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.
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.