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Trying to Decide What Deck Railing to Choose?

Jan 18, 2008
Because first impressions count making sure that the railings that surround your deck, line your steps or border your property will help a lot. However many times railings are overlooked in favour of other details such as paving or plants. Many people think railings are something purely functional but you can also add a touch of personality by including a few accents.

Styles of Deck Railing

When searching for deck railings you will find that most resemble wooden fences. Although these may be very practical, they can be a tad dull.

One way you can make your railing more inspiring is by mixing different materials together such as wood and iron. Wood is used for the main braces, posts and top while the iron is used in the middle as support.

Iron can take on my different styles and shapes. It can be curved, twisted and wiggly. There aren't many designs that couldn't be achieved using iron. Not only that but it's extremely strong and highly durable. The wood itself will need to be sanded and stained every so often, but the iron will be able to go years with little or no maintenance.

If you are looking for a material that requires little maintenance and is highly durable then have a look at vinyl. It can withstand rain, frost, heat and other damaging weather conditions. The need for sanding or staining has also been eliminated.

In addition to this, vinyl is great if you have children. This is because it doesn't splinter like wood does. It doesn't have any nails or rough edges. There are limits to the medium, however. It comes in very few colors; mainly white and brown.

Although wood can be boring there is still the possibility of buying wood railings that come in different patterns. You don't have to choose the standard look. Like iron, the wood supports can be shaped to add new elements to the deck railing.

Safety

Although wood is very commonly used for railings they do require a lifetime of care. They need to be sanded, stained and then sealed. This process should be done every few years to keep it looking good for many years to come. However, you will still find a board every now and then that needs to be replaced due to rot. Ensure that rotten parts are quickly replaced otherwise you could cause some injury to people who may lean on it.

Another thing to look for with wood railing is nails. Make sure that all the nails or screws are flush with the wood itself. This will avoid any hand injuries.

It is important that railings are sturdy and shouldn't move even just a little bit. The spaces between the inside supports should be close enough so that a small child's or pet's head could not fit between them.
About the Author
April often writes articles on home and garden site www.finerliving.net which also has articles relating to patio covers and patio design ideas.
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