Fall is a great time to spend time on the deck. Whether you’re overlooking a beach, lakefront, rolling hills with vibrant fall colors, or other scenic vista, getting out on the deck in the cooler autumn temperatures can be downright therapeutic.
But regardless of what you’re overlooking, the vista is the focal point, which is one reason that cable railing systems are gaining in popularity. One manufacturer reported that their cable railing system sales were up 300% over the prior year. Here are some of the reasons that consumers are increasingly turning towards cable railing over other railing systems.
Naturally, any option considered must meet applicable safety criteria (OSHA, ADA and ICC Building Code). Railing systems, after all, are a barrier to keep people and pets from falling off the deck.
Aesthetics. It’s all about the view. While some may suggest wooden railing to match a wooden deck, the sheer view-blocking bulk of the cross bars could compromise the outdoor living experience. There are other options that work well with all kinds of deck architecture, offering an aesthetically pleasing, modern look which is ideal for many high-end deck projects.
Cable railing, which offers a virtually unobstructed views without the daily maintenance of glass railing systems, is becoming increasingly popular. Stainless steel cables combine with aluminum posts and rail assemblies to form a strong, durable, maintenance-free system that will last for a lifetime. But not all cable systems are the same—those with bulky turnbuckle systems for tightening the cables or with mid-rail vertical support pickets added are falling out of favor with consumers who’d prefer to the see the view that those items obstruct.
A major component of cable railing systems is (drumroll please…) the cable. Smart consumers demand those that will not stretch or sag over time, especially on the lower rungs, which make inviting footrests. While many cables are maintenance-free, it’s important to confirm that before installation. No homeowner wants to buy a chore or ongoing maintenance of their railing.
One step at a time. When extending cable railing down steps, it is important to communicate the exact slope for step railing prior to fabrication. That way, pre-drilled holes can be elongated to accommodate the angle and ensure that the cable runs in a straight line down the side of the steps.
Ease of installation is important to both consumers and contractors, but for different reasons. Railing systems that are pre-assembled to exact project specifications make on-site installation fast and easy. That is especially important on new construction projects which always seem to be under tight completion timeframes. Finish elements like railing, flooring, and trim, which offer quick installation, are much preferred to comparable elements which require on-site construction.
Consumers appreciate pre-assembled railing systems not only for the ease of installation, but for the ease on the wallet, as they are not charged for time-consuming cutting, fitting, joining and other details by the contractor on-site. They also appreciate the speedy installation of pre-assembled projects—especially as they approach closing and move-in day.
Surface finish is another item to confirm beforehand. Maintenance-free aluminum railing systems come painted, anodized, or with duranodic finishes in a variety of colors to provide years of maintenance-free service. It’s always best to confirm your finish before specifying.
And finally, back to the view. Whether you choose cable railing with a square post or a round pipe framework, ask for a system that locates the fasteners inside of the posts to enhance the aesthetics of your project, and keep the focus on the vista beyond.
With features that appeal to both homeowners and contractors alike, it’s easy to see why cable railing systems are becoming increasingly popular for residential and commercial deck projects of all sizes and types. With their clean, contemporary, modern look and unique styling, the weather won’t be the only cool thing on decks as autumn approaches.