How to Choose Deck Railings

Decks are often used as an outdoor space to relax and entertain in, and used as a way in and out of the house. The railings you choose for your deck are important because they need to provide a functional and a decorative element. Choose deck railings that are strong structurally and an attractive part of your landscaping and deck design.

Steps

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    Decide on a material for your deck railings. Choose between iron, wood, glass, vinyl or a combination of materials to construct your railing.
    • Select wood railings if you want something traditional and easy to work with. Using wood, you can create any kind of designs or patters that you want to fit with and match your deck.
    • Use iron railings if you want something durable and easy to maintain. You can find iron railings in many different designs, or have them custom made if you have something specific in mind.
    • Choose vinyl deck railings if you want something that is easy to clean and care for. Vinyl can withstand any weather conditions and does not need to be stained or treated. It also will not rust.
    • Go with glass railings for something trendy and unique. Most glass balusters and railings are tempered to prevent damage. The glass can be frosted or opaque.
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    Comply with any local building codes. There may be codes and regulations in your area that regulate the construction of your deck railings.
    • Get a building permit if your deck is more than 24 inches (61 cm) off the ground.
    • Make sure your rails are no more than 4 inches (10 cm) apart. This will prevent children from slipping through the rails.
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    Look for rails that are from 36 to 42 inches (91 to 107 cm) high. Anything shorter can be unsafe.
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    Consider your view. If you want to enjoy looking at your view while sitting on your deck, look for railings that you will easily be able to see through.
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    Think about your privacy. If you have neighbors who live close enough to see onto your deck, look for railings that will protect your privacy, or consider getting a screen.
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    Choose railings that can be easily installed. Make sure you are able to install them properly, or hire a professional.
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    Shop around for deck railings, so you have an idea of what your options are.
    • Look at selections of deck railings in home improvement stores such as Lowe's and Home Depot.
    • Search online retailers for a larger selection, and more competitive pricing. Decks.com is a good place to start.
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    Consider your budget. Depending on the material and design, deck railings come with a wide range of prices. You can pay as low as $15 per foot to over $100 per foot.
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    Talk to a builder about making custom deck rails. The company that installed your deck might have ideas about rails. If you have a certain design or look in mind that you cannot find on the market, have them designed for you.

Tips

  • Look for design ideas for deck railings in home and garden magazines and websites.
  • Remember to ask a sales associate about how to treat and care for your deck railings. Wood rails may require sealant, and iron rails may need paint to avoid rusting.

Article Info

Categories: Walls Fences and Decks