26 Oct 2013
What to Decide before you Buy a Mezzanine
Constructing a new mezzanine unit within your building is a relatively pain free process. Panel Built mezzanines are easily constructed, and once put into place, offer additional space, storage and/or containment. These constructed units are generally easy to take down and move elsewhere if needed. When you consider purchasing a unit for your business there are a few things to figure out:
Your budget will play a big role in the type of mezzanine you are able to purchase. Depending on the flexibility of your budget, you may need to narrow your options based on your budget first. Structural steel, for example, will cost significantly more in shipping than stainless steel or fiberglass, while aluminum is more expensive overall.
You will also need to pay attention to how you plan to use your mezzanine and the type of space you have. If you need to run electricity or plumbing through your unit, you will be restricted to specific type of mezzanines.
If your business handles food or other consumable products, you will most likely need to opt for stainless steel for durability and the ability to wash and sanitize quickly, while structural is more suitable for handling very heavy loads.
The small details can often make the biggest impact. In terms of Panel Built mezzanines, you need to decide on your flooring and decking options, stairs and ladders and any safety guards or rails. Depending on the type of mezzanine you choose, some of these decisions are much easier to make. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
The flooring area of your mezzanine will vary depending on the purpose of your mezzanine system. Pop-up rooms that serve as holding areas or meeting rooms for guests should have a more formal flooring such as laminated particleboard.
For areas that will see a lot of water and foot traffic, consider steel mesh panels or chequer plate for a slip resistant walking area. Areas that are likely to get wet should provide traction and allow water to drain. The metal flooring is often easier to clean and sanitize and holds up better under heavy use.
Other flooring options include particleboard and plywood. You want your flooring to look professional and last a long time. Panel Built ensures that the flooring and decking system you choose is scratch resistant and long lasting for safety and display.
Stairs and Ladders
When you opt to utilize taller mezzanine systems, you will need stairs or a ladder to access the top areas of your unit. The type of stair or ladder you use will depend on the location of your Panel Built mezzanine and the size of your unit. The clearance level for your mezzanine is seven feet. This means that if you opt for a second level or a raised platform, your deck must be at least seven feet below the ceiling.
When you are choosing your mezzanine system, keep mind that your stairs or ladder horizontal run is about the same length as your mezzanine deck. Handrails will add additional footage. Our stair units feature a wider bottom for easier entry and handrails for safety. The solid steel construction ensures durability and stability.
Another stair design option is an L shaped stair. For mezzanine decks over 12 feet high, you are required to have an intermediate landing. However, you may opt to add this landing even your deck is shorter for design purposes.
If you opt to use a ladder, keep in mind that OSHA regulations require a cage around ladders over 20 feet high, but you may want to add a cage at slightly lower elevations for increased safety precautions.
Safety Guards and Rails
The safety of your workers and you equipment is important to us. Our steel guardrails are available in single or double rails. Panel Built mezzanines ensures that you safety guards and rails are up to OSHA standards. OSHA requires that the top of the guardrails must be 42 inches above the work area. There are some exceptions allowing up to an extra three inches if the work conditions warrant it. OSHA standards dictate that guardrails must meet specific capacity requirements. Your guardrails must withstand at least 200 pounds of pressure.
Because the safety of your employees and equipment are at stake, you should ensure that safety rails and guards meet the maximum standards. We designed our safety guards and rails specifically to provide maximum protection.
Choosing the right mezzanine for your business takes a little time and planning, but we are here to help you make the best decision for your business. For more information about our products, and to get a free quote, read more here.