A River Forest railing to last the next 5 decades


We recently had a family reach out to us from River Forest to design a beautiful modern railing for their home. Their existing railing was fabricated over 5 decades before and it was time for a fresh start. The challenge was that there was a lot of curvature to the design of their existing stairs which adds complexity and some restrictions on design elements as not everything looks good when it’s bent at a certain angle.

We first asked this family to provide us some ideas they truly loved, some rough measurements of the area where they need a guard rail as well as any other specifications they may have. We in general can help design anything you may dream up of but we need initial pieces for inspiration to gauge the level of creativity and path your looking for us to take on this journey with you.

This particular client really loved a modern look and was at the same time tearing up her floors to install hard wood flooring but did not want to wait on the flooring just yet. We quickly got to work in putting together some ideas and ballpark pricing to begin the conversation of what the final product could potentially look like. Once we had an idea in mind we were able to finalize the pricing as well as begin the next phase of the project.

We scheduled a time to come out and measure the entire are that the guard needed to go in but prior to that we asked the couple to see if they can have their contractor remove the existing railing. When we come in to measure we need the final surface and to know exactly where the railing will sit. We spend a great deal of time measuring to make sure that when we do come to install – all the angles add up to a smooth and quick installation without any modifications.

This particular guard had a lot of complexity as there were many angles and turns we had to measure prior to the fabrication process. This is also something that not many clients consider when they build their staircases inside or out. When you add any radius to a finished staircase and then want a simple guard – the fact that you just added that curve will now add complexity to the final product as well as to the bottom line. Thus when planning or constructing any kind of stairs – please keep that in mind because once the stair is built – you don’t have much of a choice.

We began the fabrication process immediately that week and it took us over 2 weeks to do the complete fabrication process of all the pieces. We laid everything out in our shop like a big puzzle to check all the angles and review all the specs and we even sometimes may mockup a rudimentary staircase in the shop to test our angles even though we use lasers and complex formulations to be as precise as possible.

We then triple checked our work and added a base coat as well as a silver top coat to the finished product and let it adhere for a few days to make sure that during the installation the paint does not chip off.

The final product was photographed prior to installation to show off the final product and ensure the client loves it. We then schedule installation and the process of installing this type of guard was roughly 2-3 hours as we have to review and check every part of the finished product to ensure it lasts the next 50 years.

What do you think of the final design?

(Keep in mind the flooring was not set in yet)