Cost of railing for walkway!?

My dear Mom recently had her walkway leading up to her house rebuilt, and the people who did the work did a fine job, except they took down the railing next to the old walkway. First, I'm not really sure that that was necessary, but they make some vague claims that you can't keep the old railing when you rebuild the walk. Does that make sense to anyone?
Beyond that, they say that a new railing, for maybe ten to twelve feet of railing, will cost somewhere between $800 and $1000 dollars. They say the custom metalworking involved is what costs so much. I asked if they could to a wooden railing, and they said that costs even more.
We're not looking for anything fancy here -- just something to hold onto, so when the walkway ices up in the winter, there is something solid and steady to hold onto. It doesn't have to look rich or impressive. Should this cost anywhere near what this guy is claiming, or is he price-gouging my Mom? And if this is what custom railing costs, is there some cheaper but effective off-the-shelf option?
All informed input is much appreciated.
Steve O.
"Spying On The College Of Your Choice" -- How to pick the college that is the Best Match for a high school student's needs. www.SpyingOnTheCollegeOfYourChoice.com
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You should have also cross posted this to alt.home.repair
I am assuming you got a concrete walk. All you really need to do is sink some treated 4x4 posts along the edge of the concrete walkway. Put them 5 to 6 feet apart, them nail some treated 2x4's from post to post. The hardest part is digging the holes. The rest is pretty basic carpentry. If you HAD a steel railing and still have it, dig that into the ground along the edge of the cement.
Using the wood, you will need Three six foot treated 4x4's (about $20) Two 10 or 12 foot treated 2x4's (about $12) A box of galvanized 16D nails ($1) And if you want sturdier posts, put one or two bags of ready crete around each post ($12 to $24). You will need a post hole digger, hammer, saw, tape measure and a level.
Total cost - Under $60 and a days work if you do it yourself.
If you did not feel robbed before, you do now !!!!!!!
I took the liberty to cross post this to alt.home.repair for you.
Mark
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