Customers who agonize over the wood stain or type of lumber for their deck may barely give deck railing a second thought. However, choosing the railing for your new deck carries elements of complexity that you may not have considered until you reached this stage in deck construction. Here are six elements you must consider when choosing deck railing in Fort Collins, CO:
- Budget: Your budget for your deck must include the railing. There are many varieties to fit budgets, which makes it likely you will find railing that works with your deck design and does not push you over the edge cost-wise. Custom wood railings are more expensive than vinyl or steel systems that only need mounting. Know what you can spend so you are not disappointed later when your grand vision exceeds your budget.
- Local codes: The primary purpose of deck railing is safety. Code requirements assure this by placing guidance on railing height. Most railing must be at least 36 inches tall, with no more than four inches of space between posts. These requirements can change each year as new safety precautions take priority.
- House style/architecture: Railing that is perfect for a modern home will not work on an 1890s Victorian. The challenge here is that many period homes did not originally have deck railing, so it makes it difficult to find material that matches well. That is why our design process is so critical. We can help you discover what works best with your home’s architectural style and period.
- Sun exposure: If your deck receives heavy sun exposure, we will likely recommend additional treatments so it does not fade. The same consideration is also relevant with deck railing. You do not want to spend time finding a style that matches and fits your budget only for it to fade to nothing by this fall. Glass railing may produce glare in constant full sun or, if your sprinklers reach it, look spotty. There is also the consideration of temperature. Choosing black railing for a deck that receives full exposure all summer long will create a burn hazard on your deck.
- View: If your home has a view from the deck, you want railing that does not interfere with it. Likewise, if all you see from your deck is the back of another building, there are railing choices that can distract from that. This consideration also addresses the visibility of your deck to the outside world. If you have a hot tub and want privacy, wide balusters and tight railing can provide that.
- Maintenance: Wood railing looks great on that period home, but you will spend time maintaining it. You will be staining or cleaning it when you would rather be enjoying your deck. If you install glass panels, prepare to know Windex well! However, if you prefer to spend more time at the barbecue and less time maintaining your railings, metal or composites work best.
TNT Home Improvements offers deck design and construction, including deck railing in Fort Collins, CO. Call us today to start planning for your new deck!