Deck building is not all about having a wood platform to enjoy dinner with friends or quality time with the family. It’s also about making sure every person standing, walking, sitting, or running around on the deck is also safe. That’s where deck railings come in. They come to protect you even if the deck is not very high. Since there are many options between deck railing systems, they won’t block your view but they can still build a barrier between you and your neighbor.
The importance of deck railing installation
No matter which railing system you choose, your deck construction project will be more complete. With so many options today, you can select railings to match the deck style and color and thus enhance the outdoor aesthetics. On top of that, railings are very convenient. You can place lights, hang flower beds, and lean on them.
But above all, deck railings provide safety. Without them, children and toddlers can easily fall and the elderly would have a hard time going up or down the stairs. Railings provide support when the floor becomes slippery or you need to carry a heavy load up the stairs. They will also keep items from flying away during a windy day and allow you to walk on edge without fearing the height.
In order to be sure that the railings of your cedar or ipe deck will provide the necessary support and thus safety, they must be installed correctly.
3 things to consider before installing railings on your deck
- Get building code compliant deck railings
Unless you deck is lower than 30 inches, deck railings are necessary by law. So, you should check your local building codes. In such cases, railings act as guard rails for your protection. Codes vary among regions and whether this is a residential or commercial property. What you choose also has to do with whether the railings are installed on the deck or stairways. Other criteria include the height and overall size of the railings. Your local deck contractor can inform you.
- Choose the right railing material
Whether you choose wood, metal, or glass deck railings has primarily to do with aesthetics. But the material also plays a role to your safety. For example, with railings featuring vertical rods, there must be a certain distance between the balusters to ensure toddlers won’t fit and thus won’t fall. And then it has to do with maintenance. Wood railings are extremely strong and very appealing. But they need regular maintenance so that they won’t rot and thus become susceptible to breakage.
- Make sure railings are installed properly
You will need a deck builder to make sure the railings are installed right. One of the most important things is to make sure the posts are solid. They provide the required support and keep railings stable. Posts must be properly fastened to the deck to be durable and aligned so that the railings will be aligned too.
It takes great experience to install railings since they might be uneven surfaces and so the posts must be installed in a certain way to compensate for the different levels. In order for the railings to be level and secure, right installation is vital. And that’s why it’s crucial to leave such jobs to deck builders.