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Are Metal Rails The Best Investment In A Deck?

If you’re looking into getting a deck and you’re at the phase where you’re considering railings, metal rails are by far the best option you can make.

These are strong, durable, aesthetic, and easy-to-match features on both ground-level and elevated decks.

In this guide, we’ll talk about metal rails and how they’re the best investment you can make when building a deck.

Let’s begin!

An outdoor space with rocks, decking, and a metal railing with a set of stairs

What Are Metal Rails

Metal rails usually come in kits that your contractor will have to assemble. They work like ready-to-assemble cabinets from Ikea, where you buy the product already made and you install it yourself.

The kit usually contains the railing, the balustrade, the posts, and all the hardware needed to install the metal railing.

Metal rails are usually made of aluminum, as they’re durable, inexpensive, and very strong. However, you can get metal rails made of steel or wrought iron railing as well, but these are more expensive materials.

The Cost Of Metal Rails

The main concern of homeowners looking to get metal rails is their price. We’re guessing so is yours, so let’s talk about how much does it cost to buy and install metal railings.

We’ll take the Westbury Metal Railings, as these are the best metal rails on the market, but also some of the most expensive. The 6 feet long railing is the most commonly used and is around $200. Add to that the labor cost of your contractor, and you get the total cost of installing your railing.

In general, it costs around $60 per linear foot of installed railing.

If you’re looking to make your deck 100% safe and you want it to last for a lifetime, besides metal rails, a metal frame will be ideal. Check out Why Metal Frames For Decks Are The Future and why they’re just as good of an investment as metal rails!

Metal railings with glass panels and a wooden fence in the background

Pros Of Metal Rails

Let’s see the pros of metal rails and why getting them will make your life a lot easier.

Cons Of Metal Rails

Just like anything in life, metal rails have their drawbacks. The main one: their price.

Metal rails are some of the most expensive features you can get for your deck, along with a metal frame for a deck.

However, this investment will undoubtedly pay off. Your deck should be all about safety and keeping everyone on it safe and sound. While wood railings rot, weaken, and start being wobbly, a metal rail is sure to provide a safe environment for you and your loved ones.

A second drawback would be corrosion. Untreated aluminum can develop rust, and a rusty metal railing is difficult to clean and fix. You’ll have to use a wire brush on the rough surface of the metal to clean it. You can use the same tool to remove loose paint and flaking paint.

If you want to paint metal railings, use a liquid paint on the bare metal, drop cloths, and make sure you apply two coats, or a mighty thick coat of paint.

However, the best paint for aluminum railings is not even actual paint. Look into a mill coat and a pre-galvanization coat first, as these are much better treatments for a metal railing.

An elevated deck with metal railing, a set of stairs, and a plastic table with chairs and a blue umbrella

What Are The Best Metal Rails On The Market?

Like we mentioned earlier, the Westbury Aluminum Railing is the best metal railing brand out there. These are more expensive railings that provide an increased sense of security on your deck, all while making your outdoors feel more upscale and elegant.

Westbury is a leader in aluminum railings, which is why we love working with them.

Another alternative is Fortress Building Products. They specialize in metal frames for decks, but they also offer quality metal railings. Just like Westbury, these come in kits that you’ll just have to install.

Composite And Wood Railings Vs. Metal Rails?

Because they’re wooden materials out in the elements. Wood, in particular, will always be the first victim of water damage and pests. Rot is its number one enemy, and as soon as it starts developing on the outside or inside of the wood, your railing is compromised.

Besides this, you’ll have to maintain the wood, and you’ll have to deal with peeling paint, removing paint, sanding them, and staining them regularly.

With composite, things are a little different. These are more resistant to the elements, but they’re not nearly as durable and strong as aluminum railings.

Beside, composite railing has a very similar price to that of aluminum railings, so why not spend a couple extra bucks for something much better?

Metal rails on a ground-level composite deck


Metal rails are undoubtedly one of the best investments you can make when building a deck. It’s true that you’ll have to budget a little extra, but when it’s your safety on the line, money should never step in your way.

At Werner Decks, we believe your safety and well-being are priceless. We recommend the safest and most secure options for your deck, not because we want you to pay more, but because we know for a fact that these are the best upgrade you can possibly get.

We’re professional carpenters in Annapolis, Severna Park, Arnold, Crofton, Edgewater, and neighboring counties, and we offer some of the best deck building offers in your area!

Contact us today at (443) 926-6996  if you want to get your deck building started or if you want more info about your railing options. Or request a free quote right now and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible!