Exploring the stair railing, treads, balusters, and more

Wood, Stone, Iron and Metal Exterior Stair Railings

Exterior stair railings come in the form of metal, stone, iron, and wood handrails, giving you plenty of choices.

Finding the perfect exterior stair railings can be an ideal way to change the entire landscape of the outside of your home.  The right railing can really change the atmosphere for the better, and make your home take on a completely new stylish and elegant look.  But the wrong type can completely clash with the surrounding area, and ruin the overall visual appeal of your home, which can even bring down it’s overall value.  For this reason, choosing the right exterior stair railings can be an important decision, and is one that you’ll want to consider carefully.

Size Options

One of the first things that you’ll need to think about, is the size that your exterior stair railings will need to be.  This is important, as it allows you to consider how much material you’ll need, as well as what the cost of your railing will be.  If you have an existing railing, the task will be simple, as you’ll just need to measure the length of the existing structure.  Otherwise you’ll have to estimate the length of the railing based upon the angle of your stairs, to get a rough idea of exactly how long the final product will be.  But knowing the size of your exterior stair railings before they are ordered is essential, so that you can make a proper budget, and plan the job out more effectively.

Materials to Use

From there, you’ll also want to settle on a material.  The most common ones you’ll find in outdoor structures are stone, iron, and wood. 

- Wood is by far the most decorative, and will adapt itself to your home in fantastic ways like you wouldn’t believe, but it also requires the most maintenance.

- Stone is extremely expensive, and doesn’t require anywhere near as much maintenance as wood, but just isn’t a realistic solution for most homes.

- Iron is the most common type that you’ll find with any exterior stair railings, and has set the standard for both quality and low cost.  However, iron just isn’t as unique or stylish as wood or stone railings can become.


Something else that you’ll want to consider, is the type of balusters you purchase as well.  These are the long rods that go between the railing and the stairs themselves.  The type you choose is important, as they are necessary for both structural, as well as aesthetic purposes.  The right baluster can dress up any bland staircase in an extremely unique and stylish way.  But the right baluster can also increase the strength of your railing, which is very important so that it can be relied upon for safety reasons.  There are a variety of different types to choose from, and you’ll want to consider your decision carefully.


You’ll find everything you need to both buy and install your exterior stair railings at practically any hardware store.  Whether you’re looking to create a wooden or iron addition, stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s will have you covered.  Although for more elaborate exterior stair railings you’ll want to go through an independent contractor, so that you can have the work professionally designed, as well as installed.

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