These sure aren’t your Grandmother’s porch railings!

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

Multi-level deck with stone outdoor fireplace by Archadeck of Charlotte

Multi-level deck with stone outdoor fireplace by Archadeck of Charlotte

Archadeck of Charlotte designing and built this beautiful Trex deck and rail with a stone outdoor kitchen and screen porch

Archadeck of Charlotte designing and built this beautiful Trex deck and rail with a stone outdoor kitchen and screen porch

Not your grandmother’s porch and deck railings!

Screen porches and decks have traditional thinkers seeing wood rail with either white painted pickets or stained to match the deck or porch. The south has always been a huge wood market due to the low cost since we grow the southern yellow pine and the freight is negligible.

Today’s deck & porch railings come in many different substrates, colors, and styles. The traditional wood railings are still around and we believe always will be. What we are finding to be more and more common are the use of powder-coated aluminum pickets like one from a brand called Deckorator railings.

The advantage of the metal pickets are that they are low-maintenance, attractive, open up the view into the backyard since they are thinner than the wood pickets, and come in a variety of shapes!

This Ipe deck was built by Archadeck of Charlotte and utilized a powder-coated aluminum balluster by Dekorators with a twist in the spindle for added character

This Ipe deck was built by Archadeck of Charlotte and utilized a powder-coated aluminum baluster by Deckorators with a twist in the spindle for added character

Composite Railing is also gaining a lot of market share. The advantages to composite are similar to the metal pickets in that they are very low maintenance. They also come in larger color variety and shapes. Some of the leading brands include Trex and Timber Tech composite railings.

Archadeck of Charlotte designed and built this Trex Tropics Spiced Rum composite deck

Archadeck of Charlotte designed and built this Trex Tropics Spiced Rum composite deck

Vinyl railing is primarily white but again is very low-maintenance and like the others, cannot rot out! To view all of the different porch and railing options, try our photo gallery at http://www.charlotte.archadeck.com