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Deck Railings Information And Tips

Aug 17, 2007
Decks have been a popular component of homes for several decades now. They're the perfect way to extend the home living space into the outdoors. They're an enjoyable place to rest and relax and studies indicate they improve a home's resale value as well as any other home improvement feature. Today's deck builders are constructing ever more complex deck designs with multiple levels and interesting mixes of deck components. We're seeing new composite decks materials being adorned with non-wood deck railings, which create a modern, yet still comfortable type of home deck.

Decks Deteriorate

As America's decks age, many homeowners have to consider whether their whole deck needs replacing or if just the deck railing needs to be replaced. As sturdy and durable as wood is, it does rot, nails will loosen, and the rustic appearance the homeowner loved so much may look a little weary from its battle with time.

Stats from the North American Deck and Railing Association revealed that the number of deck failures in North America is on the rise. Over 225 injuries were reported in 2005 and it is estimated that many more injuries from deck failures occur, yet go unreported. This could be due to concerns about liability or from the acceptance by people that decks will fail at some point, and they just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. NADRA recommends that deck owners have their deck structure and deck railings inspected regularly. In the case of a commercial establishment, the owners should absolutely have their deck railings checked annually.

Wooden Decks and Maintenance

Wood, especially treated pine and spruce are a wonderful, inexpensive material. Cedar too, is an attractive type of timber with a grain and color that people prefer. Many old wooden decks were built with nails and nails loosen as winds, weight, and human traffic move across the boards. Some wooden decks were not built correctly and carry other hazards such as split boards, splinters, and cracks in deck boards that can be a real hazard to people.

Wooden decks and wood deck railings often require a lot of physical maintenance. Boards need to be replaced, nails removed and new ones hammered back in to secure deck boards. Boards need to be sanded and then finished again. Chipping off old paint is a tough task that few people have time for today. There could be up to one hundred balusters on some decks, and that represents a huge amount of sanding and repainting. You'll be happy to know there are alternatives to wood deck railings.

The most visible part of a deck from another property or the street is the railings. Many more people will see the deck railings rather than the floor of the home deck. That makes railings a key visual point of a home deck. What many homeowners and builders are looking for today, is a railing system that is easy to install, is strong and will last years without a lot of maintenance.

Railing Types

You can choose among many creative and colorful deck railing types and systems today. There are deck railings composed of cables, aluminum bars, steel pipes, wrought iron, hardwood, composite materials, glass, vinyl or PVC. Many of these types are considered artistic however they may not be practical or even legal in some municipalities as a home deck railing system.

Home Builders & Deck Railing Systems

Due to the large number of houses, townhouses, condos and apartments being built by home builders, they seek a product that is easy to install, and is constructed as a system. The word system simply means the deck railing has a number of components that are designed to work together to provide not only a rigid, stable railing structure, but to look seamless. Builders don't want heavy maintenance, or to have a railing system that will loosen and begin to rattle. They're often liable for the quality of their work and will choose a railing system that will last. New deck railing systems such as those distributed by Boston Cedar & Millwork offer a 20-year warranty.

As a homeowner, you'll want to have this same combination of clean, maintenance-free appearance and extended warranty. You'll have peace of mind knowing your family and guests are safe, and as well, the luxury of not having to scrape, sand, and refinish that old wooden deck railing. These railing systems can have the appearance of real wood or come with a beautiful, white finish.

Ease of Installation and Maintenance

New railing systems are designed for easy assembly and installation. The pieces fit together snugly and pre-drilled holes for balusters are lined up for connection to the bottom rails. The result is a deck railing system you'll appreciate having for many years to come.
About the Author
Boston Cedar is a distributor of composite decking , deck building products, deck railings , siding, and millwork products.
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