Deck Railings

Written by Donald Sparacin
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Deck railings are both functional and aesthetic, and should be considered before the first post goes into the ground. Far too often, people think of deck railings after they build the deck itself and then have to find ways to attach it. When this is the case, they are almost never strong enough to be effective, and are rarely attractive. Railings should be a consideration in the initial deck design, and not an afterthought.

Deck Railings Add Character and Safety

When you see a deck, chances are you will notice the deck railings first. Rarely will you notice the decking itself when you drive past a home, it simply isn't visible from a distance. The railings will reflect the attention to detail that the homeowner exhibited when designing the deck, and provide an aspect of character to the finished project. The additional benefit of the railing is safety.

Deck railings can be as simple as a basic 2X4 that spans two posts or as elaborate as any shape or shapes that the mind can imagine. Obviously the more intricate the pattern the more involved the construction will be. Yet the overall impression of your deck will be most clearly influenced by your choice of railing pattern and style. If you have small children and your deck is above ground, please consider deck railings that will prevent small heads or bodies from getting through or getting stuck.

There are as many different materials that can be used for deck railings as there are styles. Some people use wrought iron or aluminum balusters, for strength and durability, while others opt for wood to maintain a consistent look and feel. Many people are also considering the vinyl fence material that many of the home centers feature, but it's generally a very high cost addition. No matter what material you choose, remember to incorporate the railings into the initial design of your deck and you will be far happier with your finished product.


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