So you’re thinking about building a deck. Who isn’t? Decks are one of the most popular home improvements currently because they give you a wonderful outdoor space for entertaining or relaxing. But the question that you’re probably asking is how to make the deck look complete. Here are a few deck railing ideas that will make your new outdoor space beautiful!

Deck Railing Ideas Start with Style

As you are brainstorming deck railing ideas, the first thing you’ll want to think about is style — the style of your home and what will complement the deck itself. On homes with traditional design styles, like craftsman or Cape Cod homes, you might prefer an old-fashioned railing system that features horizontal cross pieces, or even something that looks like wrought iron.      

Newer homes, however, may benefit from deck railing with mostly vertical spindles or balusters. And, if your home has the ultra-modern or industrial look, then you might like a fun style such as wavy glass or aluminum balusters.


What about the Colors?

Decks — and deck railing — used to be mainly made of natural wood, sometimes stained to a different color. Nowadays, however, people are putting color to work in order to give the deck a finished look.

If you are looking for something with woodsy appeal, then natural wood colors are still an option. How ever, white deck railings are becoming more popular because they lend a formal look to the deck, and black, particularly black aluminum railing, gives the home a chic modern or industrial look. Other popular colors include earthy tones — medium to dark shades of brown, forest greens, gray to blue colors and more.

What Materials to Choose?

As you are coming up with deck railing ideas, pay close attention to the materials and how they will affect the look of the deck once completed. There are all kinds of inventive materials that are used in deck rail design, including glass, but the most popular materials include wood, vinyl and aluminum.

  • Wood. Wood gives you the softer, more traditional look, especially since it will weather and take on a unique character unlike vinyl or aluminum. You’ll need to do more maintenance with wood deck railing, particularly when deck railing materials it comes to the handrails, as they can sometimes develop splinters.
  • Vinyl. Vinyl railing requires the least maintenance, but if you should break a baluster, it may be more difficult to color match and repair the deck rail. Vinyl does give you a more upscale look, however, and it comes in a wide variety of colors and styles.
  • Aluminum. Aluminum railing is the strongest material. It won’t crack if you accidentally shove a chair or table into it, and it is impervious to freeze-thaw cycles, sunlight and other environmental factors. Since aluminum is usually painted, you’ll need to do a bit more maintenance than you would with vinyl railing. One of the great things about aluminum balusters is that they come in lots of unique styles. You’ll find aluminum railing that suits industrial or modern homes or rails that resemble antique wrought iron.

How Long Will Deck Railing Last?

No matter what materials you choose, all railing will last for a very long time. Wood has the shortest lifespan, but with proper care, it won’t need to be replaced for at least 25 years — often 40 or 50 years for pressure treated lumber. Vinyl railing is even longer lasting, provided it doesn’t split or break. Many manufacturers will offer a lifetime warranty on their vinyl products. Similarly, aluminum railing should last you a lifetime, particularly if it is properly refinished as needed.

Use these ideas and you can’t go wrong when it comes to choosing the right railing for your new deck. Each of these materials look great, last for a long time and will make your deck a safer place to be.