All About Deck Railing | Plastic Lumber Yard

Deck railing isn’t just another way for home and business owners to express their personality, it’s also an incredibly important safety feature. 

Is Deck Railing Required By Code? 

Yes, nationally, deck railing is required whenever a deck is 30 inches or more above the ground. The railing must be a minimum of 36 inches high. The deck railing system must be able to withstand uniform loads of 50 pounds horizontally and vertically and 200 pounds of concentrated loads applied at any direction. 

However, local building codes can have stricter requirements which is why it’s important to check your local building codes before purchasing and installing railing on a deck. 

Does Code Require Deck Railing To Have Lighting? 

No, the addition of lights to deck railing is not required by code.

The Top Deck Railing Materials In 2022

Here are the materials most commonly used for deck railing in 2022. 


Traditional wood can be used for both deck boards and railing. Wood is an attractive and affordable option, however, it does have several drawbacks. 

Wood deck handrails are susceptible to rot, mold, and mildew which will weaken the deck and the railing. Many insects burrow into wood to eat and to nest. Each year, home and business owners spend hours painting, staining, and waterproofing their wood decks, trying to put of the inevitable need to replace damaged boards. 

Wrought Iron

Iron is both attractive and strong. However, it will rust, chip, and corrode. These issues must be addressed frequently in order to prevent further damage. This type of railing is also very heavy, making it difficult to install. 


Vinyl is a popular, aesthetically pleasing, and low-maintenance choice for deck railing. This PVC railing won’t rust, rot, splinter, or crack. It requires virtually no maintenance – just a simple cleaning to remove dirt. The vinyl railing available in our online store comes in several colors and UV inhibitors are included during the extrusion process to protect against fading. 

PVC deck handrails for outdoor steps are lightweight and very easy for contractors and DIY homeowners to install. 

How Do I Know If My Existing Deck Rail Needs To Be Replaced? 

It’s important to check existing deck railing for early signs of damage on a regular basis. Signs that it may need to be replaced include: 

Wobbly Railings: When a railing is leaned on or pushed, there should be no give. When a railing moves or wobbles under pressure, this is a sign that the connections holding it to the deck are failing. If steps aren’t taken to correct the issue, the railing could fail entirely, causing serious injury. 

Warped/Rotted Wood: As was mentioned previously, when wood absorbs moisture, it rots and warps. This weakens the wood and will ultimately cause it to break down. 

Pests: Termites, carpenter ants, carpenter bees, and other insects can cause serious damage to wood decks. If you have discovered an infestation, the best course of action could be to remove the entire railing and deck and replace it. 

If you are unsure if your railing is still safe, it’s wise to contact a deck inspector and then follow their recommendations. 

How Much Does It Cost To Replace Deck Railing?

Deck railing costs vary widely and depend on the material used and the number of square feet that need to be installed. Deck railings cost on average anywhere from $15 – $800 per square foot. Vinyl deck railings cost an average of $32 a square foot. 

Replacing Deck Railing Or Installing New? Plastic Lumber Yard Can Help 

If you have questions about the vinyl railing available in our online store, contact our team at or call (610) 277-3900. We can answer any of your product questions, help you determine how much railing to order, and answer your installation questions.