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Deck Railing

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With the increased interest in outdoor living, it’s no surprise that decks are among the most popular additions to homes. As you plan your new deck or porch, one of your first decisions will be what type of railing system you want for safety and to define space.

There are many different types of railings available on the market today; however, before making a decision about which type is right for your project, there are some things you should know about each style: 

Wood Railings

If you are looking for the classic look of wood, an all-wood deck railing might be the right choice. Wood railings offer a rustic feel, and they can help tie your deck to other structures on your property. However, wood is prone to warping, splitting and rotting over time, so it should be maintained regularly, by applying varnish or other finishes.

Glass Railings

Glass railings are a stylish choice for any deck railing project. However, glass can be easily broken and it is heavier than many other materials. If you choose to combine glass with metal construction, make sure the two are joined securely to avoid posing a danger to anyone walking near the railing.

Metal Railings

One of the advantages of metal railings is that they are available in a variety of styles, so you can find one to match your exterior design aesthetic. Metal is also durable and easy to maintain, but it can conduct heat or cold, which makes it uncomfortable for standing against bare skin in cool weather.

Metal railings combine well with glass, wood, and other materials, which can add visual appeal to your deck or porch without making you choose between metal and another type of material. Metal also works well for stairs because it is lightweight yet strong enough to hold up under pressure from foot traffic on a stair tread.

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Chain Railings

Chain railings are typically composed of durable metal links connected by bolts. This railing is often used for construction around construction sites or for security purposes, but homeowners have also discovered the beauty and practicality of this type of rail system. Chain railings can be manufactured in a variety of colors to coordinate with your home’s design style, and they require little maintenance because they are resistant to weathering, rust, and corrosion. 

Slip Railings

If you have a sloping walkway or a boat dock that needs a railing system, a slip railing might be just what you need. This type of railing is composed of adjustable aluminum rods housed in durable plastic sleeves; there are no bolts to deal with, making installation a breeze. Slip railings are great for multiple levels because they can be extended or shortened as needed.

Wrought Iron Railings

Lightweight yet strong, wrought iron railings provide an elegant look but require regular maintenance to avoid rusting and corrosion. Wrought iron is usually composed of spun or twisted metal rods that are tightly bound by a blacksmith and then finished with a protective coating. Without regular care, wrought iron can rust and feel flimsy. If you do choose this type of railing system, be sure to maintain the protective coating so your railings look as beautiful as they work for years to come.

Choosing the Right Deck Railing

If you are trying to decide what type of deck railing is right for your project, consider how much maintenance the rail system will need and the design look you want in your outdoor space. If budget is a concern, metal rails are often more affordable than other types of materials because they require less material to manufacture. In addition, metal is also the most durable railing system, so while it may cost more up front, you can enjoy your deck or porch for years to come without having to make costly repairs.

If you choose wood or wrought iron, be prepared for regular maintenance to keep your railings looking beautiful and functional; however, if you opt for glass railings instead, your deck or porch will benefit from the stunning beauty of glass, without the hassles of regular upkeep.