Times do change. With time we see everything from fashion changes to technology changes. Change is happening quickly and it does not discriminate by product or industry.
Whether it be a front porch or a back porch or a screened in porch, we have seen the most dramatic railing changes when it comes to the traditional wood railing picket. What we have known for years is the 2×2 pressure-treated wood picket that was either painted white or stained in a natural wood tone. Today, that style of picket is rare.
The first question is why? There are a few simple answers.
1. The traditional wood picket does block some view more than newer offerings
2. The traditional wood picket often warped over time or simply was not installed properly
3. The wood also could shrink leaving gaps where the 2×2’s were fastened to the 2×4’s making them unsafe and unsightly
Today’s most popular porch rail picket or balluster is a black round powder-coated aluminum picket. We have found this solves all of the above aforementioned concerns. It is thinner than the traditional wood picket and therefore opens up the view. It is never going to warp or shrink and therefore performs better. Finally, it is a nice architectural detail even when combined with a traditional pressure-treated wood rail.
Additional choices for porch rails that we have found appealing to our customers include composite rail, such as Trex (we often mix the aluminum ballusters with the Trex composite rail). Stainless steel cable rail is popular where you have a water or mountain view due to the low profile of it. There is even glass rail today that offers the least obstruction to a beautiful view. To see the various options on actual decks, go to charlotte.archadeck.com