Get Inspired to Choose Your Balcony Railing

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By Contractors.com Team August 25, 2021

What to Consider When Choosing Balcony Railing Material and Design

 

Who doesn’t love a good balcony? Stepping out from your bedroom first thing in the morning for some fresh air is sure to put some pep in your step. Whether a house has one or not is even a make-it-or-break-it factor for some on the market. There is a lot of value added when you have a place to read as the sun suits or enjoy a warm beverage in the chillier evenings. This makes a balcony a worthy exterior addition to your home that you should definitely consider if you don’t already have one. Regardless of its size, shape, or style, a balcony is a very nice luxury to have.

For some, the prospect of stylizing a new balcony to fit the rest of your home’s exterior (or balcony design trends) is equally exciting. Whether you fall into that crowd or if choosing balcony hardware is just another home improvement project you have to get out of the way for you, the balustrade (or balcony railing), is an important element to pay attention to. At first, railings sound like a very specific feature of the balcony to focus on. But keep in mind that balcony railings are among the most eye-catching details of your home’s exterior. Whether your balcony is over your front door or you only have ones facing the backyard, picking the right balcony railing will play a game-changing role in what style your balcony (and home) exude. That means getting to know the material and design options you have to work with. From there, inspiration should take the wheel.. 

Best Balcony Railing Materials

As you start shopping around, you will most likely come across all kinds of balcony railing materials. There is a wide range to choose from and the choice comes down to the aesthetic that will best suit the exterior of your home, as well as your budgetary preferences. Some of the most common balcony railing options are popular for reasons like durability and ease of maintenance, while others are just too pretty to pass up.

Wooden Balustrades

You Can't Go Wrong With Wood for Rustic, Homey Charm

You Can't Go Wrong With Wood for Rustic, Homey Charm

For a more rustic appeal, you can never go wrong with wooden railings. You can choose to combine two different materials when designing your balcony, such as a metallic base with wooden railings or vice versa. Or you can lean entirely towards the biophilic aesthetic of all-wooden balcony railings. Many homeowners across the country are able to construct beautiful railings using 2x2 lumber. These homey railings come with a set of distinct benefits over other options. 

While wood tends to warp and bend as it ages, it still makes for a great material when it comes to balcony railing designs. Cedar and redwood are natural pest repellants and can also be protected from other kinds of damage when coated with a proper glaze or veneer finish. Wooden railings are very durable, flexible to stylize, and highly affordable.  

Concrete Balcony Rails

The Classic Balustrade - Regal and Stately

The Classic Balustrade - Regal and Stately

If you are looking for a more prestigious, Roman exterior design, nothing says “villa” like concrete balcony railings. They are super durable, resistant to the elements, and they simply look luxurious. When designed by an experienced stonemason they can be custom-made to fit any exterior design aesthetic. 

Despite their regal design and grand appearance concrete railings are quite affordable since the material is not particularly expensive to build with. Additionally, low maintenance costs will save you more money in the future in comparison to other railing materials which may need regular care to stay intact. 

Versatile Aluminum

The Most Low Maintenance Balcony Railing

The Most Low Maintenance Balcony Railing

While not as sturdy as wrought iron or concrete, aluminum balcony railings are lighter and almost as durable. There are all kinds of balcony styles out there on the market for you to choose from that can be realized with aluminum as well. Aluminum railings are also corrosion and rust-resistant which means there is little to no maintenance required. This makes them a very practical and cost-effective option for your balcony railings. 

Sleek Glass

Balcony Railing Materials that Are Classy, Flexible, and Sturdy

Balcony Railing Materials that Are Classy, Flexible, and Sturdy

For the most luxuriously-minded homeowners, there are glass railings that do not hold back on the glam. They may not be as durable as any of the other materials and they are also not particularly easy to work unless you have enough experience as a glazier.

But what they lack in practicality glass railings make up for in their appearance and style. Contemporary home designs make extensive use of smooth surfaces and textures into both the interior and exterior of the home. Glass just so happens to be both very smooth and sleek, perfect for the modern home exterior. Just be careful not to crack or break it. 

Design Ideas for Your Balcony Railings

Now that you know about the kinds of materials that are available for you to use, the question of balcony railing styles comes next. There are lots of balcony designs to choose from, and  While there are far too many to make a complete list, there certainly are a few that should spark your imagination.

Mediterranean Wooden Panels

Wooden Panels Are a Great Balcony Option Especially When Paired With White Stucco Walls

Wooden Panels Are a Great Balcony Option Especially When Paired With White Stucco Walls

Rich brown wood and bright exteriors go hand-in-hand. The two accentuate one another to create a light exterior design that exudes that distinct Mediterranean aesthetic. Wood is a very durable material, although one weakness it has is its tendency to warp over long periods of time.

But with a thick coat of veneer or glaze the wood’s original shape and color can be preserved throughout the years with little to no maintenance. A crafty woodworker can also create some original shapes and decorations for the wooden railings to make them even more uniquely your own. 

Modern Iron Geometric Railings

You Can't Go Wrong With the Variety and Sturdiness that Iron Balcony Railings Get You

You Can't Go Wrong With the Variety and Sturdiness that Iron Balcony Railings Get You

Balcony railings are not relegated to being simple vertical columns with little to no detail. There is a world of opportunity for some truly creative geometric shapes and patterns. It is only a matter of figuring out which one speaks to you and works with the rest of your home’s exterior.

Decorative aluminum and iron balcony railings are widely available and quite affordable. Geometric shapes and patterns go well with a variety of design aesthetics, from more old-school Art Deco and mid-century modern to the sleek contemporary designs of today. 

Aluminum Railing with Windbreakers

The Perfect Railing for A Little Privacy On Your Balcony Terrace

The Perfect Railing for A Little Privacy On Your Balcony Terrace

If you have a little terrace built into your balcony, equipped with potted plants and outdoor furniture, you may be in the market for more than just a barrier between you and the falling down. Railings can also serve to make your balcony living more comfortable, that is if you add some features to break the onslaught of wind. Combining the sturdiness of aluminum and plastic can make for a simple but practical railing installation. This can be achieved by installing plastic windbreakers along an aluminum balcony railing. 

Windbreakers not only give you added privacy but can also stand up to the wind and keep it from causing damage to balcony decor and loungewear. Gardeners use windbreakers to protect their plants and you can do the same even if your hobby is limited to your balcony. 

Glass and Aluminum Combo

Balcony Railing Ideas for Every Aesthetic

Balcony Railing Ideas for Every Aesthetic

Another great balcony railing pairing using aluminum is glass. It is perfectly acceptable and common to have railings made entirely out of glass with a stainless steel or aluminum frame. This combination works on several levels. First, it offers more structural rigidity over having railings made entirely out of glass.

Also, the use of two materials that are both statement-making makes the balcony railing look more complex. This lends to a more visually captivating design and adds more industrial-minimal style to the exterior of your home. 

Decorative Iron Railings

Channel French Charm With Iron Handywork for Your Balcony

Channel French Charm With Iron Handywork for Your Balcony

Wrought iron decorative railings always give off that New Orleans balcony vibe. If you wish to bring in a blend of Victorian and gothic aesthetics to your home, try something similar to the balconies you’d see in French infused NOLA.

What makes wrought iron railings so easy to work with is that it is a very malleable material. You can ask a professional metalworker to create the exact patterns and forms that you believe will work best with your home’s exterior. 

Coastal White Wooden Railing

Timeless Balcony Railing for a Beachfront House

Timeless Balcony Railing for a Beachfront House

Bright and light colored railings will work like a charm for that sandy white coastal aesthetic. When it comes to balcony design, the external elements that surround your balcony (and hence, your home) play a major role in how the railings look. In the case of the coastal aesthetic, the backdrop of miles of sand and the everpresent blue make white wooden railings an organic fit. The black iron twirls that add charm in more residential urban settings might look rigid and out of place here.

Pairing these white railings up with outdoor furniture of slightly different shades can give your balcony some visual complexity and avoid overwhelming your senses with the color white.

Written by
Contractors.com Team

Written by Contractors.com Team