Wrought 'Iron' Railings

creek_sideNovember 15, 2009

The contract for our new house specifies aluminum deck railings. The builder is having trouble locating someone that can supply them in something other than white or bronze without a massive upcharge for custom powder coating. Neither white nor bronze will go well with our color scheme.

He has floated the idea of custom wrought iron railings instead. His wrought iron guy will paint them any color we want. Unfortunately, wrought iron is something that rusts and requires frequent repainting, at least in our mind's eye.

Anyone have any experiences or thoughts regarding wrought iron deck railings? We need about 140 feet of railing.

Thanks.

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john_hyatt

I have used componants from kingsmetal.com as detail in a ipe rail system combined with alum balusters but I am thinking your project requires a complete metal hadrail.

I painted the fancy steel balusters at the shop with several coats of high solids industrual black paint but it is what it is , they will require paint as needed.

I use a local steel guy for post brackets and such He builds rail systems all week long but the cap rail is thin. That would be the trick geting a wide cap rail to shelter the actuall balusters and bottom rail from
colecting rain as well as the conections not offering a place for water to colect.

Usually the conection to the deck is a bolted little plate a person should be sure its painted all around with a rubber gasket.

I bid and did a refinish welded steel rial around 300 ft 4 years old it had started to rust in all those 3 places. We built a plastic tent around the whole thing,taped off everything, sprayed it black with an airless,four coats. $3,800. J.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2009 at 7:15PM
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creek_side

Thanks, John. That is depressing and sobering information, and it confirms our suspicions.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2009 at 7:26PM
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bigkahuna

We are going through the same procress for just 11 intermediate support posts on a porch /deck. Ive used cable rail( to preserve the lake views) with stainless steel cable and stainless turnbuckles at each end with an Ipe handrail and white pvc trim board attached to the underside. The wrought iron even poweder coated was going to rust at some point so we had aluminum posts ( powdercoated) ( 1/2" x 2") with top and bottom plates to screw it down and to the rail. We picked up the last of the screws, brackets etc today to get ready for install next weekend! We looked at it being a bit more now and yours beling a bunch more Im sure but painting every 2-3 years wasnt an option. Johns got some great ideas on the rusting points being where to focus on the best water protection.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2009 at 9:38PM
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mike_kaiser_gw

I had a good friend in the iron business. It's steel and it will require maintenance. On the bright side, they can typically build anything you want and paint it any color you want.

I guess it really comes down to how much you're willing to pay up front to avoid the maintenance and associated costs down the road.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2009 at 10:51PM
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john_hyatt

Some of that stuff at kingsmetal makes a wild rail detail.

They have alum as well but the cost is higher than the normal alum pipe with conectors. And the stuff comes from Dallas so the shipping cost to me is small. They can also plasma cut anything you want out of steel flat stock like a rose vine,a sunset,your girl riding naked on a white horse, your harley. Could make for a very cool detail.

I was using the same paint my steel guy had,it was like spraying little rocks real heavy content. Paying attention to detail while runing that airless the finish is better than power coat. If the steel rail was well thought out and conected a little better than normal to the decking it would be very possible to get 8 / 9 years out of it with no rust at all.

Of course there is always the high cost, on the other hand the handrail is what showes the most and if you could get anything you want in it.... not have it look the same ol same ol....might be worth it. JonMon

    Bookmark   November 16, 2009 at 7:36AM
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creek_side

Thanks to everyone who posted. Based on what we anticipated and has been confirmed here, we have declined the wrought iron railings.

Happily, an aluminum railing vendor with more than two color choices has been found and the samples look good. Hopefully, we will have our matching aluminum railings after all.

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2009 at 8:41PM
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