Outdoor living is here to stay. According to a recent survey, Americans spend more than $18.7 billion annually on outdoor home improvement projects. With more than 30 million backyard decks already built in the U.S., a good portion is spent on decks and railing. If you’re among the millions of homeowners who will be replacing or building a new deck, porch or patio this year, it’s time to do some homework on the many new materials and style options now available.
Don’t settle on wood just because you’re familiar with it. New composite and vinyl materials are available that will both look good and retain their original quality for years to come. They never need painting, staining or sanding. Gray is no longer the only choice in composite or vinyl decking. Advancements in color science have expanded the color options for decks. Boardwalk Composite Decking, for instance, has a new natural brown option that blends beautifully with outdoor surroundings.
Look beyond standard balusters. While colonial-style balusters have a classic appeal, other options are also available. New on the railing market are glass balusters. Glass balusters provide a clearer view, so to speak, of the surroundings beyond the deck, porch or patio. The glass baluster option for the EverNew Oxford style vinyl railing system is one of the most popular, as it works with any vinyl, composite or wood decking surface in both stair and flat applications. When choosing a railing system, be sure it complies with International Code Council requirements as well.
Ask a professional. Your local lumberyard, retailer and contractor should each be familiar with the multitude of new deck and railing products. Seek their opinions on what materials and styles would work best for your outdoor haven.