Our Guide to Metal Handrails and Guardrails


Download our full Handrail and Guardrail Guide by clicking HERE 


Fox Fabrication and Welding has been fabricating and installing custom metal handrails and guardrails for nearly a decade now. We get lots of questions about handrails vs guardrails, and the various types. In this article we will answer some of those questions. If you still have more, drop us an email and we will get back to you right away.

Guardrails | Wall-Mounted Handrails | Stair Railings

There are three main classes of residential steel railings that we fabricate and install. Guardrails are the rails that prevent people or things from falling off, such as those on balconies and porches. Wall-mounted handrails can be over stairs or not, and are exactly what they sound like. Stair railings are similar to guardrails but are angled to be used for safety railing on stair sets.

Metal Guardrails

Our premium metal guardrails are build for safety and beauty. Guardrails come in two standard heights, 36″ and 42.” These are often powder-coated black but can come in many other colors as well. There are many ways to customize metal guardrails, see below to learn more.

Wall-Mounted Handrails

Metal wall-mounted handrails are less expensive than guardrails and stair railings, as they require less materials. However they need to have an acceptable mounting location to be an option.

Stair Railings

Metal stair railings add safety and design elements to stairs. They are very similar in design to guardrails, but are an angle for safety when using stairs. They are typically 36″ or 42″ high or can come in custom heights. Interior and exterior steel handrails are common.

Guardrail and Handrail Customization Options

There are four main elements of metal handrails and guardrails that offer customization. These elements combined allow us to build the ideal custom metal railings for your project. Wall-mounted handrails have less elements so less options for customization.


Handrail baseplates are used to anchor the rails to the floor or wall. These can be circular, square, or other shapes and styles. Another option is core drilling, where the uprights are attached directly into the floor.

Top Rails

This is the main element of guardrails and handrails. It’s where people grab onto the railing. These can be square, circular, rectangular or custom shaped. Top rails can also be customized in a variety of shapes and styles.


The railings get their structural stability from the uprights. They also add style and can be customized based on design preferences. Typically they are square or circular and 36″ or 42″ tall.


The pickets are the infills that go from upright to upright. They can be square or circular or can have intricate customizations. Pickets can run either vertically or horizontally. From perforated to expanded to custom designer metals, the pickets are one of the most versatile and customizable elements of handrails and guardrails.


We hope this gave you an idea of the kinds of custom metal handrails and guardrails that are possible. We offer free estimates if you are interested in getting a new one for your home or office. Just drop us a line and we can’t wait to work together on your custom handrail or guardrail project!


Don’t forget to download our full Handrail and Guardrail Guide by clicking HERE 

Project Photos

black railing
metal railings
staircases built with steel in denver
interior metal railing on staircase

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