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5 Stunning Designs for Your Outdoor Custom Stair Railing

These 5 stunning design options for your outdoor custom stair railing can turn a simple functional feature into an automatic wow factor.

We all know that a railing is a must for climbing or descending stairs for safety reasons, and also for the edge of a deck or patio if it is raised above two feet from ground level.

It prevents everything from people to furnishings from slipping over the edge and is just plain common sense.

However, many things that are basic, useful items have been customized and modified to also offer a strong aesthetic element.

Patio grills have burnished, gleaming finishes, your outdoor furniture can come in metal or with a wicker finish and colourful cushions, and even the outdoor space itself can offer up a choice of finished seamless polished concrete, charcoal grey composite decking materials or a gleaming stained exotic hardwood deck.

So, why should an outdoor custom stair railing be any different?

Metal Stair Railing

metal stair railing

Metal is an incredibly versatile option for custom stair railing designs as the lines can be incredibly sleek and modern to suit contemporary architecture or wonderfully ornate (think of the metal work on homes in the French Quarter in New Orleans for example!). 

They can convey an industrial look to match a space with a polished concrete floor or be as simple as twisted strands of structural steel strung in threes in a basic frame or Mimic the gates of the palace of Versailles if that is your vision. 

However, aside from the flexibility of design options, metal stair railings also offer other benefits. They are incredibly durable, low-maintenance, and if one goes with a very streamlined design, they can be easy to clean minimizing hassle for homeowners. 


Classic Wooden Railing

Cedar wood railing with custom balusters

Many people’s vision of their dream deck goes hand in hand with the classics. For instance, a rich, warm wooden cedar deck or light ash decking where you sit to enjoy your morning coffee.

For most, the image of that railing is definitely the same wood as the deck they are standing on. Most DIY deck projects can look the same, yet if you work with a professional deck-building contractor, you will be introduced to the variety of ways that deck can be customized exactly to your liking, and one of those customized elements happens to be deck and stair railings. 

Similar to metal railing designs, customized wooden stair railings can be sturdy with classic lines, like outdoor craftsman-style railings or ranch-style railings. They can incorporate zig-zags, and herringbones, and feature delicate gingerbread cutwork or latticework. 

The options are limitless, it all comes down to your budget, the type of wood you are working with and the scope of your creativity!

Glass Stair Railing

glass stair railing

When you build a new deck, the design should complement the view from that deck. It should also complement the overall lines of your property when looking at it from the grounds. This is especially true for a multi-level deck design. 

Glass railings are a great choice for those who want a clear sight of their spectacular view. They are also good for those who want to avoid heavy lines on their home’s exterior.

Glass railings allow for the ironwork or woodwork of deck staircases to not be hidden away, with one architectural feature showcasing and complementing the other. Not to mention the elimination of shadows and allowance of light everywhere. 

Glass also has the ability to enhance a contemporary look while still feeling light and softening a more industrial design. 

Composite Stair Railing 

Many composite decking options are a prefabricated overall package. Unique stair railings can allow for a little variety and add a personal customized touch to your project. 

The best part is that with this add-on, you can get the same features you get in your composite deck. So it meets your budget and maintenance requirements, while still giving you a somewhat customized feel. 

If you’re interested in learning more about the difference between PVC vs composite decking, click here

Accent panels attach to the top and can have beautiful designs. They can also attach to the top and create a wider rail. Knuckles wrap around the baluster and are affixed with screws to create an ornate look. Meanwhile, inserts sit inside the panels themselves and can be as different as stars to curling vines.

All of these come in a variety of finishes from stainless steel to burnished antique bronze.

The Combination Railing

combination stair railing

The big idea of course is why choose when you can have it all? In your first consultation with your decking contractor, discuss all of the various uses you will have for your deck. Also, discuss the architecture of the house and your reasons for wanting the deck.

This will better guide your discussion. Once you go over your options you may discover that simple suggestions pop up organically. For instance, stair railings with smooth accent pieces may contrast well with a textured exterior of stucco or panelled siding.

Conversely, a more ornate accent piece may help your home feel more like you if the exterior is fairly run-of-the-mill. A combination of elements can be just the thing to make your deck feel like it reflects who you are.

A traditional wooden deck with decorative ironwork stair railings or a composite deck with simple twisted structural steel strands creating clean modern lines on a more classic home can be just the thing.

Maybe adjust your design with a small tweak like replacing the wooden balusters with glass panels. There are so many ways to combine materials; all you need is a vision and some experienced deck builders.

A Little History

Post World War 2, cookie-cutter tract housing was a breakthrough becoming the norm, and today housing developments where the homes look exactly alike street after street are a staple of our image of suburbia.

In Canada, the Vancouver Special is still seen everywhere after thousands of them were built after 1960. After homeowners moved in however nothing could stop them from putting their own unique stamp on the property they call home, and that hasn’t changed in today’s homeowner’s wish for their vision of their houses.

A major option for homeowners wishing to create a unique space for themselves in housing development has been the enhancement of their outdoor spaces. 

This allows for a lot of modification and the ability to put a personal stamp on the house without interfering with the basic infrastructure of the original building.

And if everyone is doing it? What better way to create unique lines than with something as simple as a beautiful design? 

Final Thoughts

The addition of a custom deck and stair railings instantly creates a unique architectural feature that mirrors who you are. 

You can even build structures like a custom gazebo or add features like a privacy screen. In fact, here are the top 7 privacy screens for deck railing ideas for you to check out.

Expert deck builders like Mississauga Decks & Trim can create and construct the outdoor oasis of your dreams.

With in-house designers, they can also work with you to suggest and incorporate special features. For instance, a unique and custom stair railing to further enhance the beauty of the space you call home.

Whether it’s building a new custom deck, adding aesthetic features, or simply discussing the possibilities to create the backyard of your dreams, Mississauga Decks & Trim is the best deck builder Mississauga has to offer! 

Contact MDT today to start discussing your project.

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