Add artistic elements, security or style to your home, business or commercial building by installing wrought iron railings. Have a metalworking pro install new railings or remodel existing railings on your deck, porch, balcony, indoor staircase, outdoor staircase or fence. "Wrought iron is an iron alloy," says Brian Anderson of Broward County Fence & Pergola in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. “Alloy is a term meaning mix of metals. Wrought iron has a very low carbon content—under 0.08 percent. Contrast this to cast iron, which has 2.1 to 4 percent.”
Wrought iron is desirable because it is ductile, strong, malleable, resistant to corrosion and easy to weld. The roots of the name "wrought iron" translate to “worked iron,” says Anderson of Broward County Fence & Pergola. In contrast to wrought iron’s malleable qualities, cast iron is known to be brittle, is not conducive to working when either hot or cold, and can break under impact. Although wrought iron is strong, malleable and sturdy, it is much more expensive than other types of metals, and is therefore not used as commonly as other metals, says Anderson of Broward County Fence & Pergola. The average cost of a wrought iron railing depends on the size of the railing, the location and the amount of detail you want.
Price per linear foot
Working with wrought iron is labor-intensive, and the metal itself is costly. As a result, the cost per linear foot for wrought iron railings is higher than for other metals, such as aluminum. Common uses for wrought iron include fences, decorative window security, interior design touches and more. Because wrought iron is malleable, you have customization options that are not available when working with other metals, such as specialty gates and unique railings.
Wrought iron as a descriptive term has gained widespread use throughout the fencing and gate industry, says Broward County Fence & Pergola, but many so-called "wrought iron" fences and gates are actually made of mild steel. Wrought iron is also heavy and may require more labor for installation. Here is an example of price per linear foot of wrought iron work:
- The cost to install wrought iron gates or fencing can range from $100 to $900 per linear foot, depending on the design, level of customization and installation, says Anderson of Broward County Fence & Pergola.
Aluminum alternatives to wrought iron
Aluminum railings are an affordable alternative for home and business owners who like the look of wrought iron but want a lower-cost solution. Aluminum comes in a variety of finishes and grades and can be treated to mimic the look of wrought iron railings. Installed black aluminum fencing might cost $20 per linear foot, according to Freedom Fence Builders of Raleigh, North Carolina, much less than than the $100-$900 per linear foot of wrought iron. Here are two examples of the cost of aluminum fencing:
Wrought iron maintenance
Wrought iron railings are a beautiful investment for your home or business. Ensure the longevity of your investment by taking proper care of your interior and exterior railings. For exterior wrought iron railings, ensure they are properly painted to keep them rust-free and to withstand weather over time. Wrought iron is sturdy and resistant to corrosion, but it also needs your help to stay strong. When you notice peeling or cracking paint, either DIY or hire a fence professional to wire-brush off the old paint, create a smooth surface and reapply a weatherproof paint.
For interior wrought iron railings, regular dusting with a microfiber cloth can keep them looking great. For accumulated dirt and grime, use a gentle vinegar solution or a mild soap mixed into water; avoid chemicals and bleach that may be damaging. An ounce of prevention will keep your wrought iron looking good for a lifetime.