Railings are necessary to make a play structure safe but I also want to make them fun and beautiful. Whether you choose an open or closed railing changes the feel of the play structure. It’s a chance to make your play structure look like a castle, or to be covered in hearts, or to feel like the deck of a ship with a rope railing.
The Fortress Railing with crenellation and cut-outs can make your play structure a castle! The solid walls give the kids another play space: the kids like to sit on the floor and hang out with their friends while leaning against the railings. The cut-outs let the kids be on the lookout for invaders and the crenellations at the top underscore the classic castle motif. Imaginations can run wild!
The Picket Railing is more open than the Fortress Railing. It’s great for balconies and bridges, especially if you have a solid wall behind, as in the Treetop Bungalow pictured here. The Picket Railing lets you see the beautiful wall and carvings and gives the kids a sense of height without being dangerous. Note how the vertical pickets make the railing difficult to climb.
Decorative Railings are always an option. This is one of many different types of shaped pickets I have done that play with patterns. For this picket pattern, we reversed the picket every other time to create a fun wave effect with the pattern. These pickets are also designed to discourage climbing.
Rope Net Railing
A Rope Net Railing gives an open feel to a bridge which can be very fun: the kids feel they are up high, experiencing the sense of height, but the rope railing safely holds them in. We hand-weave the rope net railings at our shop from top quality black nylon rope and we are careful to make sure the openings in the net are well within the safety requirements.
The Heart Railing comes in a variety of styles: all the hearts facing up or with this railing for The Playhouse in a Tree, I alternated one heart up, one heart down. Little girls do really love hearts on everything and I’ve found boys don’t mind them!
Gap Board Railing
A classic fort look is our Gap Board Railing. Here we have alternated the tops of boards to help the kids defend the fort and invaders can be spied through the gaps in the boards. As with all our railings, every board is grinded, every edge routed to not only create a smooth surface free of splinters but to give the boards an old-fashioned hand-hewn look.
Wavy Metal Railing
What fun we had bending the metal for this Wavy metal railing! The top rail on the ramp is straight but we decided to have fun with the bottom railing by adding some ocean waves. We fabricate the metal pieces in our own metal shop and then have the pieces professionally powder coated to ensure they stand up to the weather year after year.
Carved Spindle Railings
Why have regular spindles when you can have a Carved Spindle Railings? I carved each spindles, alternating four different patterns, to add another layer to the richly textured Malibu Lighthouse. It’s a close-up detail that looks beautiful when the sunlight falls on the play structure.