Guide To Buying A Cable Railing Kit. Get Some Great Ideas For Your Project.

Guide To Buying A Cable Railing Kit. Get Some Great Ideas For Your Project.

Feb 10th 2019

When looking to beautify your interior or outside space, there are many options to choose from. But have you thought about cable railing? This guide will let you in on everything you need to know about cable railing.

Cable railing systems consist of a series of metal wires that run horizontally between rail posts. As such, the system allows for an open view while maintaining superior ventilation thus creating an industrial aesthetic that complements a contemporary style house.

Benefits of Cable Railing Systems

  • Preserving Your View. Cable rails are excellent for terraces since their design allows you an obstructed view.
  • High durability and low maintenance. Cable railing is a minimalistic solution that requires little maintenance since all you have to do is wipe. Additionally, quality railings are able to withstand harsh weather and wear in addition to being corrosion resistant. They can also stand up to hundreds of pounds of force without breaking.
  • Added Value. Cable railing will add significant value to your home when it comes to selling.
  • Added Safety. Railings enhance the safety of risk-prone areas such as high decks and stairs. However, you should ensure that they are of good quality.
  • Cable railing is obviously an excellent addition to your house. But where would you use it? Consider the following cable deck rail ideas.



    Cable Deck Rail Ideas

    Vertical Cable Railing

    This type of railing is a modern deck railing design in the market today. Vertical railings are made from steel cables that are tightly pulled between the top and bottom rails. The rails themselves are typically made from powder-coated iron and are usually colored black so s to complement the modern look of the home.

    The best thing about vertical railings is that they enhance the openness of your deck thus making it feel and look bigger. The downside to vertical railings, however, is that they are not compatible with houses that do not have a modern design plan.

    Horizontal Cable Railing

    Most business and homeowners have a preference for this cable railing configuration. Here, the rails run alongside the deck.

    But why do customers have a preference for this type of railing configuration?

    Horizontal vs. Vertical Cable Railing

  • Cost
  • Horizontal cable railing is inherently cheaper than vertical railing. This is because it requires fewer materials to build and install. Additionally, it also requires fewer connections, thus reducing the amount of hardware needed.
  • Ease of Installation
  • Since you need fewer materials for the installation, the process is, therefore, a lot less laborious as compared to vertical railing. This also contributes to the significantly reduced costs associated with horizontal railing.
  • Versatility
  • You have a wider array of materials that you could use in this configuration as compared to vertical railing. This allows you a higher degree of flexibility in design.
  • Enhanced Feeling of Security without Compromising View
  • Horizontal railings allow you the same feeling of openness and security that is characteristic of cable railings without compromising your view. There is still enough spacing between the wires to give you a nice view of surroundings outside of the railings. Here are some nice quality horizontal cable railing kits you can find for decks, stairs, fences & much more.

    Metal Railing

    These are versatile railings that come in various colors and designs. Metal railings are usually powder-coated to ensure that their luster lasts years without having to dedicate yourself to maintenance. Metal railings, however, are of two primary types: Aluminum and Steel. So, which one should you go for?

    Aluminum vs. Steel Cable Railings

    While both metals are excellent choices, it is important to know their relative strengths and weaknesses to help you make the right choice. Let us consider the following factors:

  • Durability
  • Stainless steel cable railings are known for their durability and toughness in the harshest weather conditions, which makes them quite popular in places with heavy snow or blistering heat. However, stainless steel is susceptible to rust which will not only affect the way it looks, but also its structural integrity. Aluminum, although not as tough compared to stainless steel, comes with superior powder coating which makes it very resistant to rust.

    316 Stainless steel construction cable

  • Maintenance
  • Remember the powder coating we just mentioned above? That makes aluminum railings to be almost maintenance-free. You’ll just need to hose them down from time to time. Other than that, they do not need extra care to maintain their beauty or strength. Steel, however, requires regular care to ensure it does not rust. You may also have to repaint it every other year.
  • Cost
  • Aluminum is easier on the pocket than steel.
  • Installation
  • Steel is more difficult to install as it is quite heavy. Aluminum cable rail is lightweight thus making it easier to transport, cut, and install.

    As mentioned earlier, cable railing usually runs between posts. While the cable rails themselves are typically made out of metal, their posts can either be wooden or metallic. So, which post type is good for you?

    Let us compare.

    Cable Railing Posts: Wood vs. Metal

    Wood posts have a warm and inviting appearance but might have a limited lifespan. Nonetheless, the type of wood used is what determines the longevity of your railings. As compared to metal posts, wood can be cheaper. But in the long run, metal posts will prove cost-effective as they will not require replacement. Wood will add to the uniqueness of your décor, but metal will offer you more versatility.

    While steel posts do look elegant, using metal in both railings and posts can become monotonous and, therefore, using wood is an excellent way of breaking that monotony.

    Also, wood usually stays cool during hot weather, unlike metal that gets hot when it comes into contact with direct sunlight.

    So how much does cable rail cost?

    Cable Deck Railing Cost & Installation

    According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost of materials and installation for a basic cable railing system is about $3,000 for 50 linear feet of railing for a 350 square foot deck. However, it is difficult to generalize because these costs will vary by location.

    Nonetheless, that is just an average since what you pay is determined by the type of material and the measurements. If you are working on a tight budget, consider using wood framing since it is much less expensive than its steel counterparts.

    How to Choose the Right Cable Railing Hardware

    Understandably, being new to cable rails means that you probably do not have any idea concerning the type and size of cable to use for your railing system. Even though there are numerous options, only a few can withstand the test of time.

    For residential projects, the 1/8” cable is the most typically used because it meets building safety codes while being economical. Nonetheless, it is not very visible as it is very small. If you are looking for something more visible to enhance aesthetics, the 3/16” cable will suit you perfectly.

    When it comes to the grade of the cable wire, there are also several options to choose from.

    The lowest grade is galvanized and is usually not recommended as it corrodes quickly. For someone with a sizeable budget, the T304 stainless is a middle grade of stainless steel that is a good step up from galvanized. But if you are looking for the type of cable that not only looks good but also stays looking good over time with minimal maintenance, then you should consider going for the T316 like these, which is a top grade stainless steel cable.

    You will also need to consider the strand of cable used in the cable railing. Here is what you need to know about these strands:

    Types Of Cabling & Wire Rope Strands

    There are various strands of cable wire rope, and each explains how the cable is braided together.

    Universally, the most recommended type of cable strand to be used in cable railing is the 1x19. The implication here is that 19 strands of one group have been braided together to form the cable. And because all the strands are of the same type, this type of cable is usually very stiff, which is good as it ensures that the tension does not loosen over time.

    Another strand of cable that is usually used in cable railing is the 7x7. This type of strand is medium stiff or medium flexible which makes it ideal for a railing that has to go around corners while maintaining a good degree of stiffness.

    The one type of cable strand that you should avoid, even though it is very popular, is the 7x19. As you can guess, it implies that 19 strands of seven different groups were braided together to form the cable. This cable is very flexible, which is not the desired characteristic for a cable railing. It is better applied in winches or pulleys where flexibility is important.

    Cable Rail Code Compliance

    Imagine going through all the hassle of purchasing and installing a new cable railing system only for you to be told that you did not meet the cable rail code requirements and that you have to bring the entire thing down.

    The reason for the need for compliance lies in the design of the cables themselves. Their narrow width means that they pose some safety issues. The following are some considerations to keep in mind:

  • Graspability
  • If you have placed the railing on a stairway, it needs to have a graspable handrail. The narrow nature of cable railings makes them not ideal for grasping especially if someone is falling. As such, you may need to offer something to grab onto, which can be done using a top rail.
  • The 4” Sphere Rule
  • This is a test used to determine the tension of your cable. Your railing’s cables must be so tense that a 4-inch ball cannot pass through.

    Cable Rail Code Compliance

    The major determinants to whether you will pass the test will the materials you choose for your railing, in addition to how you create tension. To pass this test, do the following:

  • Choose a System with Top Rails
  • As mentioned earlier, safety can be an issue if you place a cable railing on your stairway. As such, choosing one with a safety handrail is a good way of not only passing the inspection but also ensuring the safety of people using the stairway as well.
  • Choose Marine Grade Stainless Steel
  • The T316 cable we talked about earlier is an example of marine grade stainless steel. This top quality cable will ensure that you pass the inspection for years to come since it does not corrode.

    Cable rail systems are an excellent addition to your house. However, to ensure that you get the best system, you need to put some research into it, and that is what this Feeney cable rail review is all about.

    Feeney is one of the best-known cable railing companies, and all their products are easy to install and made using the top grade T316 wire. This makes their cable railing systems excellent for coastal areas and harsh climates.

    For over 70 years, Feeney has been providing the highest quality products in the cable rail industry. They have a variety of innovative products designed to enhance people’s living, working, and playing spaces. Feeney’s cable rails are beautiful in addition to being unobtrusive. Their wide selection of cable rails and accompanying hardware means that you will find the right design to fit your interior or exterior railing needs.

    Their frame systems extensively use aluminum rails and posts made in their factory in the USA to ensure lasting beauty, structural integrity, minimal maintenance, all while keeping the products affordable.

    All this is what has made Feeney the premier brand in cable railing systems. Feeney offers a 10-year limited warranty for its products if bought from an authorized dealer. Order a fine quality cable railing kit from us today!


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