Our house has a lot of steps – to get in the front door, it’s two steps up. Same for the kitchen. Going through the garage, it’s three steps down. These aren’t very large steps, but at different points in time it’s been mentioned (when my Grandparents were here) that a railing would be good, especially on the kitchen steps. My grandmother and grandfather bickered about the need for a railing for awhile (she wanted he, he didn’t think it necessary) until one day my Grandfather hired a handyman to stick a wooden railing on the kitchen door.
It wasn’t much to look at, but it did the job:
Given all the work I was doing on the landscaping this summer, though, I wasn’t going to let a wooden railing stand that wasn’t mid-century compatible. It didn’t go with the house at all and it wasn’t exactly super expensive to add a railing that matches the black steel interior railings (and exterior lighting) around the house. One day driving this summer I saw a road sign for a local place, called Hessler Steps and Rails. A quick call and quote later I had railings on order for both the kitchen door and front door. It took about four weeks for Rudy Hessler to get it fabricated and installed (busy time of year), but they do a lot to complete the exterior of the house and tie everything together. I’m thinking next year on the kitchen steps I will resurface the treads so they have a finish similar to the recently parged foundation wall. Originally the bottom step had a concrete landing as well that was asphalted over – that will also be restored eventually too.
One other thing to note: these are welded steel railings. This is not the cheap stuff you can go pick up and bolt together from Home Depot or Lowe’s. I see a lot of those around and they really don’t hold up well at all. It costs a little more (these railings ran about $450 installed), but they will last a lifetime and are very sturdy. They also match our interior railings: