Hold on there. Wood is out. Aluminum, stainless steel and glass are in when it comes to railings.
So says Dan Vanucie, owner-operator of Waterfront Railing Inc., a company that specializes in the finishing touches for staircases, decks, exterior and interior jobs and all those jobs in between that require railings.Waterfront Railing Co.
What makes Waterfront’s railings unique, Vanucie said, is the system he uses. He combines aluminum alloy posts and railings, uses either tempered glass panels, aluminum pickets, or steel cables and puts it all together to create durable and weather-resistant railings.
The overall effect is a modern and long-lasting look, whether its for an outdoor balcony or an indoor showcase stairway.
Vanucie said he primarily does outdoor railings but has also done interior railings for big, big custom homes. He did a railing for one home in which he strung cable three stories high. He did another home for an Everett divorce attorney who needed railings for his catwalks.
For the most part, these railings will outlive the homeowner, Vanucie said.
“That’s the big draw,” he said. “I use materials that withstand the weather, the conditions we have out here. People want something they can use and kind of forget about it. Like deck surfaces. You are not going to be painting your deck. And you put this railing on and it’s pretty much a carefree deck.”
Vanucie is a one-man show: He helps the customer with the orders, he installs, he fabricates and he even designs.
He said he knew how to weld out of high school and worked for different industries over the years, including building cranes and window systems for boats.
“I have a creative niche,” he said.
He found his railing niche by accident.
For 14 years, Vanucie worked for Crystalite Inc., a skylight manufacturer in Everett. A friend asked him to do a railing on a house and Vanucie did. When another job came up, Vanucie decided to get bonded, licensed and insured. He installed railings on the weekends and after his full-time shift ended. His wife eventually said either make the career jump or stop.
Vanucie, who is now 46, jumped.
“I’m very specialized,” said Vanucie, adding that most contractors know how to do all the other building stuff.
“But when it comes to putting in a railing, the materials are foreign to them and that works well for both of us,” Vanucie said. “I don’t run into too many people who do what I do.”
Arts writer Theresa Goffredo: 425-339-3424 or goffredo@ heraldnet.com.