Thinking of installing railings? – things to consider

Thinking of installing railings? – things to consider

If you’re an architect currently developing plans for a site and you’re thinking of incorporating metal railings into that project, here are some things to take into consideration:

Is the site straight and level? Very few sites are…

Conducting a site survey would not only confirm overall lengths of railings required, but by taking spot levels along the fence run, this would confirm the level of slope along the fence line. Assuming there is a fall over the site, thought then needs to be given as to whether to use straight and level panels using stepped posts, or whether raked panels would be better suited where the horizontal rails follow the slope of the ground. This negates potential large gaps under the bottom rail which would not only be unsightly but would allow potential access into the site by intruders.

Further to this, a site survey would also determine if the fence run is on a curve and would require radiused panels. These bespoke panels would follow the exact curvature and achieves a more aesthetically pleasing result than the alternative option of faceting straight panels.

galvanized and powder coated mild steel decorative railings which are complaint to BS 1722 Part 9.


Consideration must also be given to potential obstructions along the fence line. This can include service boxes, water/gas/electric, as well as trees or tree roots. A full survey in advance would identify where these are located, and arrangements could be made to ensure special length panels are manufactured in order that the post positions do not clash with these potential obstructions.

CAT (Cable Avoidance Tools) scanning

Prior to any installation commencing, it is vital that a fully qualified fence erector checks the fence line with a CAT (Cable Avoidance Tools) scanner. As services drawings that are supposed to show cables are sometimes incorrect, this tool will detect power signals and allow erectors to dig safely without striking any power lines underground.

Roger surveying site

With over 30 years’ experience with the manufacture and installation of metal railings, Alpha Rail can offer expert advice and assistance in this field. Previous examples can be viewed on our website, and our Sales Team can be reached at 01623 750 214, or

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