Railings! They can make or break the look of your new custom deck. So you’ve picked out your decking but now you need a railing to match. Maybe you have that old wood railing still barely hanging on but that’s neither pretty nor safe. So where to start? Well we are here to give you the information you need to choose the railing that’s right for your project!
There are so many material choices including wood, vinyl, metal, composite, PVC or glass. Different top caps and balusters as well at posts and top/bottom rails. With so much to choose from, you want to make an educated decision. We can start with the railing composition, at its most basic form. There is a top and bottom rail, balusters, posting, and then possible post sleeves, post caps and top caps. The top and bottom rail make up the section that will be running horizontal or parallel with the ground between your posts. The balusters make up the vertical pieces connecting the top and bottom rails. At either end of railing sections are the posts. Often times these are 4×4 wood posts but there are options to help match your railing style. Composite post sleeves can slide over the top of the 4x4s and wrap the wood for a different look. Let’s quickly talk about top caps and how they relate to post caps. A top cap is not always necessary but if it is used, it’s installed on the top of the top rail. It’s often times a 2x member that can be used for better grip, place to put your drink, or even just something more substantial to lean on. Now, we go back to the posting. You can chose whether or not you would like your posts to have post caps. If the posting goes up above the top rail or top cap, you will need a post cap. Post caps come in all shapes and sizes and some even include lighting. If you don’t want a post cap, you simply run your top cap over the posts.
Which material to choose? There are all different kinds of railings with different mixes of materials. Some companies offer standard railings that are pre-designed with pieces that all fit together. Often times, these systems are all the same material and have pre-determined color choices. Depending on what you are looking for, this may be the way to go. Companies like Trex offer vinyl railing systems that are unique and stylish. Moistureshield offers systems of full composite railings that could help the railing blend more with your projects colors and keep the focus on the decking. There are many other companies that offer these full railing packages that could match your project. If not, we specialize in building railings for your Colorado specific needs. One of our favorite railing companies is Fortress. Great warranties with the best powder coating that will hold up in the harsh Colorado sun and snow. In many applications, we use their 6′ and 8′ panels between posts with sleeves to match the decking. We cut the appropriate size to fit and place them using the provided end brackets. They can be installed with or without a top cap and look fantastic either way.
We can also design and fabricate our own style of composite railings using dimension lumber products from companies like Trex. In one case, we completely fabricated a railing system with Trex dimensional lumber, balusters and post sleeves. In that particular application we had to bend the composite material to match a radius in the decking shape!
In some of these custom applications you would have to make a choice on balusters. Many companies offer different colors and styles of balusters. Fortress has an entire line of different balusters with unique shapes and powder coats! They also offer a glass baluster system that could provide you with a less impeded view off of your deck. Trex offers a pre-designed system that includes large glass panes between posts for the clearest views. If you really want your railing to pop, there are “belly rail” style balusters that have a shape molded into them. One of the last railing types is custom fabricated iron. Using RD Enterprises your railing will be measured, fabricated and installed to fit the exact dimensions of your project. If you’re still feeling confused give us a call for your free design appointment today. We would love the opportunity to come help you design and plan your project. Head over to our gallery to see what kinds of railings we have already installed. We can consult on decking, railing, outdoor kitchens, patio covers, stairs, pergolas and any other outdoor living project. Call today at (303)670-0322.