. 6 shows a schematic view of the top part of a post made up of a support member with securing element according to FIG. 2 and two cover elements according to FIG. 3,

FIG. 7 shows a cross section through the post from FIG. 6,

FIG. 8 shows a perspective and exploded view of that part of the balustrade according to FIG. 1 arranged between posts,

FIG. 9 shows a schematic view of a second embodiment of a component of a balustrade according to a second embodiment,

FIG. 10 shows a cross section through a second embodiment of a post according to the invention, and

FIG. 11 shows a schematic perspective view of the lower part of a corner post according to a further embodiment of the invention.

DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

The terrace balustrade shown in FIG. 1 comprises a corner post 1, a middle post 2, two end posts 3, and three beam sections 4. Each post is made up of an elongate support member 5 which carries securing elements 6, 7, and two cover elements 8 which together are intended to surround the support member 5. FIG. 6 shows the upper part of a middle post 2.

In the embodiment shown, the support member 5 comprises a bar with an upper threaded part 9 and a lower threaded part 10. In a variant, the support member is threaded along its entire length. At its threaded upper and lower parts, the support member 5 carries a pair of securing elements 6, 7 which protrude outward from the support member at right angles to its longitudinal direction. The securing elements 6, 7 comprise substantially rectangular plates which, at their end areas, have a hole with internal threading matching the threaded parts of the support member. At their outer areas, the securing elements have through-holes 11, as is shown schematically in FIG. 6.

To ensure that the outer parts of the securing elements in each pair of securing elements 6, 7 lie at the same level, as seen in the longitudinal direction of the support member, when they are screwed onto the bar 5, the securing element 7 can comprise an upper part 12 and a lower part 13 which are separated vertically by a distance corresponding to the thickness of the securing elements, and are joined to one another via a wall part 14 extending in the transverse direction relative to the plane of the parts 12 and 13. However, this configuration is not necessary, because the resistance of the securing elements to bending will not be greater than will allow their outer portions to be brought level with one another by hand.

By virtue of the fact that the securing elements 6, 7 can turn relative to the support member 5, the securing elements can be placed such that they protrude in opposite directions from the support member 5 or at directions perpendicular to one another depending on whether the post, of which the support member is a component, constitutes a middle post or corner post. It should be noted in this connection that the wall part 14 of the securing element 7 must be placed such that the securing element 6 can be turned at right angles to the securing element 7 without being impeded by the wall part 14. Moreover, the securing elements 6, 7 preferably have the same length so that, in a finished post, they have securing portions protruding the same distance from the outside of the post.

As has been mentioned above, a post according to the invention also comprises two cover elements 8 which surround the support member 5. These cover elements are constructed in principle in the same way and, in the embodiment shown, they comprise two elongate elements 8 of U-shaped cross section. FIGS. 3-5 show three such elongate cover elements 8A, 8B and 8C which differ from one another only in terms of the configuration of the recesses in their walls, which recesses are necessary to permit passage of the securing elements 6, 7.

The cover element 8A has an upper pair of recesses 14 and a lower pair of recesses 15 formed in the opposite walls of the cover element 8A which form branches of the U-shaped element 8A. The recesses 14, 15 are in the form of through-slits which are at right angles to the longitudinal direction of the cover element 8A, have a depth corresponding to half the width of a securing element 6, 7, and have a width corresponding to the thickness of the securing elements 6, 7. To form a middle post 2 (see FIG. 1), the support member 5 in FIG. 2 is surrounded by two cover elements 8A by means of the securing elements 6, 7 being placed in the slits 14, 15, after which the cover elements 8A are secured to one another, for example by being screwed together. FIG. 6 shows the upper part of such a middle post 2. This figure also shows a top part 16 for the post in the form of a square plate which, on its underside, has a blind hole 17 with an internal thread which can be screwed securely onto the upper threaded end of the support member 5.

FIG. 4 shows a cover element 8B which differs from the cover element 8A in that it does not have a slit 14, 15 in one of the branch walls. Instead, this cover element 8B has a recess 18, 19 in the form of a cutout in that wall of the U-shaped cover element which connects the branches to one another, and at a level with the respective slits 14, 15. The cutouts 18, 19 extend at right angles to the longitudinal direction of the cover element, are located centrally, and have a width corresponding to the width of a securing element 6, 7. Such a cover element can cooperate with a support member on which the securing elements 6, 7 are arranged at right angles to each other, and, therefore, the cover element 8B can constitute one of two cover elements 8 forming a corner post 1 (see FIG. 1). The other cover element 8C of such a corner post is shown in FIG. 5. This cover element just has slits 14, 15 in one of the branch walls. The cover elements 8B and 8C can together surround the support member 5 in such a way that the securing parts of the securing elements 6, 7 protrude from the post at right angles with respect to one another.

Instead of cooperating with the cover element 8B shown in FIG. 4, the cover element 8C shown in FIG. 5 can cooperate with a similar cover element 8C to form an end post 3 (see FIG. 1). In this connection it should be noted that, in the embodiment shown, the distance of the slits 14, 15 and cutouts 18, 19 from the upper and lower ends, respectively, of the cover elements 8 is the same, which means that, by suitably turning the cover elements, two cover elements 8C can be used to form end posts 3 to which intermediate sections 4 can be attached from both right and left. The same applies to the corner post formed by the cover elements 8B and 8C. By turning these elements in a suitable way, they can cooperate with support members 5 on which the securing elements 6 in FIG. 2 extend at right angles to the plane of the paper, either in the direction toward or in the direction away from the person looking at FIG. 2.

Therefore, with the embodiment of the cover elements 8 shown in FIGS. 3-5, only three different types 8A, 8B, 8C of cover elements are needed to form, together with the support member 5 in FIG. 2, all types of posts 1, 2, 3, irrespective of the direction in which the intermediate sections 4 extend from the posts.

By contrast, if the distances of the slits and cutouts from the upper and lower ends of the cover elements are different from one another, it will be appreciated that a further type of cover element is needed to be able to produce corner posts and end posts.

It is of course possible to do without cover elements of type 8C and to leave a pair of cutouts 14, 15 in a cover element of type 8A empty, i.e. without projecting securing element, in order to form a corner post or end post.

The support member 5 and the securing elements 6, 7 are preferably made of metal, while the cover elements 8 are preferably made of wood. To ensure that any irregularities of the mutually facing surfaces of the branches of the cover elements do not cause gaps between the mutually secured pairs of cover elements 8, the mutually facing surfaces of the branches diverge from one another in the direction from the outside toward the support member, as is shown schematically in FIG. 7. In this way, a linear contact, without gaps, is obtained between the secured cover elements, which is advantageous from the point of view of appearance.

The intermediate section 4 shown in FIG. 8 comprises an upper beam 20, a lower beam 21, and a number of slats 22 which extend at right angles to the beams 20, 21. The components of the intermediate section 4 are shown in an exploded view in FIG. 8.

The beams 20, 21 are divided in two and comprise first boards 23, 25 and second boards 24, 26 respectively. The first boards 23 and 25 have a central recess 27 at each end, which recess is of such dimensions that a securing part of a securing element 6, 7 protruding from a post is accommodated in the recess 27. The recess 27 can extend from one end to the other. The second board 24 of the upper beam 20 and the first board 25 of the lower beam 21 preferably have a row of pre-drilled holes to make it easier to screw the slats 22 in place.

A terrace balustrade according to FIG. 1 can be erected in the following way, starting at the far end of the terrace balustrade shown in FIG. 1.

First, upper and lower securing elements 6 are engaged on a support member 5 so that they end up in line with the slits on the cover element 8C. This can be done either by comparison with a cover element 8C, or by the positions of the slits, which of course define the position of the beams 20, 21, being marked on the support member 5. Thereafter, the slats 22 are screwed securely to the first board 25 of the lower beam, and this board is placed on the lowermost protruding securing element 6, after which the board 26 is secured to this securing element and to the board 25. The second board 24 of the upper beam 20 is then screwed securely to the slats 22, after which the first board 23 of the upper beam is secured to the upper protruding securing element 6 and to the second board 24. The first board 25 of the lower beam 21 and the second board 24 of the upper beam 20 are preferably provided with holes which open into the recesses 27 to make it easier to ensure that the upper and lower beams 20, 21 end up in the correct position in relation to the posts; more specifically, these holes must be situated in line with the hole 11 (see FIG. 6) in the securing part of the securing element.

Similarly, the securing elements 6, 7 are arranged on the middle post 2 in the manner shown in FIG. 2, and the securing elements 6 of the middle post 2 are introduced into the recesses 27 at the second end of the beams 21, 22, and the securing elements are then connected to the beams.

If the middle post 2 was to be fixed, i.e. the support member 5 was fixedly connected to the ground, the lower beam 21 is secured to the securing elements of the end post 3 and the middle post 2 (see FIG. 1) before the second board 24 of the lower beam is screwed to the slats or at least before the first board 23 of the upper beam 20 is secured to the second board 24.

The rest of the balustrade shown in FIG. 1 is erected in a similar way. However, at the corner post 1, the cover element 8A has to be engaged on the securing elements before the intermediate section can be erected and secured to the securing elements.

After all the intermediate sections have been secured on the respective securing elements 6, 7 of the support members 5 for the different beams 1, 2 and 3, the remaining cover elements for the corner post 1 and other posts 2, 3 can be connected to one another by screwing. For this purpose, holes are preferably drilled in one of the cover elements in each pair of interacting cover elements.

When all the cover elements 8 have been fitted, all that remains is for the top parts 16 of the posts to be screwed onto the uppermost threaded part of each support member 5. When the respective top part of the post has been screwed to the bottom of the blind hole 17, a continued turning movement of the top part of the post causes the support member 5 to be turned. The thread of the securing elements 6, 7 can be such that a continued turning movement of the top part 16 of the post has the effect that the securing elements 6, 7, and thus also the cover elements 8, move upward. When the top faces of the cover elements 8 have come to bear against the underside of the top part 16 for the post, they can no longer move upward, and a continued turning movement of the support member 5 is possible only if the securing elements 6, 7 are bendable. The securing elements 6, 7 preferably have such a degree of bending that they can be moved slightly in the vertical direction relative to the slit or cutout 14, 15 and 18, 19, respectively, through which they protrude. When such a relative movement takes place, the intermediate sections 4 are tensioned toward the outsides of the posts 1, 2, 3 because the vertical movement of the securing elements results in inward displacement of the protruding securing areas of the securing elements 6, 7.

The terrace balustrade described above can of course be erected in a sequence different than the one described above. For example, all the intermediate sections and posts can be put together individually, after which the parts of the securing elements protruding from the posts are introduced into the recesses in the beams of the intermediate sections and are then secured to them by screws.

FIG. 9 shows a second embodiment of an intermediate section in which a pattern of slats is secured in a frame 28. The frame 28 has securing pegs 29 which can be introduced into an upper beam and lower beam designed to cooperate with posts in the same way as the beams 20, 21 in the embodiment shown in FIG. 8. The pegs 29 can be designed to fit into recesses in a board 24, 25 of a beam 20, 21 or they can also fit into recesses in another type of beam. It is obvious that slat patterns different than the one shown can be provided within a frame 28.

FIG. 10 shows a second embodiment of a cover element 8″ which can surround a support member 5″ like the support member 5 in FIG. 2. The cover element 8″ in FIG. 10 differs from the previous cover elements in that it has a semicircular shape with a central semicircular recess. Otherwise, it has the same configuration as the cover elements 8A-8C which have been described with reference to FIGS. 3-5. When such cover elements 8″ are used, the slats advantageously have circular cross sections, and the beams also have rounded cross sections. In this embodiment, the top parts for the post are preferably not square, and instead they can, for example, be in the form of a ball or the like.

The terrace balustrade described above can be secured to the ground in many ways. For example, the lower beams of the intermediate sections can be secured in the ground if the lower slits and grooves of the posts are placed such that the undersides of the beams lie flush with the underside of the posts. It is also possible to secure elements like the described securing elements 6, 7 on the support member such that they protrude from the underside of the posts. Another variant is to configure the lowermost parts of the cover elements such that a plane part of an outer cover element protrudes downward from the rest of the post or parts of the cover element protrude downward from the rest of the post. FIG. 11 shows one such configuration for a corner post. Such a configuration is advantageous if the terrace balustrade is arranged along the edge of terrace decking, as is often the case. The downwardly protruding part or parts of the cover elements can then be securely screwed to the outer sides of the terrace decking.

It is also possible to use the threaded lower end of the support member for screwing on anchoring members which are cast solidly in the ground or some other base structure.

As will be clear from the description of illustrative embodiments of a terrace balustrade or similar, it is possible for end posts, middle posts and corner posts to be formed through different combinations of a small number of different types of cover elements. Both posts and intermediate sections can be put together in a simple way with the aid of just a screwing tool, such as a screwdriver. Because the components of the balustrade are pre-fabricated and only need to be put together, the balustrade is very suitable for the DIY enthusiast. To make the system even more flexible, the upper and lower beams of the intermediate sections can be made available in a number of different lengths so that the system can be used for terraces, patios or balconies of by and large any shape. Moreover, it is of course also possible to use the system to build fencing, in which case the intermediate sections can be given a fence-like configuration with slats which extend upward through recesses in the upper beams of the intermediate sections.

In the described embodiments the upper beams are almost level with the upper ends of the posts but it is of course possible to let some or all of the posts extend much higher than the beams, for example to serve as supports for horizontal rafters of a pergola. In such a case vertically extending stabilising rods or the like support element can be placed and fastened in the central recess of the cover elements and the rafters can have pre-drilled holes co-operating with such rods. Such a construction will lead to a very simple assembling of the pergola. If such extended posts are twice the height of the posts disclosed in FIGS. 3-5 it is enough that only one of the cover elements used for such posts reach the full length of the post, the other cover element can be one of the cover elements disclosed in FIGS. 3-5. Otherwise both cover elements must reach the full length of the post.

The described embodiments can of course be modified within the scope of the invention. For example, the support members do not have to extend through the entire post and, instead, separate support members can be provided to carry the upper and lower securing elements. In such a configuration, the lower support member in each post may advantageously be provided with a stop member, a plate, a cross-bar or the like which prevents movement of the lower support member, so that tensioning of the lower beams of the intermediate sections is permitted in the same way as the post top parts permit tensioning for the upper beams of the intermediate sections. Moreover, the cover elements can have cross sections different than those shown, and they do not need to have the same cross section along their entire length. Nor is it necessary for the outsides of the cover elements level with the slits or grooves to be situated at the same distance from the center of the post, even though this is preferred so that securing elements of different length are not needed. The central recess in the cover elements can have a different cross section than described above. Moreover, the uppermost board of the upper beam of the intermediate section can be advantageously wider than the lower one. The beams do not have to be made up of two boards and, instead, they can be in one piece. Instead of having a row of holes for screws, the beams can be provided with a row of recesses in which the ends of the slats fit. The invention will therefore be limited only by the content of the attached patent claims.