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metal railing

Rose Pink

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Where are the best places to look for metal railings--the kind that go along stairways? I would also welcome any suggestions regarding what to look for in quality and installation how-tos. thank you
 
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Passepartout

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I would look locally (Yellow Pages, etc) for 'Ornamental Iron Work'. This type of stuff is the day-to-day bread and butter work for welding shops. Or perhaps if you see some you like, ask the home/business owner where they got it. It almost always has to be custom made for each application, so doesn't lend itself to national or regional distributors.

Jim Ricks
 

Rose Pink

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Thanks, Jim.
 

wackymother

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You mean the kind that goes outdoors? We got our railings replaced soon after we moved into our house ten years ago. As Jim says, it's custom work.

We had the place we thought we would use (because they had been recommended by another contractor) come out and do a written estimate. The company will tell you how many linear feet you need. Then we called other places out of the phone book and asked for phone estimates based on the same number of linear feet. At least in our area, they were all very much in the same ballpark. The companies seem to know that this is how it's done, btw. We did end up using the company that had done the written estimate.

This was one of the more painless home-improvement projects we've done. The place did good work, the railings were very well made and installed properly, and they're still very sturdy and looking good ten years later.

The only useful thing I can tell you is that we discovered that the "silver" and "gold" finishes are cheaper, I guess because they don't have that baked-on paint job. I always thought people chose those because they looked fancy! Turns out people were choosing them because they cost less! Who knew?
 

wackymother

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Wait, I thought of something else. We have a sidelight window by our front door. We were worried about it for security reasons and we showed it to the railing company. They measured, designed, made, and installed a custom security grate that matched the railings. Nice! So if you need anything like that, mention it to them and get it at the same time.
 

Rose Pink

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Thanks, Wackymother. The project is indoors. I ripped out some built in drawers and cabinets in the hallway. This opened up the area to a skylight I had installed over the stairway to the basement. In order not to fall into the opening and down the stairs, I want to install an iron railing to give the effect of a small balcony. It's hard for me to explain but there will be a small, low shelf for houseplants as well.
 

wackymother

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Thanks, Wackymother. The project is indoors. I ripped out some built in drawers and cabinets in the hallway. This opened up the area to a skylight I had installed over the stairway to the basement. In order not to fall into the opening and down the stairs, I want to install an iron railing to give the effect of a small balcony. It's hard for me to explain but there will be a small, low shelf for houseplants as well.
I think this could still be the same ornamental ironwork people as you would use for the outdoor metalwork, or I do see ads in the paper for DIY handrails. Is it just a simple straight handrail? You must be pretty seriously handy--can you install it yourself if you can find the item? Will you be relying on the handrail to support weight?

What do they say at Lowe's and Home Depot?
 

Rose Pink

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LOL! No, I am not seriously handy. DH is when he gets around to it. It will be the same product as outdoor, I am sure, but will be an indoor installation. I am thinking I want a small bow to it, not just straight. I haven't checked out the big box stores yet. Yes, it must support weight in case someone falls or leans against it. That is where I am a little concerned as I'm not sure there is sufficient support in the walls at the place I want to put it--may have to install some kind of support. The area is only 39 inches, or a little less, wide.

I plan to check out the Yellow Pages and go visit some places. I want to know what to ask and what to look for so I don't get talked into anything I might later regret.
 

laura1957

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Check your local fence company. I am sure they can tell you where you can order it from (or order it for you), even if they do not install it themselves. My husband has a fence business :) - I know I have seen all kinds of railings for indoor and outdoor in his catalogs. I don't think he has ever installed anything like this indoors, but I know he has installed them outdoors.
 

wackymother

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LOL! No, I am not seriously handy. DH is when he gets around to it. It will be the same product as outdoor, I am sure, but will be an indoor installation. I am thinking I want a small bow to it, not just straight. I haven't checked out the big box stores yet. Yes, it must support weight in case someone falls or leans against it. That is where I am a little concerned as I'm not sure there is sufficient support in the walls at the place I want to put it--may have to install some kind of support. The area is only 39 inches, or a little less, wide.

I plan to check out the Yellow Pages and go visit some places. I want to know what to ask and what to look for so I don't get talked into anything I might later regret.
Dunno, then. You want just a rail with a curve or would there be spindles below? Is it like a gate across a balcony? Or...what? Like if you had it there, and someone leaned on it, where would they fall to? Would they fall to the floor right there, or to the ground twenty feet below? :eek:
 

Rose Pink

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Dunno, then. You want just a rail with a curve or would there be spindles below? Is it like a gate across a balcony? Or...what? Like if you had it there, and someone leaned on it, where would they fall to? Would they fall to the floor right there, or to the ground twenty feet below? :eek:

Well, it's not twenty feet but, yes, they would fall onto the stairs leading to the basement--maybe six or eight feet down below. When I said railing, I meant the entire structure including the "spindles" or balusters. This picture may give an idea of what I am trying to accomplish. It's not the style I want but it conveys the idea of a railing across an opening to provide both decorative appeal and safety. http://www.seoic.com/wroughtironrailing(24).jpg
 

wackymother

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So it's like an ornamental gate, kind of...without an opening. Have you looked online? There's a place called Outwater Plastics near us that makes an incredible range of stuff like this. Here's a link that might be helpful. See if there's anything that would work for you.

http://www.outwatercatalogs.com/2008_Master/lg_display.cfm?page_number=905&catalog=080147

Oh, I think this might be just what you want! But it's very component-based....

http://www.outwatercatalogs.com/2008_Master/lg_display.cfm?page_number=920&catalog=080135
 
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