steel railing cost per linear foot

$40.00 – $115.00 Per Linear Foot

The cost to have metal or cast iron deck railing installed professionally starts at $40.00 per linear foot for affordable steel and can reach $125 per linear foot for ornately fashioned wrought iron. That’s $2,000 to $6,000 for a deck with 50 linear feet cast iron deck railing.

Average Cost of Metal and Iron Deck Railings

The average installed cost of metal deck railing made from steel is $45.00 per linear foot while cast iron railing runs about $100.00 per linear foot. If you buy parts and install the railings without pro help, the average costs are about $35.00 for steel and $85.00 for cast iron per linear foot.

These metal and cast iron deck railing costs typically include the cost of the rails, installation and labor costs plus permits/inspections if needed. If you’re replacing railings, consider removing the old rails yourself to save a few bucks per linear foot to have the contractor remove and dispose of them.

Average Do It Yourself Cost

$35 – $85 / Linear Foot

Average Contractor Installed Cost

$45 – $100 / Linear Foot

Typical Cost Average

$64 / Linear Foot

Last Updated: Friday, March 4, 2022

Overview of Metal or Iron Deck Rails

Metal and cast or wrought iron railings have a wide price range starting with affordable steel railings that cost less than aluminum deck railings. Cost goes up significantly when you choose genuine wrought and cast iron deck railings especially if you accessorize them with decorative panels interspersed among standard balusters.

The decision comes down to whether you want sturdy utility with good looks or something well above the norm in terms of style and performance.

Fine cast iron railings look great on exotic wood decks like ipe or Brazilian cherry or quality composite decks from Azek, TimberTech and Trex. Lower-cost metal railings are a good choice to upgrade the look of a cedar or treated pine deck.

This metal and cast iron deck railing cost guide explores cost factors, retail costs for DIYers and costs from other reliable estimating sites. For example, Home Advisor puts the high end of wrought iron railing price at $130. The fact is, if you added enough decorative accessories, you could spend $200 per linear foot. We based our cost on what most homeowners pay.

Speaking of that, there’s an opportunity for you to share your metal or cast iron deck railing cost for the benefit of other readers. Consider bookmarking Business Finance News and returning to provide a brief overview of your deck railing project and cost to help others narrow their options and potential costs.

Product and Installation Supplies Cost Details

Metal Deck Rail Cost Factors

What explains the wide range in metal deck railing prices? It starts with material, and there are labor factors too.

  • Material – True wrought iron, iron that has been worked to give it a decorative flair, is much more expensive than simple cast iron and extruded steel deck rails, posts, balusters and gates.
  • Railing Quality – Cheap steel and iron deck railing is manufactured from thinner material and won’t hold up as well as sturdier gauges. Coatings might vary too. Thicker powder coatings are more durable than painted metal railings.
  • Accessories – Cast iron deck railing manufacturers produce a range of decorative panels from 8” to 32” wide that can be interspersed with picket balusters to customize the design. The more of these panels are used, the higher the cost.
  • Railing Height – Steel and wrought iron deck posts and rails start at about 40” and can be as tall as 56”, and price goes up slightly when you choose a taller version of any post or rail series. For example, one popular online deck supplies retailer charges $6 more for a 55” Fortress Fe26 iron post than for the 49” version.
  • Thickness – If you upgrade from a 2” square post to a 3” or 4” post – or a round post – there is usually a small increase in cost. The same retailer mentioned above sells the same post for $10 more in the 3” size compared to the 2” post.
  • Color/Finish – Some premium finishes cost $5-$10 more per post or up to $15 per linear foot of railing.
  • Stair Rail – Handrail systems often cost more than standard deck railing. However, the longer the handrail, the lower the cost per square foot. For example, Amazon has a highly rated wrought iron handrail kit in sizes that range from $290 for a single step version to $375 for a 4-step unit. That’s a range of about $95 to $290 per step.
  • Installation Challenges – The time it takes to install the railing is the second factor, after materials costs, that decking contractors consider when writing up metal and cast iron decking railing estimates. Deck railing is easy to install on a rectangular deck with no stairs. Add stairs, multiple tiers, more than two corners to work with, and labor cost goes up. In addition, if you have a wood or composite wood deck, the rails will install much easier than on a brick or concrete surface.
  • Time of Year – If you want your deck railing installed in spring or summer, expect higher installation estimates than you would get in the off-season.
  • Cost of Living – Your local cost of living affects everything from home prices to the cost of a gallon of milk. It will affect deck railing prices too.

Cost of Repair Supplies

Replacing old deck railing is an outdoor project that will beautify the deck and make it safer for those enjoying it.

Here are retail cast iron, wrought iron and metal deck railing prices for repairing an existing railing or installing new/replacement railing.

  • $45 – $75 per Post | Posts and Mounting Hardware. Most cost in the range of $60 – $70 per post. Cost is slightly higher for fascia-mounted posts compared to deck-mounted posts because they are longer.
  • $20 – $70 per Linear Foot | Metal and Iron Deck Railing Panels. Most cost in the range of $33 – $45 per Linear foot.
  • $30 – $70 per Linear Foot | Decorative Panels 8” to 32” wide that replace balusters in that space. Note that these panels might not lower your cost of rail panels. They will simply be an extra cost on top of the railing panel costs above if balusters are removed to install the decorative panels, which is typical.
  • $8 – $36 | Brackets needed for attaching panels and rail assemblies to posts and posts to the decking. Those with a stylish design cost more than simple brackets.

There are just a few widely sold brands of metal and iron deck railing brands. Fortress Fe26 is the best-selling brand.

Many regional manufacturers of wrought iron sell directly to installers and homeowners. Their prices are high-end, and they don’t advertise them. You’ll have to request an iron deck railing estimate by supplying your personal information – name, email and address. Expect companies like Newman Iron Works and Steel Supply to continue to contact you with marketing information once you’ve asked for a quote.

Sample Metal Deck Railing Project Costs

Metal deck railing is available in affordable steel options, midgrade steel and iron and genuine wrought iron. Those materials produce very different costs.

The second major cost factor is the shape and complexity of the deck.

So, let’s look at 3 railing materials and 3 decks to see what costs might look like for you given the deck you’re planning to build.

Let’s consider 3 decks, each 500 square feet:

Rectangular, Single-level Deck, 65 Linear feet of Railing:

  • Basic quality railing: $2,600
  • Better quality railing: $4,450
  • Best quality railing: $6,175
  • Installed Cost Range: $40 – $95 per linear foot

Non-rectangular, Single-level Deck, 80 linear feet of Railing:

  • Basic quality railing: $4,000
  • Better quality railing: $6,250
  • Best quality railing: $8,400
  • Installed Cost Range: $50 – $105 per linear foot

Two-level Deck with Stairs between levels, 115 linear feet of Railing:

  • Basic quality railing: $7,475
  • Better quality railing: $10,300
  • Best quality railing: $13,225
  • Installed Cost Range: $65 – $115 per linear foot

Cost of Disposal for Damaged Decking

Deck installers charge up to $7.50 per square foot to remove and dispose of old decking.

Another option is to disassemble the old deck and dispose of it little by little in your weekly garbage pickup or to rent a dumpster for disposal. We’ve prepared a dumpster rental cost estimate that provides pricing details.

Permits, Inspection, Related Costs and Installation Time

Permits and Inspection Cost

  • $30 – $150 | A permit including an inspection is required to ensure the deck is built to the building code. Deck size determines exact cost of the deck permit.

Related Costs and Installation Time

Here’s what you can save with DIY deck railing installation:

  • $12 – $20 per linear foot | Labor Cost to install metal and cast iron deck railing.

Experienced installers complete 10 to 20 feet or more or metal deck railing based on the complexity of the work. Here’s how long pro installation takes. Doing it yourself might take longer.

  • 4-6 Hours | 80 Linear Feet of “Easy” rectangular deck rail installation
  • 6-8 Hours | 80 Linear Feet of “Moderate/Average” non-rectangular deck rail installation
  • 8-10 Hours | 80 Linear Feet of “difficult” deck rail installation

DIY or Hire a Pro?

The complexity of your deck will determine how difficult installation of the railing is. If you have good skills, DIY installation is certainly an option. One of the keys is ordering materials carefully so that no cutting and piecing is required.

This video is about aluminum deck railing installation, but the basics apply to installing other metal railing such as steel and cast iron or wrought iron. If you think you have the skill set for it, then try it yourself. You can always step back and hire a local pro if you decide that’s a better route to ensuring proper installation.

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