Outdoor stair railings & indoor stair railings generally have the same purpose in that they both assist in providing safer conditions for individuals using the stairs.

The major difference is that outdoor railings are subject to weather conditions that normally require the use of different materials than those required for indoor railings.

There are other considerations that should be weighed when choosing outdoor stair railings.
 

home design
   

Some of these may include the following: stair design, matching color with your home's external walls and trim, materials that will be resistant to weather and climate conditions. There are a variety of materials available for outdoor stair railings with different advantages and disadvantages.

Wood Railings

For railings that present a natural and more rustic look, many people really love the six-foot wood and cedar railings that accompany their privacy fence material.

Wood railings can be polished for a more contemporary look, carved for a classic look, or a more rustic look that comes with the stained, natural wood grain. A log home, or one constructed in a more rural setting, may be made more attractive by using cedar, cypress, oak, pine, maple, cypress, or even mahogany.

Alternatively, these railings may also be painted. But almost without exception, these outdoor railings will need to be to be pressure treated in order to to seal the wood and protect against weather conditions such as rain, snow, heat, and UV rays. Weather cannot only detract from the natural beauty of your wood railings, but it can also deteriorate them, creating slivers and splinters for people who grasp the rails for security.

Metal Railings

If you're looking for durability, strength, or less frequent maintenance in your outdoor railings, you will probably want to consider those made of metal. Metal railings can also be painted to match the exterior colors and designof your home or office, but they are typically used more with contemporary designs. Some are simple and unadorned, while others may be pre-molded in various designs. If you like, a local fence company that provides railings will custom build your railing according to your personal design and specifications. 

Wrought Iron and Stainless Steel Railings

Wrought iron railings are typically associated with elegance. You will often see them on outside stairways near glass doors; painted to match the pastel shades of nearby walls and trimmings. The fabricated, hollow rods of wrought iron railings are usually chosen for a lighter, more delicate appearance. Less often, you will see stainless steel as a choice for outdoor railings. These will usually need to be weatherproofed to maintain their polished appearance.

Stone, Marble, or Granite Railings

The most requested railing will usually be made of granite, marble, or stone. But don't try this at home! These types of railings will almost always require professional installation. Not only are they heavier, but they are more exceptionally fragile and vulnerable to cracking and breaking if installed incorrectly. Usually they will require special fasteners to hold them in place among other specific tools.

Stone, Vinyl & Fiberglass Railings

As an inexpensive railing option, you can usually depend on those made of aluminum, vinyl, and fiberglass resin to be used where a smaller budget necessitates their use. Although these railings are typically more durable in harsh weather conditions, they do not provide the class and beauty offered by other a metal, wrought iron or ornamental aluminum stairway material.