Linear Metal Panel System Highlight of Home Renovation

Can a new stairway system truly set the stage for an entire home remodeling project? Homeowner Joe Hanna believes the answer is yes.

“The horizontal metal panel system was a game-changer,” says Hanna, who resides in Auburn, Ala. “This stairway and the accompanying railing system allowed us to accomplish what we dreamed of. It’s the most impactful part of our entire interior renovations project.”

Opening Up the Floor Plan

Hanna’s home was built in 1996. He and his family moved in three years later. For the next two decades, they lived with the house as it was, making small improvements along the way. Then, in 2019 they decided to make some serious changes.

“We had several contractors working on various things, such as repainting, removing textured ‘popcorn’ ceilings and new lighting,” says Hanna. “These all involved our main living spaces. Our goal was to create a more open floor plan with an enhanced appeal.”

After consulting with an interior designer, the Hannas turned to Will Harrelson for additional assistance. Working through Russell Building Supply, Harrelson came back to Hanna with the recommendation to replace the drywall areas in the kitchen and sides of the stairwell with the Linear Metal Panel System from L.J. Smith® Stair System. This system seemed like the perfect solution for Harrelson to recommend since it was sturdy, customizable, and met the client’s desire to open up the main living spaces.

“We wanted to give the Hannas the open feeling they desired,” says Will Harrelson, owner of Harrelson Homes. “Installing the unique metal panel railing system, replacing some hardwood floors and installing new rear French doors all helped achieve that goal. We also provided them with a new main entry, new mantel and TV location, along with stained concrete on the back patio. Together it makes a stunning transformation.”

Innovative Idea a Winner

The Hannas fell in love with the horizontal metal railing with wood accents. According to Harrelson, this product truly fits the home renovation.

“Joe really loves the metal look even though the house has a lot of wood in it,” says Harrelson. “That’s when I steered him away from vertical balusters toward the clean look of the horizontal system.”

“Given that ours was a renovation of an already existing residence with a somewhat unique design, we needed an innovative solution,” says Hanna. “Will and the L.J. Smith team came up with exactly what we needed. And we’re really impressed with how the Harrelson Homes crew came in, dealt with a challenging situation and gave us stunning results.”

Easy Installation Metal Panels

Linear Metal Panels can be pre-built to fit and only require a few screw holes drilled for installation. A special easy-install feature of the system is that no glue is needed, no sanding, no code issues, no drilling of baluster holes, no marking and or cutting to fit. Plus, every rake and level panel is predrilled on the top rung and comes with screws for easy attachment to the handrail. Screws are also included for the bottom of each panel for flush mount or curb wall installations.

The pre-assembled nature of the panels speeds up installation. The system also includes fast-install spacer newels, panel posts, square nose-designed treads and handrails.

The Linear Metal Panel System comes with Low Sheen Black as a standard finish. Additional powder-coated and Pantone® paint colors can be ordered so that the rail system complements the home interior. Handrail options come in many different wood species to create a clean, refined look for the stair system.

Homeowner’s Perspective

With the renovation now complete, the Hannas are basking in their open spaces. And, the stairway system continues to be the main focus when visitors come to see the remodeled home.

“Guests — especially those who have been in the house previously — are amazed by the new ‘welded look’ of the stair and railing system,” says Hanna. “They believe it has transformed the entire main living space of our home. I tend to agree. The updated stairs and staircase are so impactful they draw immediate attention.

“This part of the renovation also allows for the other parts of the project to be more prominently displayed. That’s because the railing system opens up the sightlines of the main living space in the house, making the other renovations more visible from any area of the home.”

Contractor’s Perspective

For the team at Harrelson Homes, the project fulfills their company goal of bringing homeowners’ visions to life.

“A ‘home’ means a great deal more to us than just the materials put together to construct a house,” says Harrelson. “Home is where families are made and nurtured. It’s where life-changing moments happen, and it’s a safe place for all. That principle inspires us every day to provide an amazing customer experience.

“The Linear Metal Panel System is a quality product that makes a strong impression. I’ve worked with other L.J. Smith products in the past and they’re always a game-changer for a project. For the Hanna home, we’re thrilled that we were able to provide them with the enhancements they desired for their family to grow and thrive.”

L.J. Smith, a Novo Building Products Company, offers a wide variety of products including wooden and ornamental iron balusters. For more information, visit

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