Iron or Alumnium Porch Railing Question


Local prices on custom made metal railing seem extremely high to me. (Cost of materials plus $55.00 per foot, plus $40.00 per drilled hole, plus, plus, plus ...)
The only other alternative that I know about is very inexpensive crappy metal railing from Lowes or Home Depot.
I would think that more substantial products coule be made where the end user could purchase pieces and self-install the railing. These pieces might be top rails, bottom rails, balusters, newel posts, rail end caps, etc., etc.
Are such products made? How can I find out about/order them.
Pros/Cons of this type iron or aluminum railing?
Thanks.
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Iron railing brings back so many memories...The house I grew up in had ornated iron railings. I remember sanding, painting, and touching up. There are houses in New Orleans that have ornate wrought iron railing that is over a hundred years old. Maybe they kept it up or my folks were obsessive about it. I would go for aluminum.
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Yes. Market price of aluminum shapes is around $1.20/lb these days. You will pay several times that at a distributor for the unfabricated stock. And this will factor up again with fabrication.
Down here in Florida you have to have code-approved aluminum hurricane shutters. These are nothing more than a $3 stock sheet of aluminum from Alcoa run through a machine that puts a few corrugating bends in, a few holes punched, and priced at about 20X the input sheet. What a racket.
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