Last Updated: November 11, 2016
A railing is a railing is a railing, right? Wrong! First of all, railings are available in a variety of materials and some are more durable, attractive, and easy to care for than others. Second, railings must adhere to certain codes and regulations if they’re going to be safe and secure. And third, some railings are decorated with beautiful, creative, and practical deck railing accessories. Why choose a standard railing for your deck when you could choose an amazingly functional railing? Browse through the deck railing accessories below, and ponder how you might make the most of your deck’s railing.
Deck Railing Accessories
Incredibly convenient for barbecues, parties, and relaxing evenings at home, lighting features are the most popular of our deck railing accessories. Not only is built-in lighting helpful when you’re trying to socialize or enjoy some free time on your deck, but it is also an important safety feature. For best results, install lighting features at the same time that you install your railing. You could choose old-fashioned lanterns, solar-powered lights, or even lights built into your railing’s post caps.
If you want to bring nature up to your deck, install flower beds on your railings. You could plant bright flowers for some color and beauty or, if you enjoy cooking, try planting herbs. Basil, rosemary, and oregano are all easy to grow and very practical in the kitchen. Also, consider purchasing very tall plants if you want a little privacy.
For those hot summer days, consider installing a pergola on your deck. Pergolas are the perfect addition to a deck because they don’t hinder the breeze but they do protect the deck’s guests from harsh sunlight. Choose the pergola that best fits your style and provides the level of sun protection you need. Also, consider planting a climbing flower, ivy, or grapevine to wind its way up the pergola, providing extra shade and making the space even more charming and beautiful.
Similar to a pergola, a veranda is an open-air, roofed area that may be partially enclosed by a railing. Often found on porches, verandas provide far more shade than pergolas. However, like pergolas, they allow in breezes. They also work well with climbing plants.
Though technically part of the railing system, balusters can add a decorative touch. These short pillars or columns line up to form a series that supports the railing on top. When you select your fence, carefully consider the design of the balusters. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors – some exceedingly simple, others ornate and creative. Some balusters include collars (a decorative band of material) or centerpieces (ornate accessories that attach to balusters).
Post caps also form a part of the railing system, “topping off” each post. They protect the top of the post (which helps the railing last longer), and they cover rough edges (which makes the railing safer). Although some post caps are simple and functional, helping you protect your investment, you can also select an ornamental post cap to embellish your railing. They come in many materials and colors, such as black, green, and brown. Some experts warn against white post caps, because they can be difficult to match if you require a replacement.
POST FLAIR OR SKIRT
A post flair or skirt sits at the bottom of the post, providing a polished look by concealing the ground mount plates and bolts. Many railing systems include post flairs. They are available in different sizes and styles, some basic and some ornate.
If you host a lot of get-togethers and are constantly searching for extra chairs, why not install benches along your railing? Some railings offer this option and others can be combined with custom benches to create a personalized structure. Take care to follow local building codes if you’re considering this option, because safety is absolutely essential when people are sitting against a railing.
If you would prefer that people stand, not sit, think about installing a bar rail. A long table surface at bar height, you can attach this to your railing so that guests have a place to set down their glasses and plates of appetizers. If you’re more concerned about tables than chairs, this might be perfect for you. This is a wonderful option for people who host a lot of large parties and want their deck to have a bar-like atmosphere.
Many decks contain an opening within the railing that leads to stairs, perhaps leading down to the grass or up to another level of the deck. This little opening, perhaps two- or three-feet wide, sometimes scares parents of young children or pets. After all, a toddler could crawl through the opening or wander down the steps. Pets might run through the opening. If you want to keep your kids and/or pets secure on your deck, consider purchasing a safety guard. Many safety guards are retractable, so they fit a variety of opening sizes. Select a durable, strong, and secure safety guard to ensure that your kids and pets cannot escape it.
If you’re tired of worrying about bugs when relaxing on your beautiful deck, you might wish to purchase a Westbury ScreenRail. This sturdy, aluminum railing system combines a beautiful railing with a functional screen, forming an enclosure that will block out bees, mosquitos, and wasps as well as leaves, gumballs, and pinecones. Although not technically a railing accessory (in fact, this is a complete railing system), many people adore this protective railing product.
If you’re in the market for a new deck railing, be sure to check out MMC Fencing & Railing. Our aluminum railing and vinyl railing systems are beautiful, strong, and virtually maintenance-free. Many of our railings offer a wide selection of balusters, post caps, and post flairs. Plus, you can adorn them with your favorite deck railing accessories. Visit our online store or give us a call at 1-866-931-5002 to learn more.