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Why don’t you offer railing with pickets or balusters?  As you might have guessed such a rail requires exact on site measurement and investigation.  There are too many possibilities for mistakes, installation is beyond what a normal homeowner could do, and shipping costs would be prohibitive.  If you really need picket rail it is best to contact someone locally who specializes in railing fabrication and installation.  In most residential situations it isn’t really needed.   The determining factor is drop off – if is more than 30 inches or so.

Why aren’t railings shipped with a finish paint or powder coat?  Our goal has always been to do for homeowners only what they couldn’t normally do themselves.  If we painted for finished railings prior to shipping out there would be a longer wait time, and the possibility of hurting the finish.

Should I get the aluminum, crown molding, or standard steel railing?  The choice depends on your personal taste and price point.  If you live near the ocean or a rail is near a pool aluminum might be the way to go because it resists corrosion.  If you are mostly concerned about strength then the crown molding is the most rigid.

Consider the different types of DIY railing and advantages and disadvantages.

When you need handrail and wall rail it is important to consider all your options.  Handrails are commonly made out of wood, steel, aluminum, and vinyl.  All of these materials can be used inside and outside.

Your choice may depend on looks, cost, functionality, ease of installation, strength and durability.

Looks:  Some people love the look of wood.  They love wood decks, rails, balusters, and handrail.  However consider the following.  The wood and metal fusion can be a very desirable look.  Even if you have a wooden deck or porch you may want to consider metal for your stair rail.  Metal railings have several advantages over wood.

Cost — up front costs for wood can be considerably less than for metal.  If you upgrade from less expensive pine to oak or another more durable type of wood those savings can quickly disappear.

Functionality — there are places where wood will be easier to use than metal and vice versa.  If you are building a deck it is much easier to install a wood perimeter railing but what if you need a rail for a concrete slab or on concert steps.  wood rails anchored directly to concrete often don’t work out well.  The railing remains wobbly despite your best efforts.

Size verses strength advantage — in order for wooden railings to achieve the same strength ratings as metal you must use much thicker wood.  This results in large railings that are often unsightly and therefore, may be hard to grip.  Metal railing retains a much smaller profile that doesn’t detract as much from the look of it’s surroundings.

Durability — metal railings can be as durable or more durable than wood railings.  If properly maintained there is no reason your metal railing wouldn’t last for decades.  Wood, regardless of how it is treated, eventually cracks and warps and is more subject to mold.  Another concern is some wood railings can become give users splinters if not in frequent use.

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