Factors to Think About When Choosing Your New Deck Railing

Building a new deck is a significant undertaking. While the deck structure and design are important, your deck railing choice is equally critical. Not only will the railing help to create a polished, finished appearance, but the deck railing serves an essential safety role. Your deck railing is the barrier that protects your family and friends from an accidental fall, so you need to make sure that you consider both form and function when you choose your railing. Here are some of the things you should think about.

1. Material

When you're considering the material that your deck railing is crafted from, you need to think about what will blend well with the deck material itself as well as what will last the longest with minimal maintenance. 

While wood is a popular choice for deck railings, it's also one of the most demanding in terms of maintenance and vulnerabilities. If you want to ensure that your deck railing will last for many years without the risk of pest infestations and deterioration, consider steel or aluminum railings instead. 

Steel and aluminum both come with much longer lifespans, greater durability, and less maintenance. Steel offers greater surface strength and less vulnerability to scratches and pitting, but aluminum is lightweight and often more affordable. You can also consider vinyl deck railings, which are often reinforced with aluminum. The vinyl exterior is low-maintenance and durable, making it a great investment as well.

2. Style

Once you've determined which material you're going to work with, you need to select the style of your deck railing. If you're not concerned about obstruction of your view, railings with extra posts and rails can provide greater security. However, if you want to preserve your view from the deck, you may want to consider a glass railing with a vinyl or metal frame. If you opt for glass, ask about tempered or safety glass to ensure greater strength for overall safety.

3. Code Requirements

Finally, you'll also want to talk with your deck builder about the code requirements for your railing. Make sure that any railing material and style you choose will meet the local code requirements for your area. After all, it won't do you much good to choose the railing you've been dreaming of if code enforcement is going to make you change it and potentially fine you after the fact.

These are some of the most important considerations when you're in the market for a new deck railing. Talk with your deck contractor today for more tips to choose the best railing for your needs.

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