Decks come in all shapes and sizes. And while one can fit pretty much anywhere, it is still important to maximize your space—no matter how small. Smart decor can do the trick, but the secret to a more spacious deck is in the railing. It can be used to leave a narrower footprint, giving the illusion of more room. Here are five ways to get the most out of your deck space through railing.

Choose Narrow Posts

The wrong railing can take up too much room on a small deck. Instead, limit the amount of wasted space by using a narrower post size. The standard post size is 4 inches by 4 inches, but RDI provides smaller options. RDI’s Avalon aluminum railing offers posts as small as 2.5 by 2.5 inches, while its Metal Works Excalibur steel railing line has posts running 3 by 3, and even 2 by 2 inches. Though they’re narrower in size, these slim railings are still strong and offer the protection and safety your deck needs.

Consider Fascia Posts

Fascia posts, also known as side-mounted posts, attach to the fascia on the side of decking as opposed to the top of the deck, and this can add a little extra room to your deck’s surface area. A few extra inches can really make a big difference when it comes to seating and entertaining. RDI offers fascia post options in the Metal Works Excalibur steel railing line (and there’s an aluminum option coming soon, too).

Use Cable Rail or Glass Infill

For an even more open and spacious feeling to your deck, use cable rail or glass infill. These narrow or clear baluster options give the appearance of more space by allowing the eye to see past the railing. Solid balusters may be great for an extra large deck, but narrow or clear balusters can visually widen your small space. RDI’s Transform composite railing has cable options (with a new aluminum cable rail option on its way), and the Avalon aluminum railing and Endurance Original Rail vinyl railings both have a glass infill option.

Keep Things Monochromatic

While a clean, white vinyl railing may really pop against your dark deck, it can also cause the space to feel much smaller than it is. Consider matching your railing to your deck for a monochromatic look that allows it to blend seamlessly together—and into the background. Just add cable rail or glass infill, and you’ll look well past where the deck ends and only see where your world begins.

Add Deck Top Railing

Often referred to as “cocktail rail,” deck top railing provides an extra surface space for plants, drinks, entertaining, and more. RDI offers deck top railing as an option in its Avalon aluminum railing and Finyl Line vinyl railing systems. For a perfectly styled look, match it to the color and make of your deck. RDI’s sister brand, DuraLife, offers several durable and effortless capped composite decking options—not just for your cocktail rail, but for your entire deck, too.

Railing can not only give the illusion of a larger deck footprint, but it can also actually offer several more inches of livable space through features like fascia posts and deck top railing. So before you knock down walls or pack up and move to a new home with a bigger deck, consider installing new railing. The right railing for you and your small space does exist, even if it takes a little bit of thinking outside of the box. Now that you know the secret to a more spacious deck, browse the RDI catalog to get started.