How Much Does It Cost To Install A Stair Railing And Balusters?

Typical Range:

$700 - $10,000

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.

Updated June 22, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Stair Railing Installation Cost

A 25-foot handrail costs $900 on average. Depending on the material, you could pay between $30 and $70 per square foot for a wooden railing or between $70 and $80 per square foot for an aluminum one. Balusters cost an average of $1,200 to $1,600, with single balusters costing $3 to $17 before installation. 

When installing stair railing, it’s helpful to recognize the different parts of a staircase. Stair railing refers to the part of the staircase you hold onto for support when going up and down the stairs. Meanwhile, balusters are vertical, vase-like posts on a railing and are usually made of wood, iron or stone and are also known as spindles.

Average Cost to Install Railing

Average Cost$900
High Cost$10,000+
Low Cost$700

Stair Railing Cost by Material

Wrought Iron

The most expensive material, wrought iron railings cost at least $100 per linear foot, costing up to $900 per foot for detailed custom-made rails. Wrought iron railings can fit both classic and contemporary decor. With proper care, wrought iron railings can last up to 100 years or more

Steel 

Steel rails cost anywhere from $60 to $110 per linear foot. This material is suited for busy stairways and exterior handrails since it tends to be more durable and weatherproof. 

Aluminum

Aluminum rails average $70 to $80 per linear foot and are another durable option. Aluminum withstands tough weather conditions and requires little maintenance over time.  

Wood

Wood railings cost between $15 and $25 per linear foot and need more maintenance compared to metal railways. An average wood banister lasts only about 10 years, even with treatment. 

Cable Railing 

The cost of cable railings depends on the material, with wood cable railings costing about $75 per linear foot and stainless steel costing $140 to $220 per linear foot. In addition to material, there are also other factors that greatly affect the cost of cable railing, including the type of post and number of corners.

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Stair Railing Installation Cost Factors

Installing railing costs at least $700 but could run up to $10,000 or higher. Prices vary based on the following factors:

  • Existing railing material

  • New railing material

  • Type of railing (spiral, straight, etc.)

  • Railing length

Each of these factors determines the amount of time the project will take, as well as the overall intensity. Call a stair railing installer near you for an exact estimate.

Removing Old Railing Cost

Before installing a new railing, you’ll need to get rid of the one you currently have. Most stair installers charge $70 to $150 per hour, and the type of staircase you have can have a big impact on the time removal takes. 

New Railing Cost

Not all stair railings cost the same. Wrought iron railings, for example, can cost anywhere between $100 and $900 per linear foot, while simple wooden railings will be between $30 and $70 per linear foot. Make sure to budget accordingly when choosing a new railing.

Labor Costs

As stated above, you can expect to pay between $70 and $150 per hour on labor costs alone. You’ll also need to factor in any necessary permits. The average building permit costs an additional $1,200.  

Cost to Replace Banisters and Balusters

Replacing balusters (also called spindles) typically costs anywhere from $1,200 to $1,600. The average cost to replace a banister is $1,600. Putting in a handrail will likely cost anywhere from $700 to $2,500.

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Cost to Refinish Stair Railing

Expect to pay around $90 to $160 to refinish your stair railing. Refinishing costs are usually priced for the treads and cost about $5 to $10 per square foot.

If you just need to refinish the handrail, there’s a good chance that you’ll still pay within this price range. Refinishing a railing takes less time than the stairs but contractors often have a minimum charge to make smaller projects worth their while.

Cost to Paint Handrails

You might pay anywhere from $5 to $20 per linear foot to paint the handrails. Some painters set hourly rates; the cost to hire a painter is between $20 to $50 per hour but could be higher depending on your region.

DIY Banister Installation vs. Hiring a Professional

Correctly installing a banister takes professional experience. Banisters or handrails provide a necessary safety measure and experience a lot of traffic. The last thing you want is a DIY project that results in a rickety or unstable staircase.

In some instances, you might even need to get a building permit which is an often complicated process. Since the average building permit cost is $1,200, it’s a good idea to hire a residential architect near you to make sure your project is safely completed and up to code.

FAQs

What is a banister?

A banister is a handrail that people hold onto for support when walking up or down a staircase. You can use the term interchangeably with handrails. 

What’s the difference between balusters and spindles?

Balusters and spindles are stair terms that are often used interchangeably. If you want to get technical, a baluster rests onto a part where your feet go (such as the floor or a step) and a spindle rests on a separate horizontal rail that runs along the floor.

Do all staircases need a handrail?

Most staircase codes and building regulations require staircases with more than two steps to have a handrail. While this may change depending on local building codes, this is the general rule of thumb for homes and buildings. 

How much do stair railings cost?

A 25-foot railing can run anywhere from $700 to $6,000 or more. Costs depend a lot on the type of material. For example, the price to install stair railings made of aluminum is between $3,500 to $6,000; a wooden railing is between $750 and $1,250.

How much does a custom-built banister cost?

Custom banister prices depend greatly on the type of material and size of the banister. Undoubtedly, you’ll pay at least several thousand for a standard 25-foot banister, regardless of the material. Find a general contractor near you for recommendations and estimates.

How much do concrete balustrades cost?

Concrete balustrade companies will be the ones to give you an estimate. There are a number of styles, sizes, and even colors to choose from; you’ll have to describe your project for a price quote.

How much does it cost to replace a deck railing?

The cost to replace a deck railing is between $500 and $4,000. Most deck railings are 10 feet in length.

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