Glass, Wood, Iron, rope and more? We know what we are choosing! Well i think we do.

Getting the plans back for our self build was so exciting and now its been a few restless nights, as both of us have been thinking about extras that we feel are needed. Starting with exterior stair rails.

On the side of the property we have 5 steps going down to our front door from the street and 15 going down from the front door split with a landing down into the garden, (our front door is on the side of the property).

So obviously we need stair railings. This is not as easy has people may think. Here is a list of materials that can be used for the job.

  1. Glass

  2. Wood

  3. Iron

  4. Rope

  5. Aluminium

  6. Wires

I think I've covered most options! Ok here are some examples of the options in various designs.


Glass Panels

Glass panels can be used as per the image or most people tend to put Stainless Steel or Aluminium as the spindles between the panels and also along the top as a raised handrail. Visually I prefer the glass panels without anything that may obstruct any views you have. Although I am afraid I wouldn't go for this option personally as they can be a nightmare to keep clean. Finger prints, water marks etc. They look visually pleasing but need a lot of up keep.



No skimping of wood on this example.

The nice thing about this is that you can leave it natural and just protect the wood with a natural varnish (not shiny) or you can chose from a wide selection of finishes such as Maple, Oak, Cherry, Walnut. 

Be prepared for a great deal of up keep on this particular design. So this one is a no from me.



Iron railings can be a very traditional style in fact thats what many people think of when you mention iron railings, a Victorian house usually comes to mind, those beautifully engineered railings with the matching gate.

Now times have moved on this is now another option that is being used widely in new builds or extensions. I think the above looks fantastic with the Cherry finished wooden steps.



Rope and no im not talking about the cliche rope hand rail that was used traditionally on Gallion ships to help pull you up the gang way, this is what im talking about, spindle replacement.

Who ever has designed this has thought really hard, even using rope cleates. I really do love this quirky option so lovely for a property that is actually on the waters edge.



Aluminium is a good durable material to use outside although I feel that there is not much that draws the imagination on this design. This option feels very minimalistic. however practically maintenance free.


Wire kits

Wire, this is often used under a wooden handrail or Stainless Steel handrail. This is a nice option if you don't want your view obstructed too much. However i would say this is not a child friendly option. Not sure what I think of this one!


Our Option

Yes this is what we are going for a mixture of two completely different materials.

The wood softens the industrial look of the iron. I really love this option as  our stairs will be going down the house against a natural stone wall. A little like this one pictured above.

We will have a little up keep on this with the wooden hand rail. I think this will look amazing with concrete steps.

Now I would love to here your thoughts on what you would chose or even what you think of my choice do you like it ? or dislike ?

What have you chosen if you have exterior steps?


Claire HornComment