By Gene and Katie Hamilton

An ornamental iron railing on the entry porch of many older homes has provided sure footing for years. Some old railings can be revived with nothing more than a coat of paint. But when the railing or posts have weathered beyond repair or deteriorated and become a hazard, they should be replaced.

Fence companies sell and install custom ornamental iron fencing, and lumberyards and home centers sell precut railing sections and components. To find an online source type "iron railing" in a search engine. At you'll find a nice selection of railings and ideas for installation. When you're planning the project, it's a good idea to check the local building codes regarding railing height and spindle spacing requirements so yours will comply.

A fence contractor will charge $1,034 to remove and replace two 5-foot sections of angled ornamental iron stair railing on a small porch landing. You can order the railing, posts and installation hardware for $750 and do it yourself, saving 27 percent for your effort. The cost is considerably higher if the iron railing is a more ornate style or cut to a custom size. To do the installation, you will need basic carpentry tools such as a screwdriver, level, adjustable angle, tape measure, electric drill, masonry bit, screwdriver, pliers, hammer, wrench, pliers and hacksaw. The posts are installed first, then the railing sections are bolted to them.

Wrapping up, given the average cost to install an iron railing you can compare the price of a contractor’s bid with doing it yourself. For a local cost input your ZIP Code.

Cost updated 2016

Would you do this project?

Poll Results

  • DIY43%
  • PRO57%