Outdoor decks are great assets that look simple but consist of more than just a platform to sit on while entertaining guests. The range of must-have features include railings as well. The railings that you have on your deck play the very important role of making your structure safe to use, but they also fulfill an essential aesthetic role, that of integrating the deck into the design of your property. This also means that choosing the best railing is just as important as choosing the material for the deck, so here are some tips about how to make the perfect decision.
Choose Railings of The Right Height
Ideally, the railings that you get installed on your deck should be comfortable to lean on and sufficiently tall to prevent any kind of fall from the deck. The ideal railing height is somewhere between 36 and 42 inches – that is just a great size for people of any height.
Get the Right Materials
When choosing the right material for your deck railing, you will see that the options available are as varied as the options available for deck materials. When making your choice, composite deck builders affirm that you should consider aspects of overall design, durability as well as aspects related to installation and maintenance. The railing should harmonize not only with the material of your deck, but also with the design of your home – if you have a classic home, for example, the best choice is a classic railing made from solid wood or from cast iron. Railing materials also vary in terms of durability, metal such as cast iron or aluminum being the options that last the longest and with some soft wood varieties being at the other end of the durability range.
The amount of work that you will have to put into maintaining and repairing your railings is also an important factor to consider. Most materials need only cleaning, while others need cleaning, inspections as well as the regular application of sealants, coatings and stains.
Functionality and Design
Whatever material you choose for your railings, you will surely have a variety of design options. When picking the railings to install on your deck, pick a style that matches the overall design of your home and that also makes your decking the safe place that you want it to be. For example, if you have pets that you don’t want to leave the deck on their own, make sure that your railing is made from solid material or that the distances between the individual rails do not allow for any climbing and escaping.
Some railings are easy to install, while others can be more complicated to put up and might need professionals. Simple wood railings, for example, can be easily installed even by someone who has no previous experience with building things around the house. While complex, cast iron or wrought iron rails always need to be installed by professionals because they require special fasteners and they can be very heavy and difficult to manipulate, too.