So, you’ve got the space allocated, and visions of lovely spring afternoons reading and sumptuous BBQs with your friends consume you as your deck construction plan comes together. But what about safety? The kids are still so young, and your grandparents are frail.

Railing is of course the solution to ensure the most relaxing deck experience, and fortunately, you no longer need to settle for plain designs and dull colors.

Use Your Imagination

Even though it may seem difficult to believe, designing a deck has become a creative process, as homeowners and professionals can now collaborate using an array of selections. And, thankfully, this is where your dreamy visions of a deck-filled future enter the picture again.

Working out what kind of deck railing you will settle on ultimately depends on what you have in mind for the deck:

  • Do you live in a windy area that might compromise your relaxing reading time?
  • Do you have a wonderful view that you would like to be able to see while lying down or sitting back?
  • What kind of weather conditions will impact the materials you choose?
  • Are you thinking of upgrading your deck at a later stage? Do you need to accommodate a future expansion?

There is one other external factor that you need to consider: your local building code. Make sure that whatever you do is within the regulations of your area.

Metal Deck Railing

Metal railing is what you are looking for if you want a modern aesthetic that isn’t too obtrusive, as metal balusters are usually thinner in profile. The other benefits of using materials like aluminum or galvanized steel are that they are lightweight, resilient and long-lasting.  Metal railing also comes in different colors, so you don’t need to sacrifice the flair.

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Composite Deck Railing

If your budget can stretch a bit further, then the increasingly popular composite deck railing option is certainly worth considering—the benefits will surely impress you:

  • Longevity
  • Low-maintenance
  • Your kids don’t need to worry about splinters
  • They are made in earthy tones that can complement your natural landscaping

Made from polymers, synthetic resins and mixtures, composite railings will last for up to 25 years, according to the McClurg Home Remodelers.

Glass Deck Railing

Just in case metal deck railing isn’t modern enough for you, tempered glass is the next step up, providing an ultra-modern flair that is wind-resistant, great for maintaining stunning views and helpful for parents who want to keep an eye on the pool area. You also need to be aware that this option is shock resistant, easy to install, durable and low-maintenance. The most popular and trusted glass deck railing material today is Invisirail, a top quality product from LivBuilding Products.

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Like the composite option, you will need to hand over more money, but, as the Landscaping Network explains:

“While this is among the pricier materials, it can be worth it for windy or coastal landscapes since it creates a protected outdoor living space without blocking the view. “

Cable Deck Railing

Just like the suspension bridge concept, cable railing provides flex and structural support. Again, cables are at the top end of the market, but their sleek appearance matches modern environments perfectly, and, like glass and metal, they are less obtrusive than the standard wood railing option. Plus, rails can be combined with different materials, including brushed stainless steel and wood, for equally impressive effects.

Cedar Deck Railing

According to the Wood Mill of Maine, “cedar is a beautiful, practical, and wonderful wood to use for outdoor decking”. They use cedar over composite materials for a number of reasons:

  • Oils in the wood make it resistant to rot and burrowing insects
  • It is resilient in harsh conditions with high moisture levels and low temperatures
  • It is one of the most decay resistant woods in North America
  • Comes up very nicely after stains or paints are applied
  • It will last for a long, long time

Cedar wood railing can also be matched with other earthy tones if you are looking for a nature-centered backyard.

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Final Thoughts

Revamping your deck or building a new one is not just for aesthetics, or so you and your family can have an outdoor living area where you can build great memories. Beautiful deck can significantly increase the value of your home. There are endless possibilities in terms of deck styles, from simple ones to elaborately customized decks. You can choose it to be a single landing, or to have multiple levels. The recent trends lean more towards decks with multiple levels, with each serving a specific purpose. Ultimately, how you design and enhance your deck depends on your preferences, lifestyle and budget but it pays to look around for bright new ideas.