If you've finally decided a porch deck is a good idea for your home, you are going to need to consider the railings you'll have. That is particularly the case if you have pets or children that will be sitting out on the deck. You can pick from many materials, but before making a decision, consider the following pros and cons of two common railing types.
Wood rails are very popular. If you select wood, you can choose slat or spindle-type rails according to your personal taste and the style of your home. Paint and varnishes allow wood railing to take on a variety of looks from bright white to dramatic dark stain.
If you do opt for wood, it is critical that you add a sealant. Wood is susceptible to warping and rotting over time, particularly because of rain and moisture over the years; a good sealant can block out the elements so that the rails remain in good-looking condition. You will likely need to re-apply the sealant every few years, according to the brand and type of sealant you use.
You will also need to pay special attention to the metal brackets that attach the rails to your deck. Specifically, you need to look for signs of wood damage around the brackets that could make the rails weak. If the rails become weak, they may give way and injure someone. Checking them periodically can help you prevent that.
Bronze rails can be a great choice when you have an older home or enjoy a classic look. Bronze is not likely to rot or warp the way that wood does; in fact, over time, bronze will start to develop a so-called patina and start to change in color due to oxidation and exposure to the elements, which can result in a beautiful finish.
However, it is important to note that the patina might not look as you imagine. Different rails may change color after different amounts of time, for instance. In addition, fluctuations in global metal prices may mean that bronze is more expensive than wood. If you decide to go with bronze rails, ensure that you do some comparison shopping to find the most reasonable price.
With all the above information, you can feel better able to make a smart choice about which type of railing you want for your new deck. Consult a contractor, like one from Rainier Fencing & Decking, who can guide you so that the installation goes smoothly.