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Question DetailsAsked on 5/19/2013

How much should it cost to replace porch railings?

I am replacing railings on a rental property. I don't need wroth iron.

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4 Answers


First of all, with rare exceptions the landlord would be responsible for safety related items such as railings, unless you are changing them only for looks. Also, on rental properties this sort of modification had better be approved and detailing who is paying for it and how reimbursed (if at all), in advance and IN WRITING, by the landlord.

You said nothing about what type of railing, if plain construction lumber or treated or architectural moldings, if lattice or slats, plain rectangular wood section or shaped, treated or stained or painted, level or inclined stairs also, etc. As you can see, a lot of variables.

The building code has changed a lot since the original was built, too - both with regard to strength and to child safety, so that increased cost about 100% over old- railings.

Ballpark numbers, ASSUMING the deck fascia board is in good shape to fasten the posts to, is about $10-25/LF for standard wood railing (4x4 posts, 2x2 slats, higher price is for treated wood), $20-40/LF for plastic or architectural sections or metal railing with wood handrail. All-metal and glass or acrylic can run from about $50-500/LF, depending on how artisitic and art-deco you get (the more it looks like Hollywood, the pricier). Depends an AWFUL lot on your local timber and labor prices - in the deep south southern pine country wood and labor are cheap, so cost can be half that of the northeast or west coast.

Answered 7 years ago by LCD


I am the homeowner. I am interested in replacing the railing that are already there with new ones. This is for a front porch.

The are currently railings there but they are beginning to deteroiate, so I am going to replace them. I am looking for metal(?) as I dont want to invest the cost of wroth iron into a rental property. Thanks for any feedback you may have.

Answered 7 years ago by Guest_93165861


Metal will cost you WAY more than wood. Your cost will depend a lot on whether you are tied down to fixed spacing (leaving current posts, like porch roof support posts railings will have to fit between with uneven spacings), or if all posts are going away so you can use standard ized length pre-manufactured sections.

Look at Home Depot or Lowes website under Porch Railing for examples.

As I stated before, a cheap stick-built railing can run $10-25/LF. Metal railing is likely to run about $50-100/LF for materials alone, plus maybe $5-10/LF labor to install depending on current deck conditions (and hence ease of bolting down).

You need to be careful any prefab railing you buy meets you local code - a lot of the ones out there do not meet even basic building code requirements for strength, slat spacing, etc.

Answered 7 years ago by LCD


As a landlord, I would evict a tenant for replacing the railings without my knowledge. The sheer amount of irresponsibility the tenant would show by replacing my railing without my knowledge or approval is something I do not need to deal with, not to mention the liability they would be placing on themselves. Railings are my responsibility and I replace them with utmost haste when I hear one needs repair.

The average cost of repair I have had when I DIY is around $100-$500. Depending on the linear length and material type (wood/vinyl/pvc/metal) and whether you use staples/nails/screws - you are supposed to use screws and whether you hire someone out (and especially if they hire more people), you could be looking at between $1k-$3k.

**Building code in my area is the railing is no more than 2 inches off the ground with each railing no more than 4 inches apart. The total railing has to be at least 3 feet tall. The railings must be verticle, not horizontal. If you are going to DIY, check you local building code and when in doubt, go up and above your building code.

Answered 4 years ago by NCLandlord

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