NatureRails takes simple railings to the next level by featuring unique artistic designs cut from metal by use of water jet technology. Virtually any style, color or application imaginable is available.
“We started [NatureRails] when we built our own log home about seven years ago. We wanted something that met code and included wildlife,” says Wendy Gerdin, operations manager. NatureRails, located in Black Forest, Colo., is a family-owned business, with Wendy’s husband Rob as the owner and artist for all the designs.
Builders and architects can browse through a set of designer panels that come in standard 6-ft. and 8-ft. lengths, or they can present original customer concepts. “We can create designs based on what a customer wants to see. We recently had a customer who wanted [us to depict] a certain mountain range outside his home, and we included that in a fireplace screen for him,” Wendy Gerdin says. “Rob can electronically hand-draw [the design] into the computer, then a computer image is generated and that is then cut by a water jet machine.”
The designs can be used in residential balconies and staircases, as fireplace screens, window screens, gates and murals. “The window applications are unique. It can bolt into the window sill, or set up on a window with plastic tabs. At night from the exterior it looks beautiful,” Gerdin says. NatureRails recently created a 12-in.-tall design which the homeowner placed on the top of his kitchen cabinetry with backlighting. The design won Best Kitchen Design Award from the Kentucky Parade of Homes.
For builders and architects interested in NatureRails’ products, turnaround time is relatively short. A design can be created in as little time as a month or two, from start to finish, Gerdin says. For larger projects, she advises to contact them six months in advance.
The only consideration is to find out exactly what the client is looking for in the end product, such as the type of ground that is depicted in the piece or what type of animals are to be included. All rails meet the 4-in. requirement of most residential railing codes.
“It’s all in the art. We offer artwork that also happens to be a rail. We outsource the water jet services and finished powder coat, so we have experts in all areas,” Gerdin says.