I am looking for affordable black metal railing for a front porch. Local
prices for custom made seem to range from $50.00/foot (painted steel) to
$120.00/ft (powder coated aluminum).
Another local alternative is cheap metal railing from Lowes/Home Depot that
would probably break if anyone leaned on it.
I need to find something a little better that Home Depot's ultra cheapie
yet a whole lot less expensive than the local custom made ones.
What other alternatives exist? I can install it my self.
MANY THANKS for any help.
For the price of about 10 feet of that custom railing you could buy yourself
a cheap MIG welder and second hand metal bandsaw and stitch your own railing
together from the raw materials. BTW, why does it have to be metal? Could
you build it out of wood and paint or stain it black? That would cost more
like $20 a foot, at the most.
Thanks for the reply. Because of the situation, we want people looking at
the house to see the house and not the railing andd black metal is much
visible than more bulky wood, pvc, or composite railings.
On Thu, 01 Jun 2006 22:24:57 GMT, "Alan Smithee"
Fifty dollars a foot is high.
1" square tube is around $.50/ft
1/2" is around half that.
At that price, it is about $3.25 per foot tubing cost. Cap rail is more,
say another $1.50 a foot, so you are at just under $5 per foot. Fasteners,
and plates are very cheap.
Is there a supplier where you are that you can check on these prices?
What I have quoted here is for plain and simple. Adding castings
(decorations) will add some bucks, but, let's just say you need 20 feet.
40' of 1" sq. tu. x .$.50 = $20
20' caprail = $30
A 1/2" picket every four inches = 60 pickets x 3'ea so, 180' x $.25 = $45
Ten bucks for fasteners, let's say six decorative castings at $7.50 each $45
Paint = $20 a gallon
That puts you at $170. $8.50 per foot cost.
Look around and see if you can find a garage shop operator or an illegal
alien who does welding. Now you know how much it costs, when someone tells
you $50 per foot, you will know how much they want to make.
Granted, it may be a small job, and large companies don't want to send two
guys and a truck out there, so they will shoot you a high price. Look for a
smaller operator of a hobbyist. If you are willing to install, they do not
need a contractor's license, and you can either pay them by the total price
(the best way) or by the hour (the worst way).
Knowing a good welder is always a good thing. If you were my neighbor, I
would do it for you for $20 a foot installed.
$50 a foot is ridiculous unless it is waaaay custom or involves curves and
angles or a lot of design. For what he wants, you could build the stuff and
own the equipment, and probably be money ahead. MIG welding isn't rocket
science. I think a monkey could be taught to do it.
I have looked into this and am going for the custom from our local iron
works if the price isn't through the roof. They refurbished my iron bed
for me fairly reasonably. It started with a picture I took of a
neighbor's railing, and I wanted one just like it, painted white.
I called Menard's and they were helpful, gave me the name of the
wholesaler so I could look it up on the web, buried somewhere deep in my
notes, can't remember it offhand. They had rail the same style but much
flimsier looking than what I wanted. I posted a photo of the kind I
wanted for the iron works people to copy, and I think a lot of it is
stock parts, will find out the price but they won't come out and measure
until the new steps are poured, and I can't have an estimate without
Since my steps are narrow, I have decided to anchor mine to the side. I
have noticed other people do that and landscape and fill with stone or
brickwork around it. It seemed like a sturdier solution and less likely
to break off the concrete like happened to the corners on the front slab
from the old railings on there.
Iron pipe is not an option. It is ugly. I'd rather have no railings at
all unless there is no other way, like elderly, fixed income who have to
have rails. Wood, well now a lot of it is plastic, can be pretty if it
fits your scheme, and it's probably cheaper. I had a plan for redoing
my front porch but it would have been far more costly and wouldn't work
well the way the roof overhang and gutters are, too much would have had
to be changed, but I saw a picture in a magazine on a house similar to
mine and a few around town where they did that with wood railing and
bannisters, and it is quite attractive.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.