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 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
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
Charlotte open porch with black metal railing
Archadeck of Charlotte has designed and built over 20,000 projects in the Charlotte market since 1988. We get asked many questions about design and architectural concepts. One of the hot topics is “how do I choose the correct rail for my deck?”
There are 4 primary considerations we take into account prior to answering the question. What are your functional needs, what are your aesthetic desires, what is the building code, and what is your budget?
1. Functional Needs: Are you wanting a maximum view? Do you need something that is child or pet proof? Do you have other saftey considerations? Is low maintenance important to you?
2. Aesthetics: What materials are you using for flooring? What materials are on the exterior of your home already? What does the neighborhood require? Is color a consideration? Do you like contrasting or complimentary materials?
3. Code Requirements: There are different codes in each county that mandate height and strenght requirements prior to deciding which rail we can use.
4. Budget: Rails come in many price points. The aluminum and rod iron rails are on the higher end of expense side. Composite and vinyl rails can be as much as the metal rails depending on style. Wood rail is the least expensive but requires the most maintenance.
To see the various rail options, visit the photo gallery at http://www.charlotte.archadeck.com
So many consumers are focused on the deck boards and what they look like when considering a new deck. If you think about it, the rail has many more options and is more visible than the deck in terms of “curb appeal” since your neighbors and people passing by can mostly see the rail and not the deck!
So while you can certainly choose between different color deck stains or composites, think about all of the different rail combinations that may compliment your deck and homes architecture. There is standard wood rail, wood rail with metal pickets, cable rail, vinyl rail, composite rail, aluminum rail, tempered glass inserts, and so on. There are so many more combinations of rail than deck and it really does make a huge aesthetic difference. Take a look at Archadeck of Charlotte’s photo gallery to many different combinations and get some great ideas! http://www.charlotte.archadeck.com