Railing Options for Exterior Balcony Designs

There are several different balcony designs and railing combinations you can choose for your home. A balcony can be functional or it can be more decorative, adding to the decor and architecture of the place. The design of the railing can also either add to the aesthetics or serve a safety purpose. Below are a few things that you should consider when planning your balcony.

False Balcony Railing

The false balcony railing is characterized by a railing that sits on the exterior of a house's window and projects out at least 6 inches beyond the window. Generally, these types of balconies are found outside of French windows. The faux balcony railing is only for decorative purposes.

True Balcony Railing

The true balcony railing not only has a railing but also is constructed with a deck that extends beyond the window. The average deck extends three feet from the window. Similar to the faux railing, this type of railing is also used most often outside french windows. This type of railing provides an exterior surface that can hold one or more individuals.

Types of Materials

The most common material used for balcony railings (irrespective of the type or design used) is metal. Generally most homeowners pick an aluminum or wrought iron because of its durability and because it can support a lot of weight. If a deck is added, then it is usually best to use the same type of material used for the balcony railing to keep with the consistent look and feel.

Other Great Options

There are many other options to choose from for your balcony design. First, if you are tight on space, consider adding a folding deck. Mechanized components make it possible to fold the deck up when not in use and fold down when you wish to entertain or enjoy the outdoors on your balcony.

Pick a balcony that is curved or straight. If the window is a bay window, fit a balcony that will wrap tightly around the window area and conform to the architecture of the home.

Add additional screens or glass. If you have a location where you can extend the decking beyond a couple feet, think about adding an awning and attaching it to the railing. Alternatively, add removable screens and glass that can be used as a 3 or 4 seasons room.