Asides from their functionality as a safety precaution added to staircases to prevent accidents and falling off from the stairs, handrails can also serve decorative purposes. These decorative handrails are also great to have in homes with young children and the elderly to provide support while climbing up and down the porch or deck. Whether you are installing them indoors or outdoors, they can be well utilized as home decor items. When thinking of adding outdoor handrails to your porch, consider the already existing home decor and ensure they all complement each other.
When installing decorative handrails outdoors, you should consider the aesthetic appearance of the house on the exterior. This is to avoid going for handrails design that does not complement the home as each design like the contemporary, modern, traditional or rustic has the kind of handrails that complement them. Also, when choosing a design for the handrails, ensure the sole reason why handrails are needed which is safety is not deviated from. This means a design that is fully functional should be picked. Also, the handrails should fit into the area in which they will be installed whether it be the front porch, the deck, or the back porch.
Another factor to be considered is the durability of the handrail material. Since they will be installed outdoors, they will be exposed to rain, sunlight, and snow especially if the roof does not extend to cover the porch. Therefore, handrails made with a material that is capable of withstanding these elements should be installed.
The Different Types of Decorative Outdoor Handrail
As stated earlier, the material from which the handrail is made should be a determining factor when considering the kind of handrails to install. That being said, the following are the types of handrails that can be considered:
Metal is a very durable material and should be considered as a decorative outdoor handrail material. High-grade metallic outdoor handrails are quite easy to maintain and can also be forged into various designs, patterns, and themes as the homeowners desire. Also, they can be painted to match the color scheme of the exterior walls or the stairs to improve their appearance.
Lastly, outdoor handrails made from metal are durable and long-lasting as opposed to other materials as they do not give in to the effects of the elements easily. You can also boost the appearance of the metallic handrails by using faux finishing or powder coatings to add more color. The best metals to use for outdoor handrails are bronze, cast iron, aluminum, wrought iron, cast iron, copper, and stainless steel.
Wooden Handrail Design
If you are a nature lover or you just like having natural elements in your space, then consider having wooden outdoor handrails. They are beautiful, classic, and gives your home a contemporary look. When considering this option, you need to consider the type of wood to be used whether hardwood or softwood because of their reaction to the elements.
Softwood like pine, cedar, fir or redwood are perfect for wooden handrails as they are very strong and are easier to work with. With them, you can carve out decorative designs as you desire. Additionally, they are resistant to the effects of rain and sun so they last for years. Also, when compared with metals, wood is easy to work with and install and they are also easily accessible.
Although they are not very easy to install, stone handrails are classy and extremely elegant when installed outdoors. They require professional installation as stone is not very easy to work with due to its hard nature. Due to the professionalism that is required for its installation, stone handrails are usually more expensive and could take quite some time to get the work done.
However, once finished and installed, they are very sturdy and rugged thereby making them more durable and lasting for generations. Marble and granite are great options when considering concrete outdoor handrails. They come out very beautiful and work with Victorian houses although, you can install them in your modern style house to give it a contemporary look.
Glass Stair Railings
Glass outdoor handrails keep the affair modern, luxurious and extra classy. Just like with concrete handrails, handrails made of glass also require a lot of professionalism and may come off as costly but the beauty justifies the effort. They work best in gardens with stairs and if the balustrades are made of glass, the glass handrails appear more beautiful.
These handrails are transparent so if you are looking to achieve a contemporary look, you should consider this option. As a lot of time, effort and money will be put into the installation of the glass handrails, a very durable glass should be used so it can last longer. You can add more flair and color to the glass outdoor handrails by painting it or having them in beautiful patterns.
Outdoor Handrails for concrete stairs
Concrete staircases are common in Victorian houses or homes with large backyards or gardens. In these homes, concrete staircases connect the whole space and also creates a pathway. They are also a convenient option as they are easy to build and work in almost any exterior space. Handrails are a great addition to concrete staircases as they serve as a safety precaution. During the rainy months, these staircases are usually slippery which can lead to a fall especially when there is snow.
So, installing an outdoor handrail will help prevent accidents and tripping. There are several options of handrails for concrete staircases. To keep a simple look, you can install metallic poles with a simple and continuous handrail over the stairs. Metal is often the best option for concrete staircases as they hold well against weather conditions and they are also durable so you do not have to change them at regular intervals.
Design is all about thinking out of the box and being creative and there shouldn’t be an exception with decorative outdoor handrails. Mixing and matching designs can enhance the look of the handrails and make them come to life. Consider decorative outdoor handrails that are made of more than one of the materials mentioned earlier. In order to do this, you have to consider the railing design and available lighting.
Cable wires are great design options in outdoor handrails. They go with almost any of the designs and they add more spice to them. They do not require a lot of skill or money to install. Another great idea is to infuse concrete outdoor handrails with some iron grills. Or, you can you add more drama to wooden handrails by alternating them with glass.
Outdoor Handrails for the Elderly
One of the major reasons why handrails are installed on staircases is for safety and mobility. Several older people are living with health conditions like diabetes, heart diseases, decreased mobility, arthritis, and several other health conditions that arise with old age. For these people, climbing staircases could be a daunting effort which is worsened by not having sturdy staircases which could cause dangerous falls.
Also, it is usually difficult for the elderly to recover from the trauma of a fall as their bodies have lost strength and agility so a fall could result in severe injuries like broken bones, hip fracture or dislocation, head injuries, lacerations or even death in extreme cases. Therefore, if the elderly stay in the home or would visit regularly, you need to put them in mind when opting for an outdoor handrails design.
It is important to go for outdoor handrails that are ADA-compliant so you can be sure you are installing safe items in your home. ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) has several compliance standards for handrails which consider safety, consistency, and accessibility for people with mobility issues and disabilities. One of the ADA standards for handrails is that they must have a smooth, continuous, and supportive surface.
Also, outdoor handrails for the elderly should be sturdy. This should be the primary concern as the handrail should be sturdy enough to support different weight ranges. The material from which the handrail is produced is also important. Ensure the material is strong and of high quality, so it can work well for the elderly.
The handrails should be installed properly so as not to compromise the quality provided. Improper installation can lead to dangerous accidents that could be avoided if a professional is hired.
A great option to consider for elderly outdoor handrails is an aluminum continuous handrail. Asides from it being made from aluminum which is a durable metal, the continuity of the handrail is important as the absence of gaps will aid mobility for the elderly. They have something to grip at all times so the possibility of falling or tripping is greatly reduced.
When selecting the design and material of the outdoor stairs’ handrails, the overall outdoor furniture as well the decking should be put into consideration so the choice of material and design does not look out of place. The terrace can be made more elegant by installing stylish handrails on the deck. Asides from homes, decorative outdoor handrails grace many churches, schools, offices, and other public places so if you are revamping your office space and your office has a porch or deck, consider adding outdoor handrails to the picture.
Decorative Outdoor Handrails
Outdoor handrails as pointed out earlier are not just meant for safety and improved mobility. But also, they can be integrated into the exterior decor of a home. In order to help the outdoor handrails to fulfill decorative purposes, the design, shape, and color of the handrails must complement the entire design scheme and layout of the home exterior.
You also need to ensure that the handrail material blends with other fittings in the home exterior so they do not look out of place. For example, if the home exterior like gates, porch chairs, swings are made from metal, you can throw in metallic handrails to complement them as having other materials will look odd. Asides from metal, you can also choose wood, glass or concrete handrails as an adornment for your exterior staircases. Depending on your home style, here are various decorative outdoor handrails ideas to choose from:
Vertical Wooden Handrails
If you are looking for a classic-looking front porch, then look no further. It is an ever-trendy design so you do not have to worry about your porch going out of style. The vertical arrangement of the wood helps create a sense of more space and also opens up the space so your outdoor furniture and plants (if you have any) do not look cramped up. Painting the wooden handrails in white also makes it stand out while also adding to the illusion of spaciousness.
This look can also be created in the backyard especially if the landscape is green and full of leaves. The wooden handrails complement the natural setting and instead of going for a white color, consider earthy tones.
Lattice Deck Handrails
For lovers of meditation and privacy, the lattice patterned handrails are a great idea. Asides from being beautiful and attractive, the lattice pattern helps create a sense of privacy while seated on the deck. This design also makes the deck a good meditation site as the continuous floating squares accentuate the Zen-like feeling.
Metal and Wooden Handrails
While discussing the types of outdoor railings, mixing and matching of the types was said to be a great decorative idea. Consider mixing metal rods with wooden railings on top. This look speaks creativity while adding more style to the traditional wooden slats. The metallic color contrasts well against the wooden accents. Additionally, maintenance of the metal rods will not be easy as the need for refinishing is not as demanding when compared to wood.
Glass and Metal Handrails
This is also a mix and match design which is absolutely stunning. With this design, you create a custom feel to your home design thereby making it look luxurious. Combining metal and break-resistant thick glass on the deck railings is good for creating a sense of privacy while on the deck. If a break-resistant, thick glass is used for this design, you do not have to worry about further maintenance costs as the glass would not break.
This design also works if you have kids in the house so you can rest assured of their safety while on the deck. Apart from thick glass, stained glass can also be mixed with metal to add some color and texture to the handrail. This design makes the deck or porch look arty and you also have a wide range of colors and patterns to select from.
Adding Ornamental Embellishments to the Handrails
Ornamental embellishments like end caps, balusters, and newels are great embellishments that can take a deck or porch from a bland and simple look to something elegant and delightful to the eyes. Installing hand-carved balusters and newel posts add more drama and flair to the handrail.
Add Cable Wires
Having industrial cable wires mixed with large wooden beams helps give a deck a modern and minimalist look. Cable wires are cheap and easy to install so they can be useful when mixing and matching designs. With this look, the deck or porch will stand out on the exterior of your home thereby creating a focal point.
Where to Buy Outdoor Handrails
Once you’ve decided to install decorative outdoor handrails on your deck or porch, the next step is to go shopping. However, you need to consider few things when making the purchase. Firstly, the sole purpose of installing the handrails must be fulfilled by your choice. Outdoor handrails should be fully functional by enhancing safety and improving mobility for everyone accessing the home.
Also, you need to consider the durability of the material used in the production of the handrails. Metals, wood, concrete, and glass are all durable outdoor handrails materials with varying degrees of resistance to the effects of the elements. However, if they are managed properly, they all last really long.
The budget and price as well as the number of stairs are also determining factors in the choice of handrails. Building codes and ordinances are also to be considered when selecting a handrail design. Ensure your building meets the standards for accessibility and safety before going to get your handrails.
Lastly, ease of installation of the outdoor handrails should be considered. You want to make sure you can install it properly yourself or you can afford to hire a professional to do it as improper installation of handrails can tamper with safety and mobility. Once you have all these in place, the best places where you can get high-quality decorative outdoor handrails are:
As the largest online marketplace, there are various sellers offering decorative outdoor handrails that you can choose from. There are also several do-it-yourself outdoor handrails that you can install on your own without hiring a professional. They have outdoor handrails in various materials ranging from metal to wood although they offer more of metallic outdoor handrails.
There are also several handrail accessories and decorative embellishments to choose from. Their prices range from $30-$350 depending on the material and quality of the handrails. Additionally, some products offer free shipping and all products comes with an installation guide so they are ready to use.
Wayfair is also an online marketplace with a wide variety of products to select from. The sellers have a wide range of stylish handrails and accessories in varying colors and materials. All handrails and accessories on Wayfair are on free shipping and they also have a 30-day return policy so you can return the product within a month of purchasing it. Prices of handrails range from between $60-$250. Just like Amazon products, installation guides are packaged with the products so they are ready to use.
Home Depot is the largest home improvement store in the US with great and high-quality products. They offer a wide range of decorative outdoor handrails in various designs and materials. If you are looking for wooden embellishments and accessories, then this should be your destination. Metallic handrails and accessories can also be gotten at Home Depot.
You can either walk into the store to pick your goods or have them delivered to you. Either way, your product will be packaged safely to prevent damage. Quality outdoor handrails here costs between $50-$300. Free delivery is also offered depending on the total cost of your order.
As one of the largest online marketplaces, you can get beautiful and stylish outdoor handrails at affordable prices on AliExpress. They also offer several beautiful embellishments and decorations that can be added to the handrails to make them more elegant. With easy and simple to install options, you can start using your handrails as soon as it is delivered.
Most items here are sold on free shipping however, you can pay for a faster option as the normal delivery could take up to a month but you can expedite it by paying for a faster shipping option. AliExpress offers buyer protection of up to 75 days so if you have any complaints about the product, it can be returned within this timeframe. Outdoor handrails on AliExpress cost between $130-$500.
eBay is a leading online marketplace that features various sellers offering exquisite and decorative outdoor handrails. If you are not on a tight budget and need to save some money, eBay offers used outdoor handrails which are cheaper but still in good condition or you can go for new handrails if you can afford it.
Several sellers also offer free shipping as a bonus and there are some that offer discounts as you buy more quantity as well. There are a lot of iron handrails on eBay so if you are looking at a metallic option, then these are good options. On eBay, you can expect to get your outdoor handrails from between $45-$350. There are also several accessories and embellishments to choose from on eBay.