Different Types of Deck Railing

Professional Advice

As the temperature goes up, Wake County homeowners can hardly contain their excitement at the prospect of spending more time outside, where they can bask in the sun and make the most of their outdoor spaces. After all, the outdoor deck is really an extension of your home — especially during the summer months. 

As you prepare your deck for the summer by renovating and revamping it, you should consider the types of deck railings that best suit your needs, style, and home.

In this blog, we will go over the different types of deck railings so that you can choose the one that will go best with your outdoor living space.

Wooden Deck Railings

Wooden deck railings — often considered the most traditional style of deck railings — are among the most affordable options for Wake County homeowners. Oak, pine, maple, cypress, or even mahogany are some options used for wood railings that can be designed to offer a classic, rustic, or modern appearance.

Although wood is a ubiquitous material for deck railings, it is not necessarily the material that requires the least maintenance. Wood is prone to cracking, splintering, and warping because of its natural properties. To preserve the wood’s integrity — and especially to prepare it for the harsh winters in North Carolina — it is crucial to treat and seal it regularly.

Though they demand more upkeep, wood railings are easy to paint, allowing homeowners to customize them in line with their preferences. In addition, wood railings can last ten years or more, provided they are treated with sealant and maintained properly.

Composite Deck Railings

Composite railings give an appearance similar to that of wood — but without the upkeep. These railings are gaining popularity among homeowners in Wake County since they are both cost-effective and low-maintenance. You can choose from different types of composite railings, including hollow, solid, or PVC-coated. 

Composite railings are strong and resistant to moisture due to them being manufactured from a combination of wood fibers and virgin or recycled plastic mixed into a paste. This combination also means that composite railings are pretty easy to clean.  

PVC-coated railings and some hollow composite railings are lightweight. These railings are often slid over wood posts to add even more durability and strength to the construction. Because solid composite railings already have the appearance of wood, installing wooden posts is not necessary. And since the material is solid, it is more resistant to dings and nicks than other materials. Nevertheless, special care must be taken when installing solid composites to ensure they do not sag.

Plastic/Vinyl Deck Railings

Plastic and vinyl railings — similar to composite railings — are built from long-lasting plastics and are slid over wood for an added layer of durability. This lightweight alternative has a smoother surface than the composite railing, making it much easier to clean and less susceptible to stains and mold. Plastic and vinyl railings will also retain a bright white hue for those interested in white railing options. 

Metal Deck Railings

Metal railings can complement homes with a more modern, contemporary, or industrial architectural style. However, they can also be an excellent accent piece for homes with a more traditional architectural style. There is a wide selection of metal deck railings, including those made of stainless steel, wrought iron, and powder-coated aluminum. Though all three of these materials are quite durable and long-lasting, the level of maintenance required for stainless steel and wrought iron is far more than that needed for powder-coated aluminum.

  • Stainless steel: Stainless steel deck railings need weatherproofing to retain their polished appearance, which is one of the reasons why they are not as widely used outdoors. If preventative measures are not taken, rusting may occur due to severe weather conditions.
  • Wrought iron: Wrought iron is commonly used to create decorative railings. However, like stainless steel, it is susceptible to rusting under harsh weather conditions. The fact that wrought iron railings can be painted in any desired color gives them a high degree of customization. However, painted iron will require regular maintenance and touch-ups to maintain its appearance. 
  • Powder-coated aluminum: Powder-coated aluminum is a cost-effective material with a long lifespan and is resistant to the elements, making it an excellent choice for the harsh winters of North Carolina. Unlike other metal railings, powder-coated aluminum will not rust, making it a railing option that requires minimal upkeep. Powder coating also comes in a wide range of colors to perfectly match your space — without the maintenance associated with painted materials.

Glass Deck Railings

You can take your outdoor spaces to a new level of refinement with the addition of glass deck railings. Traditional pickets, spindles, and balusters seem to have been replaced by tempered glass panels. Glass railings often use aluminum posts and rail frames for durability, creating a sleek and contemporary appearance. Of course, like any glass, these deck railings will require maintenance to keep them clean and sparkling. However, if you have a deck with a view and are looking for a way to showcase it, this is an excellent choice to consider. 

Call a professional!

Still unsure? With so many different types of deck railings, how do you find the best option for you and your Raleigh home? Call a reputable general contractor in Wake County, NC (like Glasgow Design Build) to help you with your deck-building needs. 

Are you looking for deck building services in Wake County, NC?

Do you have any questions or need assistance customizing your outdoor space for the summer barbecues? We can help! Get no-obligation, trustworthy advice on the right type of deck railing for your outdoor space by getting in touch with Glasgow Design Build today! We are a licensed general contracting firm specializing in home renovations in Raleigh, NC. Whether you need help installing a door or window in your home or building a porch or deck, we can take care of it. Feel free to call (919) 244-2979 or fill out an online form to schedule an appointment.