Cedar remains a popular option when it comes to adding a deck, screen porch or pergola.  Why?  Because cedar is a time-tested, good-lookin’ outdoor building material with a reasonable price-tag too.

Traditional Cedar Deck, Rails and Balusters, St. Louis County, by Archadeck

Traditional Cedar Deck, Rails and Balusters, St. Louis County, by Archadeck

And what about the railing for a cedar deck?

Choosing cedar boards doesn’t require you to choose cedar rails.  In fact, different rails are a way to transform the style of a traditional cedar structure with diverse color and material.

Modern Black Rails for Cedar Deck, St. Louis Mo, by Archadeck

Modern Black Rails for Cedar Deck, St. Louis Mo, by Archadeck

Consider seven possibilities… 

Cedar deck, rails and balusters

If you’re in-love with the idea of design simplicity and uniformity, there’s no easier way to achieve this than by opting for cedar ‘everything’ — flooring, rails, balusters, skirting, steps, roofing, trim, etc.

Going the route of an all-cedar project — whether it’s a deck or screened porch or both — guarantees visual appeal!

Cedar Screen Porch and Deck, Rails, Balusters, Skirting, Project by Archadeck

Cedar Deck and Screen Porch with Cedar Rails, Balusters and Skirting, Project by Archadeck

Cedar deck, cedar rails with metal pickets

Want just a little design variety?  Well then, change-up only the rail balusters.  For example, pair-up cedar with metal.  The end-result brings a contemporary and cost-effective twist to your deck or porch.

And for a little more spice, add deck lights and include a floor board design too.

Cedar Deck and Rails with Metal Balusters, Accent Lights and Diagonal Floor Board Pattern, St. Louis, Mo by Archadeck

Cedar Deck and Rails with Metal Balusters, Accent Lights and Diagonal Floor Board Pattern, St. Louis, Mo by Archadeck

Cedar deck, cedar rails with glass or cable inserts

Do you have a fabulous view from your property?  Want to accentuate that fabulous view?

If so, glass might be the best solution for enclosing your deck without visual obstruction.  And when it comes to tempered glass rails, there are a couple of options:  panels or balusters.

Glass Balusters for Deck Rail, Project by Archadeck

Glass Balusters for Deck Rail, Project by Archadeck

Glass Panels for Deck Rail, Project by Archadeck

Glass Panels for Deck Rail, Project by Archadeck

Neither choice will inhibit the view but both have a few disadvantages.

  • Frequent cleaning is required, especially with pets or children in your household.
  • Glass is a pricier option than other rail inserts.
  • Your view will appear but your privacy disappears.

Not a fan of the glass idea?  Then take a look at cable rails.

Just like glass, the con’s of cable rails are similar: not the best choice if you have kids (climbing hazard) and a higher price-tag. But for certain families and certain homes, cable or glass rails are an excellent decision.

Cedar deck with white rails

The idea of a cedar wood deck paired with low maintenance, colored rails is a favorite among homeowners.  The combination is lovely, easy-to-maintain and cost effective.

White rails contrast nicely with wooden deck boards, offering a blend of ‘clean and crisp’.  They oftentimes match the trim on your home in order to ‘tie-it-all-together’.

Vinyl will outperform wood rails with durability, ease of cleaning and color retention.  The style remains classic.

Cedar Deck with White Vinyl Rails and Lighting in Chesterfield Mo, by Archadeck in St. Louis

Cedar Deck with White Vinyl Rails and Lighting in Chesterfield Mo, by Archadeck in St. Louis

Cedar deck with black rails

On the other hand, a combination of black rails (composite, aluminum etc) with a cedar deck project inspires a modern look and offers the advantages listed above.

Cedar Deck, Black Rails and Safety Gate, St. Louis West County by Archadeck

Cedar Deck, Black Rails and Safety Gate, St. Louis West County by Archadeck

Cedar deck with iron rails

For a charming antique-ish look of days-gone-by, keep in mind the idea of ‘wrought iron’ rails. They are super strong with the durability of steel and will last for decades.  With a decorative flair of formality, you won’t go wrong with a cedar deck and iron rails.

Just make certain the rail complements the original architecture of your home and your overall personal sense of style — both inside and outdoors.

Cedar Deck and Fortress Iron Rails, by Archadeck

Cedar Deck and Fortress Iron Rails, by Archadeck

Cedar deck with other railing options

And finally, you don’t necessarily have to pick just one rail option.  Many folks will intermingle railing components such as pickets, balusters, insert panels, posts and handrails.

Cedar Deck with Cedar Rail Posts, Metal Rail Inserts and Metal Spiral Staircase, Project by Archadeck

Cedar Deck with Cedar Rail Posts, Metal Rail Inserts and Metal Spiral Staircase, Project by Archadeck

Beyond materials, you can switch-up the rail height too — tall rails with shorter rails, no rails with partial rails or pretty-much anything you can dream up!  And that’s OK too!

Multilevel Cedar Deck and Gazebo, Partial Deck Rails and Corner Bench in Lieu of Rails, by Archadeck

Multilevel Cedar Deck and Gazebo, Partial Deck Rails and Corner Bench in Lieu of Rails, by Archadeck

As with any custom deck design, the sky’s the limit when pairing rails with a cedar deck… or any other wood for that matter.

Key takeaways

  • If you’d love to build a wood deck, screen porch or pergola — at a favorable price — consider cedar.
  • Yes, Yes, Yes… any real wood outdoor structure will need a little TLC from time-to-time but don’t let that deter you.
  • If you truly love wood but don’t want to DIY when it comes to maintenance, professional services can stain and seal your deck, in a blink of an eye.
  • For a fool-proof design, choose an all-cedar project — deck or porch, rails and balusters — the works!
  • For a modern design, select rails to contrast with deck boards in color, material or both.
  • For a formal design, consider decorative wrought iron.
  • But remember, with custom design, options are plentiful.  Don’t be afraid to mix-and-match.
Cedar Deck with Partial Privacy Rails and Standard Rails with Metal Balusters, St. Louis, Mo by Archadeck

Cedar Deck with Partial Privacy Rails and Standard Rails with Metal Balusters, St. Louis, Mo by Archadeck

Next Steps

Are you a St. Louis homeowner and are you searching for a deck contractor or a company to help with another outdoor project such as a screened porch, pergola or gazebo? If the answer is yes, please consider Archadeck.

We’re locally owned and operated with an office in West St. Louis County — just call 636-227-0800.

If you’re not ready to talk to a builder, you can discover additional ideas by visiting our website west-county.archadeck.com for galleries of photos, an online inquiry form and videos too.

Find us on social media —  Pinterest, Google+ and Houzz.

And no matter where you live or what contractor you choose, download Archadeck’s free design guide.  It’s a helpful tool in the planning process.

Live outside of St. Louis, Mo?  Then head on over to archadeck.com to locate other owners, nationwide or call 888-687-3325.

Sources

Architect Magazine, Fortress, Deckorators, eHow, doityourself.com, Archadecks in Columbus OH, Chicago IL, Central Georgia, Nova Scotia, Chester County PA

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