How Much Does It Cost To Install Wrought Iron Railings

Typical Range:

$700 - $4,600

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.

Updated July 1, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Wrought Iron Railing Cost

the average cost to install wrought iron railings is $50 to $120 per linear foot

Wrought iron railings are an attractive and functional way to improve safety around the home. The average wrought iron railing costs $2,600, including materials and labor. Most projects will range between $700 and $4,600.

Wrought Iron Railing Cost

The cost to install wrought iron railings will fall between $700 and $4,600. The total cost reflects $300 to $1,000 per project for labor on banisters under 30 feet and materials that cost between $50 to $120 per linear foot. Type of metal and installation location can affect the overall wrought iron railing cost.

Average CostHigh CostLow Cost
$2,600$4,600$700

Iron Railing Prices Per Foot

Materials, including metal, for wrought iron railings will cost between $50 and $120 per linear foot. Plain black iron costs less than galvanized iron, and aesthetic elements like decorative banisters will increase the overall cost.

Plain Metal for Interior Use

For a simple application, such as interior basement stairs, the $50 to $70 per linear foot range may be enough. This option is often pre-built at a standard length and height, such as 10 feet by 40 inches, to keep costs low. You get the benefits of wrought iron with a lower budget.

Galvanized Iron for Exterior Railings

Expect to pay between $60 and $90 per linear foot for pre-galvanized material. This option helps the material stand up better to the weather. Galvanization adds a protective coating that prevents rust over time. It minimizes maintenance and maximizes durability.

Decorative or Ornamental Banisters

Ornamental railing costs between $60 and $120 per linear foot. On the low end, you can find pre-formed iron that is curved or otherwise ornamental. On the upper end of the range, you can customize the entire project to your preference. The right metal detailing can turn your staircase into a visual centerpiece.

Average Cost to Install Wrought Iron Railings

Most professionals charge by the project, typically between $300 and $1,000. The project cost typically includes labor at $65 to $100 per hour for a project taking up to 10 hours and $50 to $120 per linear foot for materials. Large projects and custom metalwork may be more expensive.

Iron Railing Prices
Line ItemPrice Range
Handrails$120 - $900
Bottom Rails$120 - $900
Spindles$130 - $1,600
Hardware$30 - $200
Labor$300 - $1,000
Total$700 - $4,600

Interior vs. Exterior Handrails

The biggest difference is finding material that holds up to the elements. Usually, that means galvanization. In addition, labor may be costlier for exterior stairs because the metal needs to anchor into cement stairs or unsteady ground.

Stair Railings

Staircases need banisters for extra safety. Your costs will be higher if you attach it to the bottom of the stair instead of the wall next to it. Installing your railings alongside the staircase against the wall can save installation budget.

Deck and Porch Balcony

Adding iron railings to your deck or balcony improves both style and safety. Larger patios may need more length than the 30-foot standard, increasing your budget. Building your own banister can save money, but only makes sense if you have metalworking experience.

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Handrails for Ramps For People With Disabilities

Building a disability ramp costs between $875 and $2,700. You may need it for personal reasons or in a public space. The railing should be part of the larger construction project. This ensures that it complies with ADA standards and the permit is correct. Standards to follow include slip resistance, height of handrails above the ground, and total length beyond the ramp.

Iron Spindle or Baluster Installation Pricing

For added durability and style, homeowners may choose to replace balusters or spindles. The cost to replace spindles in a wrought iron railing falls between $260 and $2,000. The cost breaks down to $130 to $1,600 per spindle and $130 to $400 for labor.

Spindle Repair vs. Replacement

In addition to complete replacement, you can also repair a spindle for $100 to $500. Repair may be as simple as removing rust and refinishing the surface. More complex projects involve welding and can take up to 8 hours, rendering the project more expensive than a replacement at $260 to $2,000.

Cost to Replace Wood Balusters With Iron

Bottom Rail Installation

Bottom railings provide structure and support to wrought iron railings. Replacing a bottom wrought iron railing will cost, on average, $500. The cost reflects $50 to $120 per linear foot for materials.

Newel Post

Newel posts are large support posts at the turning and ending points of a staircase. The average cost to replace or install a newel post is $75 per post. 

Installation and Replacement Considerations

Wrought iron railings are an attractive safety feature that homeowners can choose to install. However, homeowners should consider some considerations before planning a wrought iron railing project. Building permits and hard-to-reach railings can affect the overall cost of installation or repair.

Building Permits

The price of a permit ranges between $30 and $120. You won't need it for minor repairs or replacement parts. But if you install an entirely new exterior railing, your local authority might require a permit. Talk to your contractor about the process and how they can help.

Factors to Consider When Replacing

If the banister is part of a larger structure, parts of it might be load-bearing. For instance, the baluster may support the porch roof. In that case, replacement is more complex, and will cost more. Another factor is the ground that will hold the railing. Exterior poles going straight into lose gravel, for example, need additional steps to remain safe over time.

Location and Accessibility

Your contractor will take longer and charge more if the railing is difficult to access. The same is true if the area surrounding the banister needs altered. Make sure the pro you hire visits the property first. That way, the quoted rate will be more accurate and without unexpected surprises.

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Compare Metal Railing Costs Per Foot

Homeowners looking to complete a railing project on a budget may need to consider alternative metals and materials. The cost of cable rails, steep post banisters, and aluminum is appealing if you’re looking for a lower-priced alternative to wrought iron railings.

Wrought Iron vs. Aluminum & Steel Railings
MaterialMaterial Costs Per FootEstimated LifetimeMaintenance
Wrought Iron$50 - $120100+ yearstwice/year
Aluminum$40 - $7050+ yearsonce/year
Steel Post$30 - $8025+ yearstwice/year
Steel Cable$30 - $5025+ yearsonce/year

Advantages of Wrought Iron vs. Other Metal Railings

Wrought iron railings are an attractive and practical way to improve the safety of a home. Other metal railings like aluminum are a lower cost and rust-resistant alternative to wrought iron but can range in durability and quality. Aluminum is lightweight, which makes it easier to install, but can compromise the safety of the railing.

Steel railings are durable but lack the same customization properties as wrought iron railings as iron is more malleable than steel. Homeowners will find more decorative design options made from wrought iron as opposed to other metals. Wrought iron railings are a durable and aesthetically pleasing addition to the home. 

DIY vs. Hiring a Pro

Hiring a professional metal fabricator ensures you have someone with the right skills and training to work with metal. They can customize iron to fit the exact specifications of a space and have the equipment necessary to do so. Professional installation is highly advisable for homeowners without considerable welding or metal work experience.

FAQs

Is cast iron the same as wrought iron?

Despite their similar names, the two are not the same. As its name suggests, cast iron involves a mold for the hot metal that standardizes the process. Its wrought alternative is by nature custom. Professionals use hand tools to shape the material into a unique form. The result is more expensive, but also more unique, ornamental, and durable.

How much does it cost to paint iron railings

Expect to pay about $6 to $10 per linear foot. That's similar to the price to paint a metal fence. For two railings that measure 10 feet each, that means a total rate between $120 and $200 for most contractors. If you choose to complete the job yourself, the right paint costs $30 to $40 for the same surface area.

Iron vs. Wood staircase handrails: Which is better?

Which option you choose depends on your preferences. Wood railing costs between $15 and $25 per linear foot, significantly less than the $50 to $100 for custom metal. However, it requires more maintenance. You also sacrifice durability. The average wood banister, even when treated, lasts only about 10 years. Compare that to 100 years or more for wrought iron with the right maintenance.

How do you clean wrought iron railings?

Cleaning a wrought iron railing is an easy way to restore its appearance. Wrought iron railings are prone to dust, so dusting is typically the first step in cleaning. Once there is more dust, you can use a cloth with warm water and mild dish soap to scrub the iron. Tricky spots, like tight curves and narrow crevices, may require a nylon scrubbing brush. 

Rinse the area with water after scrubbing and allow the iron to dry thoroughly. If rust spots remain, you may need to use a smaller brush like a toothbrush to remove them. Though you can cleanse away many small rust spots, you may need a professional to treat large patches of rust or corrosion.

Is it easy to maintain wrought iron railings?

Wrought iron railings are simple to maintain. While they may be prone to rust or corrosion, especially outside, homeowners can prolong the health and appearance of their wrought iron railings by applying a coat of sealant or paint. An easy way to maintain wrought iron railings is to apply a liquid car wash to the railing once a year.

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