Selecting A Deck Railing And Finishing Touches

A deck railing greatly influences the overall appearance of a finished deck, by having strong horizontal or vertical lines, an open or closed appearance, or a polished or rustic look. However, the main reason for deck railings is safety.

Railing codes typically require a railing that is 36″ high with balusters spaced no more than 4″ apart. Always check your local building codes to know what is required in your area. No matter the requirements, inside your local code limits there are many railing options available. By combining different types, lengths, and styles of railings and deck balusters, you can create a railing system that suits your style and needs.

Components of a Deck Railing

All railings are made up of a variety of components. Posts are the structural component of the railing, usually made by 4x4s of lumber or composite. They keep the railing from wobbling and provide the primary support that holds it up and people inside. Balusters are the vertical pieces that extend from the top railing to the bottom railing to fill in the spaces between the posts and make a “fence.” Bottom and top rail pieces run horizontally between the posts and form the bottom and top to which the balusters attach. Post caps and skirts are decorative designs that cover the posts and may contain lights or other architectural features.

Deck Railing Materials

Just like decking, deck railing is available in a variety of materials. The most common railing is pressure-treated. 4x4s are joined by treated handrails with balusters. The balusters are typically 2×2 and can be square, beveled, or turned. Cedar and Mahogany rails, posts, and balusters are available in similar styles to pressure treated, allowing you to coordinate with your decking.

Extremely popular deck railing options are composite, aluminum, and vinyl railings because they need no maintenance. These railings are made with materials that stand up to the elements and pair well with maintenance-free composite decking like Trex. Some deck railing brands come preassembled and are easy to install. Overall, aluminum, composite, and vinyl railings provide years of maintenance-free use with coordinating beauty.

Also available are railing components like aluminum and other metal balusters, and deck post caps that can be paired with wood or other materials. These products allow for architectural interest while allowing for the mixing and matching of other materials. No matter your railing, your friendly Curtis Lumber salesperson will be happy to help you make the right railing choices for your deck!

Finishing Touches

Adding a privacy screen, post caps and skirts, or lights to your deck might be just the thing that is needed for your decking project. Lattice panels are easily installed in areas where privacy is needed or below a deck to keep animals out. Post caps and skirts also add intricate personal detail to your deck and allow you to make it your own. Deck lights add light for nighttime entertaining or architectural interest. Your local Curtis Lumber has hundreds of ideas on how you can finish your deck off right, be sure to check them out!

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