Simple Wood Railing
Most deck railings are made of wood to match the entire deck. Wood railings should be made according to the needs you have for the railing. If you have a low deck and only want railings for decoration, they can be short. If the railing is for safety reasons, make sure they are sturdy and built to local regulations. Most railings must be at least 36 inches tall. The slats in the railings can be no wider than four inches apart.
A simple railing can consist of a 2-inch x 4-inch top horizontal rail with 2-inch x 4-inch boards placed vertically from the floor up to that top rail. These wooden railings should be treated with wood sealer or painted to protect them from the weather.
Railings for Privacy
Simple wooden railings can be made for your deck and then made into a privacy rail. Extend the wood from the railings to as tall as needed and then add lattice wood panels to make walls. These can be painted to match the porch or simply treated with a wood sealer. Lattica can also be purchased in a vinyl material in several different colors so no painting or sealer is needed. Using climbing plants on the lattice makes the wall even more private.
Glass and Metal Railing
Glass for deck railings must be custom made to fit your deck. Once your deck is built and the wooden frame is up to hold the glass panels, precise measurements must be taken to make sure the glass fits correctly. Take all measurements to a local glass company to special order. The glass needs to be tempered and shatterproof and all edges should be rounded and polished to prevent injury. The glass can be tinted when cut or you can add tint after installation. This prevents birds from hitting the glass.
Metal railings are traditionally used on houses for balconies, but can make a nice addition to your deck. Metal railings can be bought pre-made and the wooden frame built around them. If the wooden frame is already built, measure it very carefully and buy metal railings that can fit into the space. Wooden spacers can be added if the metal railings are too short to reach the existing wooden frame.