Choosing a railing for your porch can be as personal as selecting the deck design in the first place. Porch railings come in myriad styles and shapes and add a subtle flair of style to a plain back porch. There are three basic styles of wooden railings, and many other creative options exist if your deck requires something a little more unique.
When adding a railing to your back porch, start by looking at the three basic wooden railing designs: the continuous top rail, intermittent protruding posts and alternating protruding posts. The smooth flat top of the railing defines continuous rails; there are no protruding posts. Continuous railings can be sanded or cut at an angle to shed water or snow or kept flat and wide for a convenient place to rest a drink.
Each support pillar protrudes above the top railing in an intermittent protruding post design, and each is topped with a decorative cap. This style looks more ornate than continuous railings, and choosing it can add something old-fashioned feeling to a brand new porch.
Alternating protruding posts are a great compromise between continuous top railings and intermittent protrusions. Only every few support posts are allowed to protrude. On a long railing, perhaps every three posts protrude; on something smaller, protrusions can be limited to just corner posts.
If you’re looking for something a little more original, consider using an alternative to wood. Wrought iron railings are making a comeback these days; some interesting styles available today involve wrought iron decorations sandwiched between two lengths of wood. Another option is aluminum, which works especially well for a sleek contemporary design.
Your railing is sure to complete your deck, whichever design you choose. Most hardware stores will have a variety of options, so stop in today and select the railing that’s right for you.