The fact that porches are on the exterior of our homes doesn’t make them less important. And it certainly doesn’t mean that they have to look less great than the interior.
They’re one of the first things to catch the eye when you approach your home and something that can undoubtedly increase your house’s curb appeal. That’s why we collected some of the best porch railing ideas that’ll undoubtedly make your porch stand out.
Traditional Vertical Railings With a Twist
Let’s start with the most traditional of railings, which you can often encounter on typical ranch-style houses — the classic white vertical front porch railing made of wood.
It’s stylish, timeless, and, above all, versatile. So, it’ll surely match your facade and porch furniture regardless of their style.
You can stick with tradition and go monochrome (e.g., all-white), but if you want to add some visual interest to your porch, you’ll need a bit of a twist. Try painting the handrails another color (e.g., black) and make the railing truly pop.
Wooden criss-cross railings are another traditional option that can elevate both your porch’s safety and appeal.
Since it’s got that rustic vibe, it can be an excellent addition to a cozily decorated cabin in the woods, especially if you decide to leave the lumber exposed.
Best of all, you can easily build it yourself and save some money on construction workers if you’re good with your hands. The pattern is easy to replicate — all you need to do is construct a rectangular frame and screw two pieces of lumber onto it, creating an X shape.
This type of luxurious wooden porch railing is excellent for those trying to give their house a dash of Victorian allure. Though a bit more on the pricier side, turned balusters are an excellent investment. They’re sturdy and highly decorative (and will definitely elevate your house’s looks).
They also come in a variety of colors, so you’re sure to find the one that matches your preferred aesthetics. And if you truly want to capture the Victorian spirit, pick dark and rich shades of the colors typical of that era — maroon, brown, chestnut, burgundy, dark green, etc.
Split rail is one of those designs that never go out of style (and, no, it’s not reserved for your garden fence only). It’s simple, classic, slightly rustic, and, best of all, incredibly easy to DIY if you’re at least a bit handy.
All you have to do is grab some tools and planks and get down to creating this relatively cheap porch railing.
Ornamental Wrought Iron
Are you looking for a unique porch railing that’ll bring a touch of luxury to your porch? You can’t go wrong with ornamental wrought iron railings!
They come in various intricate designs and can be fully customized to your liking.
One of the downsides is that it can be a bit more challenging to clean (dust can enter all the difficult-to-reach crevices). But we have an easy hack for this problem — you can use a powerful cordless leaf blower to quickly remove all the dust and make cleaning a breeze.
Additionally, wrought iron railings can be pretty costly.
Classic Metal Porch Railings
Metal is one of the more expensive but also sturdier materials for porches. So, look no further if you’re after a long-lasting option. And besides being incredibly durable, metal railings can give your porch a very high-end, elegant look.
It goes without saying that such railings are incredibly versatile. They come in a variety of designs, and you can paint them any color you like to make them match your house’s exterior.
Tip — You may want to pass up on this option if you live by the ocean or the sea. The salty air may quickly stain or corrode your railings (sometimes even if you protect them against rust).
Classic Wood Porch Railing With Integrated Lights
You love the look of a classic wooden railing but wouldn’t mind making it a bit more interesting? You can quickly level up your traditional porch railing by adding some outdoor cap lights to the railing columns.
Not only will they spice up your railings‘ aesthetics, but they’ll also add some ambient light to your it, making it more atmospheric and fit for use at night.
Vinyl Porch Railing
Tired of repainting wood every now and then? You’ll be glad to hear that you can enjoy the elegance of wooden railings without the arduous maintenance process. The solution — vinyl railings! They’re resilient, don’t require any painting, and can last you well over 20 years.
All you’ll need to do to keep them looking good is to wipe them with water and mild cleaner from time to time.
Since they’re essentially plastic, they can come in any shape, style, and pattern you like, so you’ll surely be able to find what you’re looking for.
And if you’re not too much of a fan of the way vinyl looks, you can opt for composite railing. This type of railing is made of a combination of PVC and recycled wood flour and greatly resembles the actual texture of wood.
Cable Porch Railing
Cable railing is currently one of the most popular railing options. It’s incredibly modern, blends into minimalistic style perfectly, and allows for a lot of visibility. Therefore, it’s excellent for houses with a great view.
Posts for cable porch railing can be made of various materials. Still, we recommend wood, as it’s sturdy, looks good, and blends effortlessly into any style, helping you soften the overall aesthetics of your porch.
This railing design features vertical deck railing panels and a wide flat surface on the top rail on which you can set your drink. Therefore, it’s a perfect choice for those who often entertain guests.
And even if you aren’t much of a party maniac and don’t invite guests over that often, cocktail rail can come in handy. You can always use it to display your well-cared-for plants, decorative candles, and other knick-knacks.
As you can see, there are so many options you can choose from to make your porch safe and beautiful. So, no matter your preferences or the money you’re willing to invest, we’re sure you’ll find the right one for you.
What is the cheapest type of deck railing?
Pressure-treated lumber, vinyl, polyurethane, and composite materials are some of the most inexpensive materials you can choose for your deck railing. Some of these options allow you to pay less than half of what you’d spend on railings made of aluminum or wrought iron.
Are aluminum railings expensive?
Aluminum railings tend to be more expensive than their wood and vinyl counterparts. Still, they’re more affordable than railings made of more high-end materials (e.g., glass). The price ranges from $40 to $55 per linear foot, excluding installation costs.
Although their price might be a bit higher, they’re worth investing in since they’re sure to give you a huge bang for your buck. They’re sturdy, long-lasting, and can withstand any harsh weather conditions, from rain and wind to persistent UV rays.
How tall should handrails be?
Residential guardrails should be 34–38 inches in height (but depending on your state and city, you may be able to go up to 42 inches). So, it’s a good idea to check your local laws and guidelines to be sure.
What can I use instead of a railing?
There are many things you can use instead of run-of-the-mill wood railing to enclose your porch:
- Glass panels
- Composite materials (e.g., PVC railing, etc.)
- Wrought iron
- Metal carved panels, etc.
For more porch railing ideas, take a look at the examples above.