A major choice you have to make when you are having a metal railing installed either around or on your property is the type of metal that you want to use. You usually have two primary choices when it comes to a metal railing. You can either go with iron or steel. Take a look at the pros and cons of steel railing versus iron railing to help you decide.
Pro: Ornamental steel will not rust as easily as iron.
Even though ornamental iron is treated these days to keep it from rusting, it can still rust once the protective finish wears away. Ornamental steel, on the other hand, will not rust when exposed to the elements. This makes steel highly preferable for outdoor settings. For example, if you are choosing metal for an intricate gate piece on your property, steel may sometimes be the better option.
Con: Steel isn't as heavy as iron.
If you really want that heavy-duty railing, steel may not be the best choice. Iron does tend to be the heavier of the two metals. For most homeowners, this probably will not matter. However, if you are having a gate installed and it needs to be heavy enough to withstand high winds in your area, for example, it may be best if the gate is made out of cast iron instead of steel.
Pro: Steel will likely be a bit cheaper than iron.
One of the advantages of steel is that it tends to be the cheaper choice between the two types of metal. Steel does contain iron, but it also contains numerous other metal alloys and it is far easier to create than solid iron. Therefore, you may pay a bit more for railing made of iron than you would need to pay for steel railing.
Con: Ornamental steel railing may not be as intricate.
One of the nice things about iron is that it is more malleable when at a heated state than steel typically is. Iron is not as dense or hard as steel so it can be easier manipulated to create intricate shapes like curves and finials. If you want a metal railing that is more basic in design, than it may not matter that steel does not offer the intricacies that iron does. However, if you've had your eye set on something curvy and fancy, iron may be better suited for your project.
For more information or for help with your project, contact a company with ornamental steel and iron services like MISSCO.