Everything You Didn't Know About Deck Railing

Posted by Brett McCutcheon on Apr 27, 2017 9:28:00 AM

Deck Railing

People love their decks. They invest in them because they’re like the living room of the outdoors. They want them to be visually pleasing, comfortable and lasting. We talk a lot about decks, but we never talk about the railings, and that’s the part of a deck that most people will see first. Here’s a quick guide to railing ideas you should have in your building arsenal to wow your clients with options they didn’t even know they had.

Mix Materials. Railing is a great place to mix in some new, or used, materials. While most deck floors are made of wood or composite, railings can be constructed with many metals, wire, or even glass. Incorporating unexpected materials can give it a real wow factor. Wire cabling can give a very clean look without impeding the view.  Combining a wooden top rail and posts with wrought iron balusters gives a rich, industrial feel. Reclaimed wood slats used horizontally can complement your cabin look. Be creative and mix and match.

Railing Panes. While traditionally we think of balusters as actual rails, you can also use solid pieces of material. A very modern and light look can be provided by using break-resistant frosted glass in between posts, in either solid sheets, or 4-5” wide balusters with a small gap in between.

Great Heights. Mix and match heights of the railing based on the use and the surrounding areas. If there is an unsightly view on one end , consider building in a tall trellis that can be covered with greenery. It adds privacy while keeping the outdoors environment.

Cutting Edge. There’s no reason the rail can’t have more features than just being decorative. Consider building in garden boxes in a few sections to give homeowners the ability to add herbs or flowers as part of their deck surroundings. You can also add a short, flat bar rail wide enough to lean on and hold beverages for a cool twist.

Break the Pattern. There’s no reason that each rail needs to be spaced the same. A very arts and crafts look can be created when grouping three rails closer together and leaving a wider space between. Or play with patterns using both horizontally and vertically.

Light Them Up. Providing unexpected points of low light can really warm up the feeling in the evening hours. Illuminating steps is always a helpful addition, but don’t limit yourself. Lights under the post caps can help give a nice glow to your deck too.

However you decide to enhance the railings, be sure they are up to local and national code for safety before experimenting. Like decks, the best railings are ones that last with minimal upkeep. When choosing quality railing and decking materials, be sure to also invest in top quality fasteners. Choose materials and fasteners that will stand up to the elements and maintain their strength and appearance, like SCRAIL® from Fasco America®. SCRAIL® installs eight times faster than bulk nails and twice as fast as traditional screws, and that saves you money. They go in like a nail and can be backed out like a screw, and that saves you time. Be sure to use SCRAIL® to ensure your railing, no matter what kind, is long-lasting.

View the SCRAIL: The Faster Fastener Video

Topics: Deck Fasteners


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SCRAIL®, Fast like a Nail, Strong like a Screw, are incredibly versatile collated fasteners that can be driven with a pneumatic nailer at a rate twice as fast as collated screws and eight times faster than bulk screws. You can rely upon SCRAIL® fasteners to hold strong, without callbacks to fix a squeak or a nail pop.

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