Open Skies or Safety Rails? Finding the Balance in Deck Design

Published On: April 8, 2024Categories: blogs, Deck

When it comes to building a deck, one of the key considerations is the balance between open skies and safety rails. Deck design should not only provide for an aesthetically pleasing outdoor space, but it's also essential to prioritize the safety of those who will be utilizing it. In this article, we will explore the advantages and trade-offs of both open skies and safety rails and offer recommendations on how to find the perfect balance that suits your needs.

Advantages of Open Skies

An open sky deck design offers a sense of freedom and openness. It allows homeowners and guests to enjoy uninterrupted views of the surrounding landscape, providing a natural extension to the living space. The absence of safety rails gives the deck a visually minimalist and modern appearance, enhancing the overall design of the outdoor area.

Furthermore, open skies provide greater flexibility in terms of design and furniture placement. Without the constraint of safety rails, homeowners have the freedom to arrange their outdoor furniture in various configurations, maximizing the use of space and creating a more versatile environment.

Trade-offs and Safety Considerations

While open skies may be visually appealing, it's important to carefully consider the safety implications. Without safety rails, there is an increased risk of falling from the deck, especially for children, pets, or elderly individuals. This becomes even more apparent if the deck is elevated or situated on higher floors. Therefore, precautionary measures, such as adult supervision or self-latching gates, should be put in place to mitigate these risks.

Advantages of Safety Rails

Safety rails are undoubtedly important when it comes to deck design. They act as a protective barrier, preventing accidents and ensuring the well-being of those using the space. Rails provide a sense of security, allowing homeowners to relax and enjoy their outdoor experience without constantly worrying about potential falls.

In addition to safety, rails also offer privacy, especially when the deck is situated in an area that is overlooked by neighbors or passersby. The inclusion of safety rails creates a more secluded and comfortable environment, providing a retreat-like setting for homeowners and their guests.

Combining Open Skies and Safety Rails

Finding the balance between open skies and safety rails doesn't necessarily mean compromising on either aspect. A well-designed deck can incorporate both elements, allowing homeowners to enjoy the benefits of each.

One option is to utilize transparent materials for the safety rails. Glass panels or safety glass balustrades can be used, providing safety while minimizing visual obstruction. These transparent railings can preserve the open and airy feel of the deck, maintaining an uninterrupted view of the outdoors.

Another approach is to segment the deck into areas, dedicating some sections for open skies and others for safety rails. This can be achieved by creating different levels or using diverse materials to differentiate the two areas, achieving a harmonious balance between aesthetic appeal and safety.


Creating a deck that strikes a balance between open skies and safety rails is crucial in achieving a visually pleasing and safe outdoor space. While open skies offer a sense of freedom and flexibility, safety rails provide the necessary protection and privacy. To find the perfect balance, consider using transparent materials for safety rails or segmenting the deck to separate open sections from those requiring safety precautions.

When it comes to decking solutions, Armor Fence is a trusted provider. With their expertise and wide range of options, including both open skies and safety rails, they can help homeowners create a deck design that meets their individual needs. Contact Armor Fence today to discuss your deck requirements and create the perfect outdoor living space for you and your family.

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