With the right balustrades and railings, you can combine functionality with aesthetic appeal
Fencing your patio, deck or pergola is a great way to create a cosy and private space — and in the case of decks over a certain height, it might also be a legal requirement. Whether you want to create an outdoor room or simply ensure your structure is safe, there’s an array of options available for balustrades, railings and fences. And if you think you’ll need to compromise on quality and aesthetics for functionality and purpose, think again. Today’s range of balustrade and railing solutions caters for both the practical and the decorative, giving you the best of both worlds.
Vertical balustrades are often the preferred option for decks. Unlike their horizontal counterparts, vertical balustrades cannot be easily climbed and are a safer option, especially if kids are about. Lattice is an ideal solution for deck railings if you have small children. The crisscross design allows air to pass through while keeping kids safely on the deck. Lattice also provides some visual interest and can be personalised to suit the design of your deck.
The railings you choose need to complement the style of the structure, so be sure to select the right material and design. Wooden porch railings come in many styles and can be used to enclose decks. They can be stained to match the deck floor and if the railing is painted it will give the deck a porch-like feel. You could also use a combination of materials, such as tensioned cable.
For a sleek and modern look, metal deck railings are the way to go. Stainless steel is not only contemporary-looking but also maintenance-free, rust-free and long-lasting. Powder-coated metal railings are another option and come in a diverse range of colours.
Balustrades, railings and fences are available in a range of materials and, depending on your structure, can be designed to complement your patio, deck or pergola.
Timber is the most traditional material used for balustrades and fences; given its versatility it’s easy to see why. Timber can be used to create both contemporary and classical looks, as well as unusual designs. Available in traditional hardwood or treated pine, timber fences provide excellent windbreaks for exposed areas and good thermal profiles for gardens. They also reflect heat well and don’t absorb it like many other materials. Timber balustrades and fences are durable and can be used for almost any application. They can be custom designed to suit your specifications and are an ideal choice for pergolas and decks — both functionally and decoratively.
Composite wood, which is manufactured from wood fibre and recycled plastic, is a low-maintenance railing choice for those who want the look of timber but not the upkeep.
It never needs to be oiled or painted and includes UV inhibitors, so the colour is long lasting. Composite wood has become a popular choice for decking and is increasingly being used for deck railings. There’s a growing number of companies specialising in composite wood products, between them offering an array of timber colours, so you are sure to find the right look for your outdoor area.
Balustrades and railings made of steel are a stylish alternatives to wood, iron. Adding a modern touch to your outdoor structure, steel offers the best in strength and durability and is ideal for outdoor applications. Steel railings are particularly convenient as they do not require reapplication of powder or paint coatings to keep them from deteriorating. They are also easy to clean, with a light shine now and again keeping them in perfect condition. Stainless-steel railings are the contemporary choice and make an ideal modern enclosure method for decks. There are many styles of steel balustrades — from the slender and simple to the most lavish designs that encompass ornamental features for loads of appeal.
Aluminium balustrades and railings have become popular choices in recent years. Aluminium offers longevity, requires virtually no maintenance and in terms of cost aluminium balustrades and railings are more cost-effective than stainless steel. Aluminium is a contemporary solution for the modern-day patio and deck and comes in an array of anodised or powder-coated finishes. There’s also a wide choice of styles, ranging from vertical bar inserts, stainless-steel wire, fixed or adjustable louvres or custom inserts.
Glass fencing is without a doubt one of the most popular choices given its clean, sleek design and contemporary elegance. With no obstruction to views, glass fencing creates a sense of openness and can turn any outdoor structure into a modern-day fixture. Commonly used around swimming pools, frameless glass fencing is also ideal for decks and patios that overlook stunning views.
Made with safety glass, these fences not only look good, they’re durable and sturdy. For decks and balconies, glass balustrades with steel railings are in vogue. Smooth tubular stainless-steel balustrade railings (either matt or mirror finishes) are popular when teamed with toughened-glass panels. And if you really want to dress things up, glass panels can be tinted or etched with patterns and decorative motifs.
Wrought-iron fencing can add a style of its own to your outdoor structure. With so many designs to choose from, custom-making one to suit your patio or deck has never been easier. Wrought-iron fences can take on a charming, rustic look or have a formal, elegant appearance and are available in a range of different paintwork. All are hot-dip galvanised to prevent rusting. Wrought-iron fences bring a sense of sophistication to outdoor structures and are perfect for those who want to spruce up their patio or deck. Wrought iron can be used alone or in combination with wooden top rails and posts.
Marine-grade stainless-steel tensioned cables are a modern form of balustrade. The clean lines and unimpeded views make it a very popular fencing solution and a popular choice for decks. Stainless-steel cabling suits many applications and outdoor designs and can be used in conjunction with other materials including timber. You have a choice of horizontal cables or vertical cables. The latter eliminates the ladder effect, preventing children from getting a foothold and climbing over. The cables can be strung with frames/handrails of timber or metal.
No matter what material you choose, safety is paramount when it comes to balustrades, railings and fences. In addition to being durable and sturdy, all fences need to comply with regulations pertaining to height, width and engineering methods. Balustrades, railings and fences should also be checked regularly to ensure they are still functioning as they should. Given fences are leaned on, it’s important to provide safety checks regularly to prevent accidents.
If you have small children, these safety checks are of the utmost importance. If you have a deck, there are precautions you can take to ensure your kids are kept safe. One option is to install railing guards. These are protective mesh guards that attach to deck railings and banisters with ties or screws and prevent children from climbing or getting heads and limbs caught between the spindles.
With the right balustrades, railings or perimeter fencing, outdoor structures can go from ordinary to extraordinary. With so much choice when it comes to materials and designs, ensuring your patio or deck is suitably ensconced by functional and decorative baludstrades or railings is easy.