11 Jan Making your railing selection
3 things to consider when picking out railing
When diving into a new deck project, picking new deck railing is often the most exciting part.
Railing can stand out or blend in, frame everything in or be the pièce de résistance, add cosmetically or be completely utilitarian. No two homes are alike, so here are a few things to consider before as you collect pictures and ideas for your project folder.
1. Do you have dogs or small children?
This is the very first question our Lead Designer asks new clients to narrow down the railing options. If you are considering glass inserts over picket or cable, keep in mind that that 36″ of glass is going to quickly show evidence of any canine noses or kiddos’ hands on the premises. Similarly, cable railing becomes a ladder for dogs and toddlers, which can not only stretch and ruin the cable, but also turns the rail into a fall hazard.
2. Economy vs. maintenance
These two features will generally have an inverse relationship: the more economical the railing, the higher the maintenance will be in the long run.
Our Design & Sales Manager lays the choices we offer out like this:
Cedar railing with cedar pickets is a “tried and true” material for outdoor living spaces and has many benefits (read more here), but it will also require annual staining to extend the lifetime of the wood and maintain that nice, honey color.
Cedar railing with aluminum pickets will be your most economical with minimal maintenance. Aluminum pickets also allow to you add a little pop of color to your railing, leaving only the railing posts and top cap as Cedar.
Aluminum railing products with either glass or pickets are going to be even less maintenance. The baked in color can be cleaned with dish soap and warm water; just keep in mind – as mentioned above – if you have small children or pets, pickets will be the better way to go over glass.
The most expensive railing material and the lowest maintenance will be composite or PVC railing, with your choice of insert. This option is appealing if you are also installing (or already have) a composite or PVC deck, as it allows for color matching and contrasting.
Our Design & Sales Consultants are here to help point you in the right direction, but ultimately we are here to build your dream space! If you find a railing type that you love, save it in your project folder we will do our best to accommodate. Otherwise, here are our preferred railing vendors: