Installing a railing on your family's deck is a great way to increase privacy and safety for your household overall. Here are a few considerations that should be made while designing your new deck railing:
Corners, Edges, and Kids
Kids can get rowdy, especially the younger ones. They also tend to be accident-prone when they are playing around or feeling silly. If your deck railings are squared off and feature sharp corners and edges, there is a chance that your kids could get hurt if they fall or stumble into the railing. If you have young children who will play on the deck, it's a good idea to make sure that your railing features rounded edges and handrails.
If you prefer a straight look, you can have the edges and corners sanded down just a little to prevent them from being sharp and dangerous without sacrificing the look you want. Your railings should be set higher up so that they stand above your young children's heads. This will prevent them from hitting their heads on the railing if they do fall or trip.
The Containment of Pets
If you have dogs or cats that you don't want to escape off your porch, you can design a railing that will contain them while spending time in the space. This could mean adding flat-panel walls to the railing or incorporating vertical rails a few inches apart depending on how much privacy you want. You may even be able to have a screen incorporated into your railing design if you have small animals to contain. Other options include lattice siding and retractable walls.
Compatibility With Other Features
Another thing to think about when designing railings for your deck is whether you plan to add other features to the deck. If you want to install a roof cover over the deck, your railings should be sturdy enough to provide support for the base of the roof. If you want to screen the entire porch in, your new railing should accommodate the design element.
Maybe you want to grow plants on the deck, in which case your railing should be at least a foot wide. Provide your railing contractor with a list of features you plan to incorporate into your deck so they can help you design your railing accordingly without leaving anything important out.
Your railing contractor should be happy to schedule a free in-home consultation appointment to start planning the design and installation of your new deck railing.