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How Much Does It Cost To Install Wrought Iron Railings?

Typical Range: $700 - $4,600

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On average, the cost to install wrought iron railings is $2,600. Most people pay between $700 and $4,600 for materials and labor.

Plan with $50 to $120 per linear foot for materials, in addition to $300 to $1,000 per project for labor for a banister between 10 and 30 feet. You might only need 10 feet total for a two-step staircase, or 30 feet to encase a small porch.

Materials include the price for the balusters (also known as spindles), decorative posts at each end that support the handrail. It also includes the handrails, bottom rails, and any hardware needed for installation. Metal railings can be used on interior or exterior stairs, balconies, porches, and decks. Because of the material's custom nature, hiring a pro is crucial for a successful project.

On This Page:

  1. Iron Railing Prices Per Foot
  2. Average Cost to Install Wrought Iron Railings
  3. Iron Spindle & Baluster Installation, Replacement & Repair Pricing
  4. Installation and Replacement Considerations
  5. Comparing with other Metal Railings
  6. FAQs
  7. DIY vs Hiring a Pro

Iron Railing Prices Per Foot

The $50 to $120 cost per linear foot depends on the type of iron you need. Plain black metal falls on the low end, while galvanized materials or decorative banisters raises the price. Wrought iron can beautify and add safety to your home if find the right type for your needs.

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.

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Average Cost to Install Wrought Iron Railings

Most professionals charge by the project, typically between $300 and $1,000. That assumes a rate between $65 and $100 per hour for a project that takes between 4.5 and 10 hours. Large projects and custom metalwork may be more expensive.

Iron Railing Prices
Line ItemPrice Range
Bottom Rails$120-$900

In addition to these components, a number of other factors play into your budget. Location, type, and intended use all become important considerations.

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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.

Handrails for Disability Ramps

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.

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Iron Spindle or Baluster Installation Pricing

Replacing spindles in your railing falls between $260 and $2,000. That includes $130 to $1,600 per spindle, and $130 to $400 for labor. It's an option if you only want to replace the balusters for added durability and style.

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-$2,000.

Cost to Replace Wood Balusters with Iron

This project requires removing wood spindles first, which puts the total between $400 and $2,500. That includes labor costs between $270 and $900. The most important consideration is making your balusters fit the staircase. You may need to increase the hole in the railings or adjust the size of each spindle to fit the space.

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Installation & Replacement Considerations

You rely on your railing for safety. That means a number of considerations are important as you plan the project. These considerations can change both the price and complexity of installing new banisters.

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 & 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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Comparing Metal Railing Costs Per Foot

The high cost of iron railings may cause you to look for alternatives. Cable rails, steep post banisters, and aluminum are all options to consider. Here's what you need to know about each:

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

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Is Cast Iron and Wrought Iron the Same?

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.

Learn More. Talk to a Metal Railing Pro.

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DIY vs. Hiring a Pro

For this material, hiring a pro is almost always the right choice. That's true for two reasons:

  1. The process requires significant metal-working skills to customize it for your space.
  2. When hiring metal fabrication pro, look for contractors who have completed projects similar to yours. Local experience can help with any permitting needs. Only engage in DIY if you have considerable welding or metal work experience.

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