What are The Best Handrails for Outdoor Steps
Outdoors, you can find all types of stairs.
Sometimes, stairs aren't built to be easy-to-use but instead to look pretty. For everybody's safety, it's important to choose the right handrails for outdoor steps.
Steps that are too deep or too tall can cause people to trip if they aren't watching, and smooth stone steps get slippery in the winter.
Garden paths with steps can be hazardous for different people, as well. The good news is that there is a wide range of outdoor handrail options that can enhance safety and design.
Review Building Codes and Ordinances
Before you get your hopes up about a specific handrail design that you like, you should check the building codes that apply to your situation. Depending on the area and type of building, you might have to meet special codes for accessibility and safety which can affect handrails.
At BuyRailings, we can provide stair rail kit options that satisfy local codes in your area. Our handrails for outdoor steps are tested to meet IRC and IBC codes. You should take extra care when installing deck railing because people can seriously injure themselves slipping from a deck, and that means there are special codes for deck railings.
Decide What Material to Use
After you've looked at building codes, the next step is to choose which type of material you want to use.
We will cover the most popular types here, but not all materials may be allowed based on the regulations for your particular installation.
Metal Stair Railing
An outdoor metal stair railing made of brass, aluminum, or stainless steel is a popular choice for its durability and ease of installation.
With easy-to-use kits, you can assemble modern metal handrails for outdoor steps without having to weld different pieces together. A simple metal railing for steps can be a cost-effective solution to make a walkway safer for everyone.
Metal handrails for steps are easy to care for. Aluminum railing with a powder coat finish requires the least maintenance and resists rust for many years.
Outdoor handrails need to withstand the elements and abuse from scrapes and dents, and metal is usually the best option for this.
Metal railings for outdoor steps are versatile. Here are a few situations where you can use an exterior metal railing:
- Single exterior step from the back door
- Garden pathway steps
- Exterior metal stair railing for driveway steps
- Short outdoor metal handrails for a low rock wall
- Boat dock with an exterior metal stair handrail
- Adding metal railing to deck stairs outdoors
Wood exterior handrails are more popular for stairs that are connected to wood decks and porch railings.
Wood railings require more maintenance than metal stair railings. If you want to match the finish to the house or building, you'll have to make sure it's sealed properly and refinish it every so often.
Unfinished or worn wood can cause splinters, and it can also rot and become a safety hazard.
Wood railings are also not ADA compliant, so businesses need to install additional round metal railings to maintain compliance. Unless you're set on the look of a wood railing, we'd suggest choosing metal for the outdoors.
Wrought Iron Exterior Handrail
Using a wrought iron handrail can bring a level of vintage charm to your home or business.
The material is moldable and that means some designs can be ADA-compliant. It's more expensive than other types of metals, but it's also durable.
Stair railings made from wrought iron are best when your main goal is to add charm, perhaps to an older home or a bed and breakfast, for example.
Choose the Design
The last step to choosing handrails for outside steps is to compare designs and settle on one that is functional and aesthetically pleasing. Here are a few things to consider:
- Number of stairs: Can you install a handrail for just one step? Yes. Just missing one step in cold or icy weather can cause injury, so it's better to be safe than sorry. And if you have a long staircase with landings, you'll need to choose a system that accommodates the length.
- Accessibility: If your walkway is supposed to be ADA compliant, you need to choose the right outdoor handrail. At BuyRailings, you can find a variety of ADA-compliant railing options that are easy to install, like the ADA Interna-Rail System.
- Color: Do you want the handrail to make a visual statement or to blend into the background environment? Metal railings for steps are available in a wide range of colors, and you can also find wood and composite railings in different finishes.
- Infill: Between the top and bottom rails is the section of infill that is mainly decorative. With metal handrails for outside steps, you can use glass, steel cables, modular webnet panels, or nothing at all.
- Installation location: Are you adding exterior metal handrails to an existing wood deck? Do you want to install an exterior metal railing to the side of a concrete building? Outdoor metal stair railing kits will allow you to add handrails to most types of residential or commercial stair systems.
Advantages of Exterior Stair Railing Kits
Sometimes, you just need to put up a handrailing system quickly. With high-quality exterior stair railing kits, you can choose the parts you need for fast installation; whether you want aluminum, brass, or steel exterior stair handrails.
The nice thing about using a kit is that you don't have to have construction experience to put one together. If you have basic tools, you can install a metal hand railing for outside steps yourself.
Check out our selection of steel handrail kits for more information.