This cost $6K - any similar option for less?

pbx2_gwDecember 4, 2012

Our first quote from a local ornamental fabricator was $6K.

Looking for advice on steel tubing or look alike for the railings in the attached.

Question:
Are there any alternative metals or ideas we can try to get some savings on this look?

We wanted to install what looks like steel cables (metal pipes) for the balusters similar to the HGTV green home 2011 here:

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Holly321

DH says it looks like Wood Posts, C-Channel and Thin-walled mild Steel Tubing. Comes in 24' sticks & should be ~$1-1.20/ft for tubing. For $6K you should be able to take a class at Community College, but a nice welder and cutter, and still have $ left over.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 12:25AM
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Holly321

Oh yes, he thinks it is powder-coated. Luck be with you.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 12:26AM
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pbx2_gw

Hi Holly321: thanks for the feedback.

We need about ~17' so by your estimate we should be coming in around $200-ish.

A $5800 mark-up on artisan labor???!!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 2:45PM
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Holly321

Well.... You are talking materials + labor. And your Artisan is surely factoring in their time as well. And that labor/skill will be highly specialized, very meticulous. *And you will want that to look right (and be right!) * ...Meaning in that application, for aesthetics and safety, no room for error when all is all finished. I didn't mean to give you the idea that you wouldn't get what you paid for, nor did i intend to diminish the Artisan's work or skill in any way. Artisan's and those who create are very talented people whose imaginations and skills I deeply respect. But, it is a craft like any other: mural painters, knitters, glass mosiac makers, potters, dress makers, you get the idea.

If it is something that you are really interested in, it is possible that you could learn yourself (& save some $$), but on the other hand, if the craftsmanship of it doesn't do it for you, then you probly are better off paying someone with the skill.

I operate on the principle of 3 bids per job. Perhaps talk to a welder. Sorry I am not any more help. I hope this helps and good luck either a) learning a new craft or b) finding someone who can help you at the price point you want.

And btw, the post above was supposed to read "buy a welder" not but a welder. Autocorrect got me again!

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 10:52AM
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pbx2_gw

Well we were able to find an local artisan who was able to come in about 40% less than the original bid.

& they have done several notable railings like this around my town. So very happy to have kept looking. Thanks for your feedback!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 1:09AM
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brickeyee

make sure you AHJ is going to allow it.

Rails that can be climbed and large gaps are safety hazards.

The spacing in your pictures look larger than allowed.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 4:52PM
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pbx2_gw

Already forwarded plans to county & got it back as ok!
Thanks brickeyee !

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 1:26PM
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brickeyee

"Already forwarded plans to county & got it back as ok! "

They can still stop it if they decide it does not meet code.

Did they actually to a code check?

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 12:11PM
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islanddevil

I'm going to need to replace my stair rail, trying to decide what I want and also suffering sticker shock. This is a cool option. Looking forward to seeing how yours turns out. Good luck and please keep us posted.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 1:25PM
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