Wooden Railing with Glass


If you’re lucky enough to build a custom home on a property with a gorgeous natural view, then chances are you’ve thought about which architectural style will best suit the location, and which layout will ensure that you take advantage of the breathtaking scenery from sunup to sunset.

But here’s one thing you may not have thought too deeply about yet: railings.

In recent years, the homebuilding industry has become more innovative in terms of railing options, especially for view properties and homeowners who want to make the most of their surroundings with a stunning outdoor space. Here are the two main types of railings, and some considerations to keep in mind as you decide which style suits your dream deck.


Glass Railing

If you’re looking for a continuous, unimpeded view without the distraction of extraneous decoration, then a sleek glass railing is for you!

Glass railings shine because of their simplicity and their ability to seamlessly integrate your deck with the natural world, blurring the barrier between inside and outside. In fact, because of improved technology, glass railings are now engineered to require little visual support between the panes, rendering them almost invisible and further expanding your view.

But that’s not all. Glass railings also do a great job of wind blocking, and are very versatile, working well with a myriad of architectural styles and deck designs. Further, glass railings are very safe; because the gaps between panes are incredibly small, children and animals cannot slip through them.



However, glass does have its downsides.

First of all, glass railings tend to be costlier than metal railings. Secondly, they require more maintenance. Like a window in your home, a glass railing will need to be periodically cleaned due to the buildup of visible fingerprints, dirt, debris, salt (if you’re near the ocean), and potentially even bird droppings.

Additionally, glass is reflective, and depending on the sun’s direction, you may experience glare.


The other popular railing choice is metal. Unlike glass railings, which are chosen to be invisible, metal railings are chosen because of their physical features.

But don’t go lamenting your loss of view just yet! Metal railings—often made with iron or bronze—come in a wide variety of designs, from simple and straightforward to much more ornamental, and can become a beautiful element of your custom home. Though it may not disappear into the landscape the way glass does, metal railings have the potential to actually enhance a home’s natural surroundings through the use of organic shapes and unique designs.

Another great benefit? Metal railings require little physical maintenance. They’re also long-lasting, durable, and often less expensive than glass railings—although this does depend entirely on the material and design that you choose.


The main drawback of the metal railing on a property with a gorgeous landscape is that you won’t have an uninterrupted view. If that is truly your prime objective, best to stick with glass.

Further, metal railings are not solid all the way across, and thus allow the wind to pass through. Depending on your specific property and needs, this may or may not make much of a difference, but it is worth noting nonetheless.

Finally, because of the gaps between bars, there is the possibility of children or animals sticking their limbs through, or trying to climb over the top.

So which should you choose? Ultimately, that decision depends entirely on your needs, your preferences, and the vision you have for your custom home. But if you can’t make up your mind, we’re here to walk you through the process.

Contact Smith Brothers to get started on your custom home building project today!

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