Speaking of railings, ease of switching out...?

The thread re: railings brought a question to mind.
How easy/difficult is to to change-out the railing supports/spindles? Can the individual things be pulled and replaced one by one, or does the entire railing have to be pulled out and completely reassembled and reinstalled?
I'm asking because the place we're buying only comes with those colonial- style turned wooden spindles, which IMO are both completely ugly, and flimsy (several in our previous place had cracked and so on). I'd very much like to replace them with some sort of metal ones - all the fixtures in the house are a brushed nickel finish, so I was thinking along those lines, if I could ever find such a thing. Or maybe a simp-le wrought iron sort of thing.
TIA!
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Kris Krieger wrote:

Depends on how they were built and what you're replacing them with.

http://www.deckorators.com/DeckRailing-Balusters.htm
R
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