Free Deck Plans
Free Deck Plans
Choose from hundreds of permit ready designs. Our deck plans include a detailed framing plan, footing layout, material list and typical details. These plans are free to download as pdf files that can be printed to 1/4" - 1' scale on 11x17 paper.

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Railing Choices

Selecting the right type of guard rails offers the perfect opportunity to complete your deck design. No other part of deck design offers as many interesting choices than selecting a rail.  Deck railings are visible from all sides of a deck and are very important to the final appearance of your design.

Wood rails are the most obvious solution for a cedar, redwood or pine deck.  There are several options to customize a wood rail to fit your overall design.  A standard wood rail uses 4x4 rail posts, 2x4 top and bottom rails, 2x2 balusters and a 2x6 routered top cap.  Adding a sweep space under the bottom rail is a functional detail that makes your deck easier to clean and remove snow and leaves.  Fortress Iron Railings offer a variety of elegant metal and glass balusters in a variety of styles, textures and colors.  Adding a decorative post caps is a nice way to put a personal touch on your design. 

 Deck Railings

Photo courtesy of Fortress Iron Railings

If you are using a low maintenance material for your deck surface you will probably want to find a matching rail system.  offers a designer railing system that is available in attractive easy to install kits.  and RailingWorks specialize in high end railings including stainless steel, cable, and glass options.

If you are trying to preserve a view consider using glass rail sections, cable rail, or black metal balusters.  White railings are a popular choice for creating contrast with colorful decking materials.  White railings are a safe choice for most decks because of their classic look.
Privacy walls and screens can be placed in strategic areas to block views.  Decorative arbors can be installed above railings to hang plants and vines for accents.