Deck Railing Ideas
Start by considering the character of your house, whether its style is formal or casual, its lines primarily horizontal or vertical. Pick up these characteristics in your railing design. Study the trim for design cues. An older home with a cornice at the roof line will be complemented with a similar cornice incorporated into the top rail. A more modern home might call for tubular steel, plexiglass, or formal post caps.
Consider also the practicality of your design. Will you want to set food and drinks on the railing? Will close baluster spacing make it seem too confining?
To help you avoid construction errors, design your railings at the same time you design the rest of the deck. The dimensions of the railings can affect where you sink the posts, for example, as well as how you fasten them.Codes for railings
Although railings are key elements in deck design, their primary purpose is safety. That means local building codes may govern their design and construction.
Most codes require a railing on a deck that is 24 or more inches above the ground. Baluster spacing is commonly specified as 4 to 6 inches, and the space between rails, 4 to 6 feet.
Before you commit your plans to paper, consult your building department to make sure your design conforms to local codes.Railings on their own terms
If you are new to the business of deck building, familiarize yourself with the name of each part. That way you'll avoid confusion when designing the deck and ordering material.
Posts, either resting on footings or attached to the deck, are the structural members that support the railing.
Rails are the horizontal members fastened between the posts. There are usually a top rail and a bottom rail, and sometimes a cap rail, which may be wider and is fastened to the top rail. Additional rails may be included for design and style.
Balusters are vertical members installed between the rails.
- Deck Design Picture Gallery
- Deck Plans: Drawing Plans for Your Project
- Deck Building Tools & Materials
- Deck Building: Basic Skills & How Tos
- Building a Freestanding Deck
- Building a Deck On a Sloped Site
- Building a Multi Level Deck
- Custom Touches for Your Deck
- Deck Repair & Maintenance
- Deck Finishes: Sealers, Stains & Paint
- Deck Building Skills