Deck Railings: Ideas and Options
Explore options for deck railings, from ornate designs to simple, functional styles.
A deck can add value and beauty to any outdoor living space, but on its own, it can sometimes feel a bit lonely. Luckily, the array of deck railing ideas and options provide infinite possibilities for livening up your deck.
The first consideration as you browse deck railing ideas is what material you're most interested in. Don't feel bound to the deck's surface material. In fact, a contrasting material can often provide the most aesthetically pleasing appearance. For example, if you have a wooden deck, a wrought-iron railing is a great option, and may tend to be less obstructive of views of the yard than a wooden railing.
Speaking of unobstructed views, consider a glass or plastic panel wrap-around railing. Designs featuring transparent features like this often rely on evenly spaced, sturdy posts spaced throughout to support the glass or plastic; these can provide a modern, stylish touch.
Keeping it simple doesn't have to mean keeping it boring, though. If you're attracted to a more traditional wooden railing, add post caps and interior latticework or woodworking to add some visual flair. Topping the post caps with lanterns can also be a functional touch that's quite pleasing to the eye.
A Pressure Treated Pine Deck with Pergola
A pressure-treated pine (PTP) deck gets a stylish upgrade with a pergola and dining area. PTP structures are economic and practical due to a lifetime warranty against rotting and termites but they are subject to cracking and cupping in prolonged hot weather. To prevent this, hose the deck down occasionally to minimize heat exposure.
An Ipe deck with a Sun Shade Area
Here is an expansive, open Ipe deck that offers ample room for both full sun and shade activities. Ipe is a tough, durable and visually striking hardwood that is popular among homeowners. Tips for DIY installation: Use pre-grooved boards which will save you time in assembling; Carefully inspect all boards in advance to weed out any that may be slightly bent or warped; Use a face mask when installing to prevent irritation from the sawdust.
A Composite Deck with Nature Sightlines
Want a deck with a commanding view of the natural surroundings? This composite deck is ideal for homeowners who want a long-lasting, low maintenance material compared to natural wood. Keep in mind that PVC decks can fade, buckle and harbor mildew after prolonged periods of hot or cold weather. But you can use a manufacturer’s suggested brightener to enhance the appearance and regular cleaning with soap and water will reduce buckling and mildew.
If you're looking to get back to nature, consider a deck railing made of recovered wood or intertwined branches. This rustic look can be a great complement to a modern deck surface.
Color choice can also make a big difference. Lighten up a dark wood with a white or light-colored railing, or add a pop of color with a yellow or bright blue design.
Lastly, don't be afraid of curves. If it's built correctly, your deck is flat, but your railing doesn't have to be. Curved wood or wrought iron can add a great visual accent as well.
See also: Deck and Patio Design Ideas
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