Most often people judge a deck by the deck railing. If you think about it, it’s the one part of the deck that’s seen most often.
Many more people will see your deck from a distance than they will first hand standing on it. For instance, if you live in a neighborhood, all your neighbors and people driving down the street see your deck, but really only see a platform and rails.
So, choosing the right railing is probably the most important part of creating a strong first impression.
With a little effort and imagination your deck will stand out from the rest!
Styles of Deck Railing
The common types of railing found on most homes are plain square wooden rails, but there are many other options available.
Wood and Iron
One of the hottest trends in deck guard rails is mixing mediums such as wood and iron. Wood is used for the main braces, posts and top while the iron is used in the middle as support.
You really could add any design to the railing with iron. Plus it is very strong and durable.
Iron railings come in any design you can imagine. You can buy pre-made designs, or you can have someone custom make your design for you.
Iron makes a great railing system and requires little maintenance. From time to time they may require a coat of paint to keep the rust away.
This is the standard choice but it can take on many different patterns. Like iron, the wood balusters can be used to create uniqe designs and shapes to add new elements to the railing.
Because wood is so easy to work with – you are only limited by your imagination.
Wood and Glass
One of the newest trends in deck railing is using either glass balusters or glass panels as the baluster system.
The glass is safety tempered and obviously designed to withstand normal abuse without cracking or breaking.
You can find these glass balusters or panels in clear, tinted, and opaque (frosted) looks. Each one is sure to catch the eye of every passer-by.
This is a great medium for decks because of its low care and high durability. Vinyl can withstand high temperatures, rain and other damaging weather conditions. Plus, there is no need to sand or stain.
Also, it does not splinter like wood, nor does it have any nails, and the edges stay smooth.
Don’t Miss: If you are looking for new deck rails check out these deck railing ideas.
Deck Railing Tips
Appearance is important, but safety is the over riding factor for any deck rail system. Do not cut corners when it comes to properly installing the rails on your deck.
Typical railing measures between 36″ – 42″. You will need to consult your local codes office to determine the minimal height requirement for your area. However, if you go higher you should be fine.
Some codes may vary, but the standard rule of thumb is that the distance between any 2 rails must not be greater than 4″. The reason for this is to keep children from slipping through the rails.
If you are going to use wood balusters it is best to fasten them with screws. Screws provide a stronger hold and minimize the amount of “backing off” over time. When using nails as the balusters age and sometimes warp, the balusters begin to pull the nails out. This can lead to a very dangerous situation.
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