When you’re looking to purchase and install a new outdoor railing system throughout your yard, there are several things you’ll need to keep in mind. Will this railing or fence pay off if you decide to sell your home in the future? Will it leach by-products unto the soils, harming nearby plants? What are the price differences between each railing type? These questions and more should be pushed to the forefront when shopping for a new outdoor railing.


Railing materials are one of the most important things to consider when choosing the right outdoor fencing. Your options include specialty metals, traditional composite, vinyl, aluminum and wood railings, but which one is best for you? Specialty metal railings can be made from iron, cabling or stainless steel, allowing your fence to be durable enough to withstand several seasons, all while creating a unique look. However, custom railings can be expensive, so make sure it’s in your budget before committing to it. Next, we have composite railings, which come in a wide variety of colours that don’t warp, rot or splinter. It’s low maintenance as it doesn’t require repainting or restaining, but while it can fade over time, it’s typically protected by multi-year long warranties.

Then there was vinyl, which comes in a basic colour scheme that doesn’t look very natural. It can have a chalky finish but remains splinter free, insect repellent and comes with an affordable price. Aluminum railings are rust proof as well as resistant to mildew, mould and fire when you add the right coating. And you don’t have to worry about cracking, splinting or warping, but on the other hand, you won’t get a natural railing finish. Lastly, we have wood railings, which give you a natural, traditional look that can contain custom, handcrafted rails. While susceptible to warping, rotting, splitting and fading, wood railings require regular maintenance in terms of repainting, restaining or resanding.


What’s the difficulty level when it comes to installation? Depending on your budget, you’ll need to determine whether or not you should try installing it yourself or leave it for the professionals. Wooden railings can be cut down and installed with ease, other materials can come with instructional tips that make installation easy.


The amount of maintenance necessary to keep your fence looking good will all depend on the railing material you choose. For example, wooden fences require more upkeep and attention than aluminum or traditional composite would. But over time, sealants will have to be reapplied, railing sections may have to be replaced and the overall durability will likely decline.

At Doctor Metal Works, we’re dedicated to providing Vancouver customers with premium gates, stair railings and fences. Our experts design, build and install everything from simple hand railings to custom driveway gates. With residential, commercial and industrial clients across the island, be sure to give us a call or visit our website to learn more.