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The focus of decks tends to be deck boards, the railings that are needed on virtually every deck are often relegated to an afterthought.  The reality is that railings are the most customizable and visible part of your deck.  Railings also play a huge role in the safety of your deck.

So what is involved when looking at railings?  There are a variety of choices available in materials alone:

Aluminum

– Composite

– Wood (Cedar, hardwood, pressure-treated)

– Vinyl

Just to name a few.  Like decking, there are pros and cons to each.  Vinyl, composite and aluminum represent low to no maintenance and long term lifespans.  Natural wood looks and feels great, but needs periodic maintenance. Each material also varies with cost, strength and aesthetic value.

Often customers are looking to coordinate their railing materials with their deck materials.  However, this is not always the case.  We have some outstanding looking decks with materials mixed and matched: Aluminum on cedar, vinyl on composite and steel on hardwood (ipe).

Next post I’ll talk about some of the labour saving you can get with different rail packages.

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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.