How to Choose the Right Deck Railings

Deck railings play an important role in enhancing the style of your deck, but more importantly, they’re critical for safety. Secure railings will allow your friends and family to enjoy this outdoor living space in comfort.

Railings provide a stable barrier that’s critical for pets and children, and they can also be an attractive visual feature. Here are the key considerations to keep in mind when choosing the right deck railings for your home:

Know the Local Building Codes

Every town has their own set of local codes that homeowners need to follow. Find out what local building codes will apply if you’re building a new deck, replacing one, or adding new railings. You may need to apply for a permit before you can begin any work.

You’ll also need to know the height requirements so that you can be sure your railings are up to code. Find out the correct baluster spacing. In most places, the balusters must not be placed more than 4 inches apart. For railing height, it typically needs to be between 36 and 42 inches to meet safety standards. Always check your state and municipal codes before installing.

Set Your Budget

Determine how much you want to spend on the deck railings. Some styles and materials are more expensive than others but can be well worth it to achieve a desired architectural look. If you don’t have much money to spend, you’ll be limited in your options. Price out different materials, as well as the cost of installation if you aren’t doing it yourself.

Find Your Desired Style

Browse different styles and materials to see which one you like the best and that matches your home’s exterior design. The style and color of the railing can make a big impact aesthetically, and if you choose something unattractive, it can really detract from your home’s curb appeal. Make sure that the railing you choose is proportionate in size and style to the rest of the exterior’s architectural elements. It should complement the rest of the deck.

Consider Material Options


Keep the look in line with the rest of a wooden deck by choosing wooden railings. You can paint or stain the railings to match the color of the deck boards.


Vinyl is a great alternative to wood because it offers long-lasting durability. You can find a variety of colors, making it easy to match the rest of the deck.


Glass is not only an elegant and modern option, but it also opens up the deck visually. If you have a beautiful view that you don’t want to obstruct, glass can be the ideal solution.


Iron offers a handsome look and durability, but it has a few drawbacks. It can be very costly to purchase, install, and maintain and repair. It’s also very heavy, so your deck has to be able to carry the weight.

There’s a lot to consider when choosing deck railings, but safety should be the primary factor. Ultimately you want to select a railing style that fits within your budget and blends beautifully with your home’s overall look.


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