Photo by: Photo courtesy of Atlantis Rail Systems.
For many deck installations, selecting the railing requires the homeowner’s undivided attention. The railing not only is a prominent architectural ornament, but it also serves to defend the deck perimeter, preserve the view, and in some cases deflect the wind.
Then there are issues of cost, durability, appearance, and maintenance. Wood still accounts for most residential deck railings, and market research shows it is holding onto market share against plastic-based and wood-composite competitors, which can be more expensive. These nonwood systems, however, offer resistance to insects and decay while requiring relatively little upkeep. Moreover, many of them nowadays are sold in quick-to-install kits, including systems strung with stainless-steel cable and some glass-panel systems that feature preconfigured aluminum railing sets.