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What are some porch railing designs?

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Wood balusters in a herringbone design set between vertical balusters and the staggered placement of square and/or rectangular wood balusters are among many creative options for porch railing designs. Turned balusters come in a variety of styles and lend themselves to creative painting possibilities in addition to artful placement and spacing. Stainless steel cable railings are a contemporary option that doesn't block the view from a porch, while the more traditional knee wall offers privacy and protection from harsh weather.

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Aluminum balusters, attached to either wood or aluminum rails, provide another porch railing design option. Aluminum balusters come in a variety of styles including sleek round, flat bent and colonial style, which are similar in appearance to a turned wood baluster. Aluminum balusters can be spaced to create a preferred design, or different styles can be combined in a coordinated pattern.

When choosing a porch railing design, both the home's architectural style and the climate should be considered. HGTV suggests a simple picket-type railing for Georgian-style homes and more intricate, patchwork designs for Victorian homes. Railings designed in geometric, linear patterns are best matched with Craftsman-style homes. Metal or synthetic railings options may work best for homes in humid climates or where termites are a concern. Synthetic baluster and railing options are highly durable and require no maintenance, but don't offer a range of design options.

Building code requirements regarding railing height and spacing of balusters must be appropriately addressed in any design.

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