Why is choosing the right railing important?
Your deck railing has a more important job than just looking good. It should also improve the safety of the deck by preventing falls and ensuring that children and pets are safe inside. Choosing a railing that is too low or has a gap that is too wide can be dangerous, so you should carefully consider these factors.
Researching your deck options now will also help you save money in the long run. Instead of choosing the first cheap railing kit you find and replacing it in a few years, you will be able to choose a high-quality railing option that you will use for decades.
Know Your Material Options
The moment you choose a material to build your deck, you must select the right one from a wide range. Below is a brief overview of the most popular railing options and their unique advantages and disadvantages.
Stainless Steel Cable
If you don’t want the deck railing to block your view, consider using a cable railing. The thin cables are easy to install, which is why they have become a popular choice for interior design. You can even customize the look by adding beautiful hardwoods like Ipe to the top and bottom rails. The cable is made of 316L stainless steel, which is highly durable and weather resistant. This makes it an excellent choice for decking near water and in areas that experience severe storm seasons.
Advantages: weather resistance, low maintenance
Disadvantages: More expensive than other options
Do you like the solemn look of wrought iron, but don’t want to deal with high prices or frequent maintenance? Aluminum railings can bring you high-end beauty at a more reasonable price. And because aluminum is less prone to rust and corrosion, you can save more maintenance costs. Although it is a strong metal, aluminum is actually very light and therefore easy to install. Be sure to use powder-coated aluminum railings to ensure longevity.
Advantages: classic appearance, easy to maintain, low price
Disadvantages: may not be suitable for your home design
To match your wooden deck, you can choose wooden railings. Low cost and easy to install, wood is a popular choice for homes and large commercial decks. If it is made of durable wood, this option can last more than 25 years.
However, remember that wood requires regular maintenance to keep it in good condition. It should be sealed, stained, or painted every year or so.
Advantages: Inexpensive and affordable, look great with hardwood floors
Disadvantages: Requires more maintenance than other materials
Vinyl railings are inexpensive, durable, and come in a variety of styles. That is why you will see it everywhere, from the porch to the ocean deck.
Unlike wood, vinyl does not need to be sealed or painted, so maintenance is easy. Vinyl column sleeves can also be used to cover and protect your existing wooden railings, helping you save replacement costs.
Advantages: UV-resistant, cost-effective, and easy to install.
Disadvantages: Does not provide darker colors.
Composite material combines the natural appearance of wood with the easy maintenance of options such as vinyl and aluminum. The composite railing is made of a durable plastic and wood fiber mix and will not warp or chip.
Pros: Looks like natural wood, easy to maintain.
Cons: Color tends to fade over time.
Things to consider when choosing railings
Choosing the right railing for your deck is more than just choosing the material you like. Here are more tips to help you navigate the process.
1. Determine Your Budget
The first step in any major investment in your home is determining your budget. Softwoods like pine are easily the most affordable railing materials, but they won’t be as durable as composites or vinyl. Considering the strength of aluminum, aluminum is also quite cheap. Hardwood and stainless steel cables tend to have the highest prices, but you might think these low-maintenance materials are worth paying a little more for.
2. Ensure Safety
The recommended height of the platform railing is between 36 and 42 inches. This will prevent children (and adults who have had too much alcohol) from accidentally falling off the edge while allowing you to easily see it.
For the exact safety requirements, your railing must meet, contact your local building department.
3. Consider your style preferences
While everyone should make sure their railing options are safe and within their budget, not everyone has the same style preferences. Before you start comparing prices, determine what your aesthetic is.
For example, do you want to be able to easily see through the railing or do you want your deck to feel more private? If your deck overlooks a scenic shoreline or beautiful garden, the cable railing can be made so thin that you won’t even notice its presence.
Color and shape are also important. Will black aluminum rails collide with your light-colored beach house, or will they match your Victorian house perfectly? Do you prefer a traditional turned railing design or a more modern geometry? Deck railings are more customizable than you think, giving you the flexibility to create the perfect layout.
Here at Alumiguard MFG, we aim to make the installation process as stress-free as possible. You will be working with certified and experienced staff that will handle your project from A to Z. We will sit together and decide everything related to the project, from the measurements, to design and locking systems. Our team of experts will arrive at your home at the designated time to perform the installation of your railings.
We service Toronto, North York, Etobicoke, Vaughan, Richmond Hill, Markham, Brampton, Mississauga, Oakville, Hamilton & other areas across the GTA.