People looking to sell their homes are often told to address maintenance and repair issues when said issues could detract from the selling price. In such cases, the question becomes one of how much the homeowner should spend on improvements prior to sale. Why? Because not all improvements add enough value to cover their costs.
This raises the question of whether or not wrought iron balusters add value. Unfortunately, there is no black and white answer to that question. No one really knows for sure because balusters, handrails, and newel posts are rarely categorized as elements important to home buyers.
Whether you call them balusters or spindles, what we are talking about here are the small posts that hold up the handrail of your staircase. They exist to support the handrail as well as preventing you from falling off the staircase. They can be made of wood, iron, steel, or any number of other materials.
More Popular in Recent Years
Wrought iron is a material that builders have used for centuries. Ancient Chinese builders loved it, though it did not make it to Europe until the middle of the 15th century. To say that wrought iron spindles can add a bit of historic charm is to state the obvious.
Having said all that, wrought iron did not become widely available as a choice for average homeowners until about 35 years ago. Since the mid-1980s though, it has steadily become one of the more popular choices for beautiful and intricate balustrades.
This takes us back to the question of adding value to a home. As popular has wrought iron might be, is it enough to cause people to pay premium price for a new home? That depends on where the home was located and its general price range. The design of a home’s staircase also comes into play.
Wrought Iron in Luxury Homes
The word ‘wrought’ simply means ‘worked’. Wrought iron is iron that is worked, or shaped, rather than being left straight and plain. A skilled craftsman can turn iron pieces into works of art that are as intricate as anything you might see at in a gallery. That is why wrought iron is such a popular choice for luxury homes.
A luxury home with a grand staircase screams for wrought iron balustrades. The more intricate, the better. Yes, you could get away with wood instead. But wrought iron spindles look more the part. They look older and more expensive.
On the other hand, it is possible to build a metal balustrade featuring iron balusters and handrails that look ultramodern. Some designs call for placing balusters farther apart and then filling the spaces between with either iron cross bars or cable. Another option is to fill the space by covering the entire balustrade with plexiglass.
Ask Your Real Estate Agent
The Iron Spindle in Woodstock, Georgia says that the variation in materials and design choices makes it nearly impossible to make any blanket statements about wrought iron adding value to a home. Their recommendation is to consult a real estate agent.
An experienced agent knows what sells in a given area. He or she knows which homes look more attractive to buyers with iron; he/she knows where budgets fall in relation to local housing prices. A real estate agent is the most qualified person to talk about home values in any given market.
If you are thinking of installing iron balusters in order to add value to your home, ask around first. If you want to install them just because you like them, that is an entirely different matter.