While it might seem like no cost is spared in the construction of large high-end homes, budgets are a real consideration for projects of any scale. When custom-fabricated staircase or balcony railings turn out to be costly, many designers and builders start to weigh their options.
Enter Regency Railings, Inc., established in 1996 by Nancy Dubick, founder and president of Dallas Design Group Interiors. Regency is a manufacturing firm that offers a wide assortment of railing components that are hand-forged but available at a fraction of the price when compared to traditional custom ironwork. That model has made the company a huge hit and has expanded its distribution throughout North America and Europe.
What’s more, explains manager Tom Weaver, Regency’s components are pre-curved and angled so that they can be installed as a set without any additional bending or finishing and still comply with the IRC building code.
“Nancy had a lot of clients who wanted custom-made railings, but the price could be as high as $800 to $1,000 per linear foot,” Weaver says. “Our manufacturing system allows us to produce a patented and copyrighted system that works in almost every staircase scenario and can reduce costs to $50 to $200 per linear foot. Even homes over $5 million have budgets, and this is an effective measure of cost control.”
Don’t get the idea that Regency Railings’ materials are, as a result, like something you’d find at a home improvement store. Rather, these are genuine, hand-forged wrought iron or aluminum with beautifully rendered components, and when installed properly, they are always IRC compliant.
“Everything we have is handmade except for a few special die-casting elements,” Weaver says. “We’ve adopted methods to ensure each component is manufactured to our strict specifications.”
The company offers 15 different design series that can be used in many configurations in renovations projects as well as new construction. Regency’s cost advantage allows its products to fit within most price ranges. The metalwork has also been used to make doors, wine cabinets and racks, gates and balconies— its rigid, old-world charm offers an adaptable, powerful flair both indoors and outside.
“Our craftsmen leave just a little bit of imperfection in their work, to give it that hand-tooled but beautiful look,” he says. “These railings reflect that they were built by someone sweating over an anvil, with the metal heated up by charcoal. That really does give it more detail.”
And to the delight of builders who’ve had to re-fabricate or modify already costly railing components to adapt to a project, Regency’s proprietary design process offers a easy to assemble setup that can cut down on labor costs.
Regency’s product configurations will fit any radius, from 30 inches to 20 feet, and variants that will comfortably cope with inclines from 21 degrees to 49 degrees.
“Customers just need to simply select one of the many designs and let us know if it will be a right or a left turn and what degree of incline they desire,” Weaver says.
Aluminum railings are great for exterior applications and are a special order product. They come at a higher cost, he adds, but are also available with a quick turnaround time. If time is an issue, most of Regency Railings’ products are immediately in stock (though not custom work), either from the company’s Design District office or through one of many national distribution partners.
Andy Stonehouse is a writer and editor based in Boulder, Colorado,specializing in automotive, recreation and shelter stories. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.