A juliet balcony (also called a faux balcony) is just a guardrail that keeps you from falling out of an exterior door when it is open. When used on the exterior of a home, it serves two purposes. It aids in security protection to deter intruders, but it can also add curb appeal. There are numerous design options that are both functional and beautiful. A faux balcony rail is not meant to stand on and does not have a floor, they are strictly a guardrail. They only project out 4-6” off the building and are typically mounted to the surface of the brick or stone. If the application is new construction, we then like to coordinate with the contractor to ensure they provide access to the floor joists or the structural framing surrounding the door before the exterior finishes on the home are complete.
Modern Drive Gate and Railing Design
This is a custom drive gate and fence for an existing Clayton home. The shape of the windows on the home inspired a major design element for us to focus on for the fence. We were given strict orders to not exceed a 3”opening anywhere on the design. The homeowner wanted to provide a safe enclosure for their small dogs, while at the same time add to the curb appeal of the home. We then collaborated with the home owner’s architect for this one of kind gate design that coordinates with the fence. The gate is made with 4” x 2” rectangular steel tubing and frosted tempered glass panel inserts. CMC coordinated with the builder’s glass company before fabrication to ensure the glass installation went as planned. This was a challenging project to plan and execute as we have not fabricated a drive gate with glass inserts before. The openings have a fixed stop in front and a removable trim around the glass in back. This will make easy replacement in the future if needed. Both the fence and gate were hot dip galvanized after fabrication and painted with a direct to galvanizing paint. Our customers continually challenge us to accomplish the most interesting projects. It’s never boring to be a custom fabricator.
Custom Portico Entrance Gates
This customer’s home had two portico entrances. For security, they wanted a set of double gates in each area that complimented each other in design. The existing windows on the home had an arched pattern that was the inspiration for the iron transom at the top of the front entrance gates. Being from the St. Louis area, of course we had to add fleur-de-lis’s to the design. The fleur-de-lis’ are our own design. It’s a custom five-piece iron pattern we have laser cut locally that we weld together to create a 3-dimensional fleur-de-lis. The installed gates look spectacular.
Farm Entrance Gates
We were asked to fabricate this wrought iron property gate with a design to complement the existing wood fence (shown on the right). The entire gate is made of steel to simulate the look of wood. The frame was made from 6” x 2” rectangle tubing, the X-pattern was made from 5-1/2” x ¼” flat bar and we used 1” tubing for the pickets. After fabrication, the gate was hot dipped galvanized and painted with a direct to galvanizing paint. The gate will be maintenance-free for years.
Custom Iron Table Bases
The first photo shows a table base made in stainless steel with a polished mirror finish. This client originally asked for chrome plated steel but the cost of chrome plating made it unreasonable so we suggested a polished stainless finish as a compromise. I think the overall shiny effect is what they were after so this offered a good solution. The design was created from a sketch provided by their interior designer. The second photo is of a table base for their conservatory. It’s painted dark brown, and the design was inspired by her bamboo furniture. We mimicked the shape of the curved bamboo, shown here in the table legs.
Creative Exterior Lighting Solutions
Here are two creative ways to incorporate lighting into your new fence line or deck railing panels. This custom fence has a light pole built-in. It was made for a home in Lafayette Square neighborhood. The other photo shows steel support posts built into this cable rail. The tall posts have brackets that allow multiple strands of white lights to criss-cross the patio for outdoor evening entertaining. If you can dream it up, we can build it.
Spiral Stair For West County Home
This recent project took a lot of coordination and planning. This is a 6’ diameter spiral that has a 5-1/2” center column and smooth steel plate treads with a laser cut pattern in them. The entire layout was critical for several reasons. We needed proper clearance at the bottom of the spiral for access from the archway, we had to hit an existing pier and we had to design and install the landing to fit within a cut stone border so the walking surface carries onto the landing from the patio at the same elevation. Several trips to the site ensured exact measurements, so the spiral could be drawn in CAD. The entire spiral was fabricated in our shop. The entire structure was galvanized after fabricating to reduce maintenance. At install, the spiral structure was welded to existing steel on the upper patio and mounted down to a concrete pier. This backyard location did not allow for easy handling. No heavy equipment was used, it took 6 men to carry it and set it in position while welding was completed. The spiral is not only functional for the space, it is definitely a design focal point.
Just The Basics Please
One of these simple rails would be nice for your home or your parent’s home, don’t you think? Cold weather is just around the corner. Remember how much snow we got last winter? We had dozens of calls from people urgent to get a basic hand-rail installed before the bad weather arrived. If you are still procrastinating, wait no longer. Please call us today. We often have a 3-4 month backlog, but the near the holidays, we are especially busy. FYI, rails ordered in October may not be completed until January.
Sometimes you just want something different from everyone else. These art deco inspired designs are interesting and will stand the test of time, even as fads in interior decorating change. Whether it be a Chippendale pattern, a Frank Lloyd Wright inspired design or the simple curved V pattern. We can match a pattern you have seen somewhere online, or we can mimic a pattern found in your front door stained glass. The options are endless.
Less Is More
This past year we have been getting many requests for custom rail designs that do not demand the spotlight, but subtly make their presence known. These no nonsense designs are for people whose personal taste is in line with the “less is more” expression. These rails are fabricated from simple solid square or round bar, with the finished result having a classic appeal with clean lines and elegant curves.
These rails are fabricated from hammered bar which means the steel was textured either by hand or machine. Some hammered bar we buy from our suppliers pre-textured in lengths of 20’ or more. It is textured with a machine and the pattern is very uniform in size and consistency. Many styles of textured balusters are available to purchase from our suppliers. For a more “old world” forged look to the railings, with random texturing, we can hot forge here in our shop creating the texturing with a mallet. It can be heavily textured or it can be subtle. The last photo on the right shows custom hand-forged mounting brackets used to attach the forged balusters to the wood at top and bottom. A combination of hand forged elements and purchased materials can be used as well. Let us help you design something special for your home.
There are various practical reasons to add an interior gate to your home. Here are a few gates that both keep the pets out of a particular room and add style to the space. These can be used as wine cellar doors as well.
Brass Is Back
Brass is making a comeback. People are adding brass to their handrails both inside and outside. It can be added to the top as molded cap-rail or used on the finial as you see in one of these photos. There are a few variations we can do to the brass finish. It can be highly polished and clear coated so it stays shiny. Or we can polish to a “brush finish” that has more of a matte finish with a wax applied after polishing. Over time the brass will slightly darken giving it a natural aged patina finish. The third option is to give the brass a darkened bronze finish, accomplished with a chemical patina that darkens the metal to a warm metallic brown with soft variations in color.
Here are a few popular X-pattern designs that are trending recently. This design makes a bold statement with the strong lines of the X in the center. Some municipalities do not allow this open design if the rail is more than 30” off the ground. Per code, the space would need to be filled with other design elements leaving no space larger than 4”. An example of this is shown in the second photo with stainless steel cables running throughout the rail, all space approximately 4” apart. The third photo shows another creative way to fill the spaces with C-scrolls and skinnier X’s.
Spiral stair cases are typically used when space is limited and can be used for either indoor or outdoor spaces. Some folks may choose a spiral just because they love the way they look. You have to agree, they are fun. Our talented fabricators construct the spirals in our shop using a variety of steel materials. Wood treads can be added by another contractor after installation if you prefer wood. All of it comes together in one continuous welded structure. The finished spiral may get sent out for galvanizing before we apply the final paint finish, if it’s an exterior staircase. At installation, we use a crane to position them as close to their final destination as possible, but then we need several men to move it into position.
Choosing A Design
We have a very large gallery of iron step rail and gate designs, so it can get confusing to pick your favorite with so many choices. You can never go wrong with this design for a handrail or gate especially for a St. Louis home. St. Louis’s French Catholic history make the fleur de lis a popular motif, originating in France, its shape is a stylized lily representing the holy trinity. It came to later represent perfection, purity and light.” You don’t have to know the history of the Fleur de lis to appreciate its use as an ornament on iron fences, iron gates and more.
Custom Steel Hood
This customer hired a professional faux painter to give their wood oven hood an iron-like paint finish. In this project we only fabricated and installed the steel straps by hot hammering the steel to texturize it. We clear coated the steel and added decorative steel rivets to the straps to give it an old world look. We can also build the entire oven hood from steel. A steel hood can be finished with a transparent patina in a color of your choice, typically it’s a rubbed bronze color, antiqued copper, darkened grey steel or just a clear coat over the original steel color. All patinas will show the natural steel surface, the texture of the steel as it comes from the mill and all welds will be visible, because patinas are transparent. Or hire a faux painter to create their own surface effect per your instructions.
This client found a fire-screen they loved but the size was not correct so they shared a photo of it with us. We were able to recreate a similar design. These photos show the beautiful fire-screen we forged that is sized perfectly for their fireplace opening. After fabrication, the customer hired a painter to embellish the iron with a bronze paint, gold leaf and an antique effect to the screen backing. Mark of Mark Tillman Walls did a great job painting this custom finish. Note: Fire-screens are normally painted with a black high-heat paint. This customer has a gas fire and the screen will not set close to the heat therefore they feel the faux paint will hold up to the indirect heat.
Custom Railing with Logo Design
This railing incorporates a custom logo for a family farm. The customer drew their own artwork for the logo which we translated into a CAD file so it could be digitally transferred for laser cutting at a local company. A few years ago we did an entrance sign for the farm with this logo. They liked it so much, we have made a railing for their farmhouse with the same artwork. It incorporated both wrought iron and stainless steel detailing. It’s exciting to work on projects in which the customer has a clear vision and has participated in creating the design. The final result means so much more to them and their family.
Custom Fire Place Doors
This customer had a custom stone fireplace opening that was difficult to find a pre-made set of doors for, in the size they needed. Classic Metal Craft can fabricate custom fireplace doors for you just like we did here. Or maybe you just need a free standing fire-screen for an arched opening to match the size and shape of your fireplace.
St. Martins Cemetery Sign
Tall Grass Railing
This railing design is made to resemble tall grass and is an interesting way to bring design elements into your home to make it reflect your unique style.
A railing like this is never made exactly the same way twice as the fabricator has much artistic license when creating the bends and off-shoots as he thinks it should look. The customer has to be open to variations from one rail to the next as all are custom made by hand here in St. Louis.