Modern Horizontal guardrails –also called Horizontal Bar railings- are a modern take on powder-coated aluminum railings, and add value to the curb appeal of apartments, condominiums, and single-family residences, as well as stairs and ramps. Powder-coated aluminum, Modern Horizontal guardrails are durable and attractive, and are engineered to meet the current IBC code requirements for lateral load and point loading.
An outdoor deck adds essential living space for a modern home--a space for friends and family to relax and enjoy the outdoors all day and into the evening. And it doesn't just come down to having the appropriate deck treatment. Installing a guard rail that is stable and resilient is a top priority for everyone’s safety and enjoyment.
Horizontal deck railings, also called horizontal guardrails, provide necessary safety features while offering various aesthetic options. You can choose a design to reflect your taste and enhance the natural beauty of your space with less obstruction. American Railworks LLC has the experience and expertise to create beautiful and unique modern railing designs that will serve as the crown jewel of your outdoor living space.
Modern horizontal deck railings offer a stylish, contemporary spin on traditional powder-coated aluminum railings. Horizontal deck railings are attractive, durable, and engineered for safety, in compliance with IBC (International Building Code) requirements.There are numerous benefits to installing a horizontal metal rail system over a vertical design, including:
Materials: The versatility of building materials allows for a wide range of horizontal deck railings design options. The most common building materials are glass, cable, composite, wood, and metal.
Price: Horizontal deck railings are more affordable than vertical ones because they require less building material and fewer connections.
Installation: Horizontal deck railings are easy to install because they do not require balusters, making them less labor intensive than vertical guardrails, contributing to the lower cost. This also allows greater flexibility in determining the deck railing height, even with steel cable railing.
Aesthetic: Modern deck railings add curb appeal and value to single-family homes, condominiums, apartments, ramps, and stairs. Having a railing design that complements your deck surface will take your deck project to the next level.
Deck railings protect people from falling from balconies, stairs, and raised decks. Horizontal railings come in a variety of materials at different price points. The cost of a basic vinyl or wooden horizontal railing system differs substantially from a deck railing made of composite or metal.The Cost of Building Materials
Pressure-treated lumber is the least expensive option, followed by vinyl and composite. The latter two materials are excellent low-cost, low-maintenance options but cannot compare to the durability and longevity of metal, especially aluminum deck railings.
While modern horizontal deck railings come in a variety of materials, horizontal aluminum railings are lightweight, extremely durable, and more resistant to scratches and dents. The thermal properties of aluminum horizontal railings mean that the surface will not burn or fade and remain comfortable to the touch even when exposed to direct sunlight for several hours.
Aluminum is a non-ferrous metal, meaning it will not rust, corrode, grow mold, splinter, warp, or crack. This durability makes aluminum a very cost-effective and popular choice of railing material. The actual lifespan of horizontal aluminum railing is tough to pinpoint; however, most come with at least a 20-year manufacturer’s warranty. Some aluminum building products come with a lifetime warranty because of the material’s exceptional resilience.Price Range by Material
The price per linear foot for a horizontal deck railing ranges from $20 to $850, not including labor. The pricing for vinyl or pressurized lumber runs between $15 and $20 per linear foot. The most expensive railing material is glass, which costs as much as $850 per linear foot.Material and Price per Linear Foot
PVC (Vinyl): Average cost for vinyl or PVC is $20 to $40 per linear foot. Plastic or Polyurethane: Plastics are less commonly used than other building materials; these systems cost between $25 and $70 per linear foot.
Composite: Several materials fall under this term and range in price from $30 to $40 per linear foot.
Stainless Steel: Durable and more affordable than wrought iron, stainless steel cable railings cost between $30 and $80 per linear foot.
Aluminum: Considered one of the best values for pricing and durability, aluminum railing costs between $40 and $70 per linear foot.
Wrought Iron: This material is more ornate than other metals and runs between $50 and $120 per linear foot.
Cable: These horizontal rail systems include a post made of wood, stainless steel, composite, or vinyl that secures a cable and runs post-to-post. Cable rail systems range in price from $50 to $200 per linear foot.
Glass: Usually, a metal handrail holds the sheets of glass. Depending on the design and materials, they range in price from $100 to $850.
Can Deck Railings Be Horizontal?
The United States residential standards allow horizontal deck railings; however, they are not allowed in all countries.How Far Apart Should the Horizontal Deck Railing Be?
International Residential Code (IRC) mandates a minimum height of 36” for a horizontal deck railing. Additionally, the IRC code for the spacing between the baluster’s mandates no more than 4”.Can Guardrails Be Horizontal?
The United States residential standards allow horizontal guard rails; however, they are not allowed in all countries or jurisdictions. For example, the Canadian residential building code prohibits any railing that allows climbing by children.Are Horizontal Railings Safe?
Well-maintained outdoor deck railings systems are safe for adults and well-supervised children. Powder-coated aluminum railings will not develop mildew or rot like wood or degrade due to temperature fluctuations like vinyl, making them the ideal material for safety and longevity.
Some children may try to climb a horizontal guardrail, which presents a safety hazard. On the other hand, vertical guardrails may be a danger to children who try to put their heads between two rails. Practicing common sense and providing adult supervision for small children will ensure an enjoyable outdoor experience.
At American Railworks we strive to provide innovative railing solutions for homes, businesses, and public spaces. Our commitment to delivering exceptional service and top-quality work on our deck railing designs has made us Seattle’s premier railing contractor since 1991. Enjoy your outdoor space this year with a horizontal metal rail system made with the most dependable building materials.
Contact us to arrange a free consultation - our knowledgeable team is standing by to help you get started. Call today at (425) 329-8938.