Designing A Deck And Deck Railing For Your Residence

A well-designed and built residential deck and deck railing can be a very attractive addition to your home. A residential deck and deck railing offer many opportunities for you and your family to enjoy the weather and landscape around your home as well as provide a location to have plants, swings, furniture, and holiday decorations. Here are some things to consider when planning a deck and deck railing around your house:

Code Compliance - Check your local building department to make sure that your proposed deck and deck railing design are code compliant. Some local governments have restrictions on the size, height, and location of decks within their jurisdiction. You may need to apply for a building permit by submitting an application and plan drawings to your local building department. Some local governments may even restrict the construction of a residential deck. If this is true in your location, you may be able to apply for a construction variance to build and install your deck and deck railing. 

Deck Materials - Choose materials for your deck and deck railing that complement the design and features of your home. A deck can be built of pressure-treated wood, concrete, composite deck materials of wood and plastic fibers, as well as recycled and reclaimed materials. Each of these materials offers different advantages and disadvantages. Some are weather resistant while others require yearly maintenance and refinishing to preserve their strength and integrity. Look into the specifics of each of these materials to decide which is best for your deck and deck railing.

Railing Materials - A deck railing is the most visible part of your residential deck and can enhance the appearance of your home. A strong and long-lasting deck railing can be built of wood, rod iron, vinyl, and/or concrete. Choose a railing material that complements your home and fits your building budget. When designing a deck railing, the following options should be considered: 

  • Distance Between Rails - Depending on the materials that you select to build your deck, the distance between the railings can allow more or less of your home to be viewed from the surrounding area, as well as more or less of the surrounding area to be viewed from inside your home.  
  • Decorative Elements - Areas of decoration can be spaced within your deck railing to complement other decorative elements of your home. 
  • Security - Your deck railing can act as a security feature to keep your residence safe from intruders and can even be electrified if desired. 

Deck and Railing Design and Location - You have many options to consider when designing a residential deck. Your deck can be built for activities that include a seating area, plant growing areas, a climbing vine trellis, an awning to cover all or part of your deck and even an outdoor cooking area. Stairs can be designed and built to access your residential deck. If you are building an awning on your deck, consider how it will be incorporated into your roof design and allow for sunlight and roof drainage during different weather conditions. A deck awning can also include outdoor lighting fixtures to light your deck and the surrounding area.   

Because of local building codes and zoning ordinances, it is best to have the actual construction and installation of your deck, railing, stairs, and overhead awning done by professional building contractors, like Rainier Fencing & Decking. Together with a building contractor, you can decide on the precise size, height, and location of your residential deck, as well as the best materials and design for the weather and other environmental factors in your location. With a little planning and the right professional building contractor, you will soon be enjoying the outdoors on the deck of your home.