This is our standard handrail detail. We have created dozens of different designs using wood and/or metals but we have found this to be the best design for looks and sturdiness. We also use tempered glass panels, clear, sliding and tinted, but these tend to show the dirt on them, but then sometimes the maintenance is worth the view.
Our decks are constructed in cedar. This is not "expensive" in the long run. Pressure treated woods are somewhat "cheaper" for a good reason. They offer a more economical product initially, but the species of woods that are used will usually not stand up to the elements when laid flat. Within 3-5 years they will warp, check or crack if they are not maintained every year properly. We avoid the callbacks by not quoting on these requests. Pressure treated woods used vertically can be used in certain areas that are not exposed and will shed water such as under-deck structures. This can reduce the cost of an all cedar deck. The only "pressure treated" wood we will consider in exposed or flat areas is "wolmanized" wood which is premium grade PT, but is only slightly less cost than cedar.
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