Deck Railing Options for Your New Home

The right railing system can take your deck from ordinary to spectacular!

It’s important to choose a rail that complements your decking material, as well as the style and colour scheme of your house. Railings serve three important functions: safety, visual beauty, and view!

Wood Railing

Traditional 2x2 wood railings are the most common type of railing and the most cost effective. Vertical 2x2 pieces can be topped with 2x4 or 2x6 pieces, depending on the look you’d like to achieve. A 2x6 top railing has some added width and it can be placed over intermediate posts, making a stronger railing.

Sawlor Built Homes Wood Deck Railing

Over time, wood railings will naturally need the same maintenance that the rest of a wooden deck will need.

Vinyl Railing

Vinyl or PVC railings are a popular alternative to wood. Handrails and balusters (pickets) are available in styles similar to wood railings, although colours are limited—white is by far the most popular.

Sawlor Custom Home 34 Deck Railing

Vinyl is not quite as sturdy as wood, but it requires very little maintenance. Wash it off occasionally and it will continue to look great for years.

Aluminum Railing

Aluminum railings are another low maintenance alternative for your deck. These railings are sturdy, lightweight and attractive, and they’re available in many different colours and styles to suit your needs. The powder coat finish is very durable and virtually maintenance free, as it won’t rust or peel. 

Sawlor Custom Home Deck Railing

Glass railing

Glass railings are ideal if you want to maximize your view. If you’re considering glass, you have several options to choose from—solid glass panels, individual balusters made of tempered glass (or acrylic), or a combination of glass and another railing design, which gives you the view you desire at a lesser cost than a full glass railing. Wood, vinyl and aluminum railing systems can all be combined with glass panels to create an eye-catching  railing design.

Sawlor Custom Home 22 Deck Railing

A drawback to glass, aside from the cost, is the regular maintenance that’s required. Depending on weather conditions where you live, you may need to clean your glass railing more or less frequently.

Infinity Topless Railing

The Infinity topless railing system is completely unique and stunning advancement in aluminum and glass railings. This system is made from heavy gauge aluminum alloy extrusions and offers a variety of durable power coated finishes. It has no top or bottom rail which allows for unobstructed views. The rail system is very low maintenance in that there is no rusting, splintering, cracking, peeling or repainting. This type of railing system is one of the most durable (and more expensive) systems available. 

Sawlor Custom Home 41 Glass Railing

Talk to your builder for professional advice about the type of railing that will work with your needs and budget. 

Keith Sawlor Sawlor Built Homes Custom Home Builder in Nova Scotia

Keith Sawlor

Keith Sawlor is the second generation Owner of Sawlor Built Homes. With more than 35 years experience building custom homes in Nova Scotia, Keith has built a team that mirrors his professional knowledge and values.

Keith is a Certified Residential Builder who is also certified with many leading industry organizations. He is a Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) Certified Builder, a Net Zero Energy (NZE) Certified Builder, a Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) R-2000 Certified Builder, and a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS).

Keith is a Board Member of the Atlantic Home Warranty Program as well as the Canadian Home Builders' Association Nova Scotia. He is involved in many other industry programs and associations, such as the Canadian Home Builders’ Association National, Safety Services Nova Scotia and Better Business Bureau.

Post your comment


No one has commented on this page yet.

RSS feed for comments on this page | RSS feed for all comments

We are delighted with our new home, the efficiency of your scheduling, the professional way your organization followed up on any details brought to their attention

Priscilla & Sanford


Accounts tweeting on innovation, industry and consumer issues with houses and energy use.

Twitter accounts covering innovation and consumer issues with the tech in our homes.