porch railing ideas

Like a frame around a photo, the railing around your porch or deck should enhance the beauty of your home, not distract from it. We’ve put together this collection of deck and porch railing ideas so that no matter what your home’s exterior looks like, you can find the perfect match! 

Things to Consider 

Choosing the right railing can make the difference between an eyesore and something eye-catching, but it’s not all about appearance. Here are some other things you should consider before you choose a type of railing for your home: 


  • Your Location: Depending on where you live, some railing types may perform better than others. For example, if your home is close to the ocean, the salt in the air can speed up the corrosion of certain metals.
  • Local Building Codes: Elevated landings (at least 30 inches off the ground) have to meet certain safety requirements regarding railing height and the amount of space between balusters/spindles. But even if your city’s building codes don’t require a railing for your deck or porch, it’s still safer to include one.
  • Maintenance: How much work are you willing to put into maintenance? Some railing materials, like vinyl and stainless steel, are easier to take care of than more demanding materials like wood.



1. Increase Your Visibility with Cable Porch Railing 


cable porch railing


Cable railing is an elegant solution for homeowners and businesses that want an unobstructed view from their porch or deck. On top of looking great, it’s super easy to install and maintain compared with traditional wood railing. Only 3 to 4 rows of cable are necessary to create a functional border.


cable atlantis rail
Westbury aluminum top rail with Atlantis Rail cable railing



For a thoroughly modern aesthetic, pair cable railing with either stainless steel or aluminum posts and handrails. This look also works wonders indoors – the see-through railing opens up small spaces, making them feel less cramped. 



cable deck railing
Trex Treehouse with stainless steel cable


For the best of both the natural and modern world, you can easily combine cable porch railing with wooden anchor posts and handrails to achieve an organic, streamlined appearance. Check out these 5 reasons to choose cable railing for your home to learn more.


2. Seaworthy Rope Railing 


rope dock railing

There’s no better way to achieve that nautical feeling than an old fashioned rope railing. Whether it’s along your dock or wrapped around your deck, rope is versatile, inexpensive, and super easy to install. 


Just keep in mind that decorative rope railing isn’t going to offer the same level of safety as wood or vinyl railing, so if you have young children, this option may not be best for you. You should also be mindful of local building codes that may keep you from using this type of railing on an elevated deck or porch.


3. Convenient Drink Railing 


drink railing


When your deck has an amazing view, you shouldn’t have to turn your back on it every time you want a drink. By creating a flat surface at the top of the rail, drink railing is a convenient way to enjoy your favorite summertime beverages. 


Drink railing can easily be installed on your existing deck or porch railing using brackets and composite deck boards. It’s a simple DIY project that your cocktail party guests are sure to appreciate! 


4. Composite Railing


dock customizations railing
Decking: Trex Transcend in Tiki Torch, Railing: Trex Transcend in Vintage Lantern


Love the look of wood, but hate the extra maintenance that comes with it? Then you’ll love this next porch railing idea! Made from a combination of wood fiber and plastic, composite railing doesn’t rot or splinter like regular wood. On a porch that’s constantly exposed to the elements, installing a composite rail will save you time and money in the long run. 

Practical benefits aside, composite wood’s unique style makes it a good-looking option for a variety of porch styles, from farmhouse porches to bungalows. 


5. Modern Stainless Steel Porch Railing 


stainless steel porch railing

Already a popular choice in commercial settings, stainless steel porch railing is starting to make its way into the hearts of homeowners as well. Offering a clean and contemporary alternative to traditional wooden and vinyl railing, stainless steel is the perfect addition to any urban dwelling. 


Like cable railing, which is also made from stainless steel, stainless steel bar railing is ultra-durable resistant to corrosion. This makes it a practical choice for outdoor environments, even for those in coastal climates.


6. Go Industrial with Aluminum 


Long-lasting and weather-resistant, aluminum is another outdoor favorite with an industrial aesthetic. If you’re turned off by the idea of a shiny metal railing, many aluminum rail systems are available in low-gloss finishes. They’re also available in a wider color variety than you may have imagined, from classic black to shades of silver, beige, and green.


7. Integrated Lighting


More than just a safety feature, lighting goes hand in hand with railing design. Lights can be attached on top of posts, on the sides of posts, or underneath the top rail to create a warm, ambient light in the evenings. On a small porch, integrating your lighting system with your railing can even help save space. 


Illuminating your railing is easier than it sounds, and there are many different lighting options. Available in long strips, LED lights can easily be installed on the underside of a variety of rail types. Individual LED lights can also be placed in between your balusters, as seen in the picture below.


individual railing light


Where to Find Marine-grade Railing & Accessories


Whether your local building codes require it or not, installing new railing or updating the existing railing on your front porch, deck, or dock is an easy and relatively inexpensive way to enhance the appearance of your home. Hopefully, these deck and porch railing ideas have given you a good place to start! 


Decks & Docks Lumber Company is a construction supplier specializing in marine-grade materials. That means that our entire selection of railing is built tough to withstand even the harshest coastal environments. From polished cable to classic wood, we have everything you need to complete your dream home – get in touch with our friendly experts today!