Guardrails for terraces: which material to choose?


The guardrail is what is meant by the wall which is fixed to the edge of your terrace and which prevents someone from falling, in general it is made up of posts, panels and a handrail. Some call it a balustrade. There are pre-formatted and custom ones. It all depends on your needs. Traditionally, the first need remains that of security, the second that of maintenance. And finally comes an aesthetic component that should not be neglected. Choosing between different styles and therefore different materials is essential.

What material should you consider for your patio railing?

Wooden railing, the most elegant for your patio

Without doubt the most elegant railing, but also the most popular. It is a material that is both practical and modern. Of course, after a while it needs to be refreshed. For a little mountain chalet feel, opt for a wooden railing. With straight or cross-patterned bars, choose it of the same essence as that of your terrace if it is also made of wood. From the moment you have chosen to have your custom-made wooden railing made, all shapes and sizes can be considered. This type of balustrade is known to have cachet, especially if you let your imagination run wild. Of course, always keep in mind that a guardrail should remain functional in the first place.

PVC railing

PVC railings tend to imitate wood. It is therefore a great solution if you want the look of wood and less maintenance. Especially since the PVC guardrails, unlike those in wood, do not deform. They don’t need to be repainted. If you choose it white, as is often the case, remember to clean it regularly if you want to play the card of refined decoration.

Metal railing, the safest for your patio

Just like with PVC railings, there are a large number of models, shapes and colors of metal railings, especially aluminum or stainless steel. This variety is interesting but that’s not all: they are easy to maintain guardrails. And which in fact have great strength. You can work with a craftsman who can create a custom piece for your home, a unique model, almost a work of art!

Stone guardrail, the most solid for your patio

The stone railings are reminiscent of large Italian buildings. Even if your house is not big, nor in Italy, you may want this material, in its natural state or in reconstituted one. The stone is both durable and elegant.

Glass railing, the most modern for your terrace

Glass balustrades provide security without interfering with the view. This is a good recommendation for homes near the seaside or a lake. There are different types of glass: solid glass, tempered glass or acrylic. Your ramp can be either wood, or vinyl, or even metal.

Concrete railing, the most durable for your patio

Some choose concrete as the material for their railing. It is a strong, durable and rather inexpensive material. They require virtually no maintenance. They are however quite rare on the market.

Railings mixing different materials

If you are looking for something a little more unique, you can opt for a railing that combines, for example, wood and metal. Then again, when it comes to custom pieces, only your imagination is the limit. A decorator or exterior designer can help you find your custom railing, the one that will suit you completely.

Choose a railing that matches the style of your home

Metal railings often go well with brick homes. If you don’t want your railing to obstruct the view, choose a metal or glass railing – they are less obtrusive. A wood siding house will look great with a semi-transparent wood deck railing. There are as many types of patio railings as there are houses. Have fun choosing the style you like the most.

What you need to know about maintaining patio railings

Like everything, your railing will age. And over time, maintenance will be necessary. Obviously it all depends on the material you are going to choose. Because some materials age faster than others. The whole thing is also to be done according to the climate of your region. Paintings on an aluminum railing will likely need to be refreshed after a few years. Likewise, some woods are more durable than others, or stain more easily.

Building Code Considerations

There are regions where certain strict guidelines apply, also with regard to patio railings. So you need to know the local specifications. Learn about building regulations when you start your project. Building codes can vary from the height of the railing to the distance between the balusters. It is important to know what is allowed in your city when developing your plans. There are also different specifications for pool decks.