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doldroyd 10-20-2008 11:00 AM

Installing new balluster, newels, and railing
3 Attachment(s)
I am having hardwood installed on stairs and have to replace the current railing, balusters, and newel posts. I would like to do wrought iron balusters with wood box newels and railings. The bid for this was waaayyyy out of my budget. I went to Lowes and Home Depot and am starting to think I might be able to do this myself. I would consider myself fairly handy and have successfully tackled other DIY projects.

I have posted pictures of the way it is currently. I will need 85 balusters, 6 Newell posts, and railings.

Any and all thoughts appreciated.


handyguys 10-20-2008 12:01 PM

I'm pretty handy but I'm not sure I would want to tackle this w/o a lot of research, planning, etc. Its expensive for a reason.

Any reason you cant re-use your old setup beyond aesthetics?

If going new - Make sure your parts supplier has detailed installation instructions.

Good luck - We have the before pictures - I want to see some during and after pictures.

doldroyd 10-20-2008 12:19 PM

I really don't like the posts and railings that I have now. Also, my floor guys made it sound like it was going to be pretty tough to salvage them.

I certainly am going to do a great deal of research before I make a decision on this one because mistakes could be costly and very visable.


glennjanie 10-20-2008 12:39 PM

Hello Deb:
If the current are solid, there is no reason the flooring guys can't work around them. It would be far less trouble to work around them than to change them and, if the flooring guys are craftsmen, they won't have a lot of trouble. The flooring guys might want more money but not near what it would cost to replace.

Square Eye 10-20-2008 06:51 PM

If You can install new balusters and rails, I don't understand why you'd think you can't take the old set down without damaging it. If You take it down and be careful with it, you could possibly sell the old set on Craigslist or E-bay, local classified or whatever. It would help pay for the new railing and it wouldn't be a complete loss. The floor guys may be planning to take them down and take them home, possibly to sell, possibly to use themselves!
Wrought iron from Lowe's is not a real high grade of railing. In my opinion, Lowe's wrought iron could never look as good as what you have now. Maybe you could take it down carefully and refinish it in a way that you'd like better, then re-install it yourself? Maybe paint the balusters?

spaz2965 10-23-2008 09:58 AM

Hi Deb,

Doing this your self isn't hard at all. Take measurements of balusters that are there now and document them for when you new steps get installed. Simply do this by measuring from wall or steps to center of baluster and go from that center to next center. Take old top rail turn upside down and lay on steps you will see that you can drill straight down, and copy your top rails. Remember to subtract 3/4" for the first stair measurement as they will be putting a oak riser on so that measurement will change. There should be no problem removing and saving your old rails with no problems. The hardest part they may have is the newel posts. You may save some money by removing the rails yourself once you cut he top rail loose a little wiggling they will come right out. Your new iron rails you will use a hot glue gun in the hole and that secures the iron baluster. Don't hesitate sending me a personal message if you have further questions about this project. Hope that you can understand what I was trying to explain to you. Good luck


Hack 11-20-2008 03:39 PM

2 Attachment(s)
I removed, stripped, refinished and reinstalled my 100 year old railing myself, and it was easy. Sounds like your flooring guys are just a bit lazy.

If you decide to use that railing again, keep track of all the parts. Number them, measure them, etc.

Here's before and after...

Attachment 980

Attachment 981

If you decide you want to do iron, you can do this yourself as well. There are a couple of places that sell stair parts:

King Architectural Metals wrought iron metal balusters finials casting steel ornamental forged gate fence stairs Access control

Outwater Plastics Industires

You can design what you want, purchase the parts, and assemble.

FreeStuffRockz 11-21-2008 12:12 PM

Wow great job! :D

handymanarchie 12-21-2012 12:08 AM

I'm in the market to replace wrought iron railings with wooden rails and baulsters. Does anyone have n excellent website I could visit to see different styles and also get some prices? The current iron set is beat up. We repainted them but the paint is starting to peel. We have exposed wood floors. Thanks for any assistance.

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