How Much Do Aluminum Deck Rails Cost?
$48.00 – $95.00 Per Linear Foot
Average Cost of Aluminum Deck Railings
The average cost to have aluminum deck railing installed by a contractor is $76.00 per linear foot. If you buy the parts and DIY, cost averages $54.00 per linear foot.
The aluminum deck railing price will generally include cost of the rails, installation and all labor, as well as permits or inspections where required. If you have existing railings on your deck, consider removing yourself to save money, or expect an added expense for the labor to remove, as well as disposal costs.
Overview of Aluminum Deck Rails
Aluminum railings are the most common choice for aluminum decks, of course. But they give wood and composite decks an upgraded appearance too. That’s why composite decking manufacturers like TimberTech and Trex offer them as an alternative to their composite railing.
Cost is a little higher for aluminum, but strength and durability are improved. Plus, the balusters are narrower, which offers a less-obstructed view.
This aluminum deck railing cost guide starts with cost factors that determine where in the price range your railing will fall. Retail prices are given for those considering buying and installing their own aluminum railings.
We compare costs among other reliable estimating sites too, and homeowner-submitted prices are listed below. Consider bookmarking Costimates and returning to share your deck railing cost for the benefit of other readers.
Product and Installation Supplies Cost Details
Aluminum Deck Rail Cost Factors
How much does aluminum deck railing cost? These factors determine where in the cost range of $36 for starting DIY cost to $95 per linear foot for the upper end of most pro installations.
- Quality of the Railing – Cheaper aluminum railing is a thinner gauge metal. It might be painted or vinyl-covered. Better types of aluminum alloy are used in more expensive railing. The metal is often of a thicker gauge and is usually powder-coated.
- Aluminum & Cable Panels – These are a high-end option.
- Railing Height – Most building codes require 36” deck railing. You’ll also find 42” railing at a slightly higher cost when all else is equal.
- Post Dimensions – There’s a lot more aluminum in a 4” square post than one 2” square, so it costs more. For example, one retailer has Westbury Riviera C30 2”x2” post for half the cost of the same series 4”x4” post.
- Decorative Caps & Solar Light Caps – Most series offer several cap upgrade options that raise price – see the retail costs below for details.
- Baluster Type – The balusters are the vertical posts or pickets on deck railing. Spacing, thickness and style all affect cost.
- Railing Width and Type – Narrow hand railing costs less than “drink railing,” railing Wide enough to safely set a glass on.
- Panels or Custom Design – Most deck railing is built using standard panels. You choose the post you want, and decorative accessories and then the full panel. However, some railing series offer several choices for top rail and bottom rail. Some are quite a bit more expensive. Secondly, when more pieces have to be assembled onsite, installation costs rise.
- Panel Length – For some brands, cost per linear foot goes down slightly the longer the panel is. Looking at Westbury again, its Riviera II 8’ railing is about $8 per linear foot less than the 5’ panel.
- Stair Railing or Level Rail – Some brands price stair rails slightly higher per linear foot than level railing.
- Premium or Special Order Colors – These raise cost slightly, and they can also delay your project by several weeks waiting for them to be produced and shipped.
- Deck Complexity – A rectangular, single-level deck makes for easy installation, so lower labor cost. A two-level, non-rectangular deck with stairs is a complex installation, so labor cost might be double.
Cost of Repair Supplies
Whether you are installing a new deck or repairing a damaged deck, the retail cost of aluminum deck railing components will help you plan your project price.
Home Advisor pegs aluminum railing retail costs at $40-$70 per linear foot. High-end aluminum railing panels cost more than $85 per linear foot at The Deck Store, so our retail cost range is broader at $36-$90 per linear foot.
- $28 – $80 per post | Post Kits including post, cap and connecting and mounting hardware. An average deck rail post cost is about $35 – $60.
- $10 – $25 | Decorative Post Caps and Base Trim
- $35 – $80 | Solar Light Caps, Sconces and other light types.
- $22 – $85 per Linear Foot | Aluminum Deck Railing Panels – with an average of about $40 – $50 per linear foot.
- $160 – $400+ | Aluminum Deck Rail Gates. Cost varies by all the factors listed above – length, quality, etc.
- $90 – $120 per Linear Foot | Aluminum Panel Frames with Cable.
- $10 – $60 each | Brackets needed for attaching panels to posts. Each panel requires 4 brackets. The more decorative and stronger, the higher the cost. Powder-coated brackets also cost more than bare aluminum brackets.
- $12 – $30 | Touch-up paint, spray or in pens.
Some of the top brands are:
- Designer’s Image (Menards): $-$$
- Peak Aluminum Railing (Home Depot): $$-$$$
- Fortress: $-$$$
- Williams: $$-$$$
- Tu-Step: $$-$$$
- Century Aluminum: $$-$$$
- AFCO Aluminum: $$-$$$
- Regal: $$-$$$$
- Deckorators: $$-$$$$
- Westbury: $$$-$$$$
- Azek: $$$-$$$$
- Trex Signature: $$$-$$$$$
Cost of Disposal for Damaged Decking
You have two options here. The first is to let the decking company come out and remove the damaged material before replacing it with new aluminum decking and rails. The second is to rent a dumpster (small-medium deck) or roll-off container (large deck plus the other items/materials you’ve been meaning to get rid of) and do it yourself.
Paying the deck contractor to do it will cost $5.00 – $7.50 per square foot for removing/disposing of the damaged decking.
Dumpster rental starts at about $200, but $250 – $400 is more typical for small containers. This Dumpster Rental Costimate gives more detail.
Sample Aluminum Deck Railing Project Costs
Aluminum railing is available in basic, better and best ranges with prices to match. But what happens to total project costs when you add in the complexity of the deck, the major factor in installation labor cost?
Let’s consider 3 decks, each 500 square feet:
Rectangular, Single-level Deck, 65 Linear feet of Railing:
- Basic quality railing: $3,120
- Better quality railing: $3,700
- Best quality railing: $4,550
- Installed Cost Range: $48 – $70 per linear foot
Non-rectangular, Single-level Deck, 80 linear feet of Railing:
- Basic quality railing: $4,800
- Better quality railing: $5,950
- Best quality railing: $6,720
- Installed Cost Range: $60 – $84 per linear foot
Two-level Deck with Stairs between levels, 115 linear feet of Railing:
- Basic quality railing: $8,625
- Better quality railing: $9,480
- Best quality railing: $10,925
- Installed Cost Range: $75 – $95 per linear foot
Permits, Inspection, Related Costs and Installation Time
Permits and Inspection Cost
- $30 – $150 | Permits are required to ensure the deck is built to the building code. Deck size determines exact cost of the deck permit.
Related Costs and Installation Time
Do you want to know what you can save with DIY deck railing installation?
- $12 – $20 per linear foot | Labor Cost to install aluminum deck railing.
An installer with experience can complete 10 to 20+ linear feet per hour based on complexity of the job. Here are typical time frames for the types of jobs listed in the Sample Projects above.
- 4-8 Hours | 80 Linear Feet of “Easy” rectangular deck rail installation
- 6-10 Hours | 80 Linear Feet of “Moderate/Average” non-rectangular deck rail installation
- 8-15 Hours | 80 Linear Feet of “difficult” deck rail installation
DIY or Hire a Pro?
Installing aluminum porch or deck railing is straightforward for rectangular decks – a moderately easy project. Assemble the posts and panels, or rails and balusters, dry fit everything and mark your fastener wholes.
Then install the posts and attach the panels or rail/baluster assemblies. This video produced by Home Depot overviews a fairly easy installation with a cut or two and installing a stair rail. It will give you a better idea of the tasks involved.
Difficulty rises with the complexity of the deck and if you have to cut rails/panels to fit. Cutting aluminum requires a saw with a diamond-edge blade and safety equipment for hands, eyes and ears (it’s loud, as we know from experience). The more cutting required, the more it makes sense to hire a pro. First, the work is harder. Secondly, when lengths are mis-cut, rails tend to come apart easily, and that presents an obvious danger.