Marketing Your Business One Image at a Time

As a professional deck builder — a team of one or many — marketing your business may be low on the list or something you farm out for someone else to do. Word of mouth and repeat business may keep your project pipeline steady, and that’s great. Or your marketing may be high on the list if you lack a robust project schedule. In that case, there are some easy ways to get you going.

With so many marketing options to consider — updated website, social media posts, Google my business, Google reviews, advertising, blogs, etc. — there’s one essential marketing tactic your customers and prospective customers love to see: project photos.

Build Your Image Portfolio

Building an image portfolio is often overlooked and is easily accomplished with your smartphone, whether you snap a completed project, work in progress, before and after, no matter how big or small the projects. Your customers and potential customers are searching for inspiration, so give it to them.

Building a deck may be an essential part of your project. But also consider the finishing touches like your railings. Are they just there for safety? Or are they an architectural focal point? Is there a view? Was there a before and after transformation? Highlight the obvious and build a visual story.

Maintaining a View

This recent deck and railing project in Northern California showcase panoramic and unobstructed views.

The owners converted a 1970s ranch-style home on a slope perched high in the hills in Carmel, and the view was the highlight of the home. In addition to many windows, the extensive deck off the back overlooks the valley, and by adding cable railing in silver by RailFX, their view is not interrupted. They liked it so much, they added it to the interior staircase.

Before and After

A wraparound deck and railing with panoramic views of the property needed replacing. The customer chose to replace it using composite decking in a vintage hue and cable railings.

The old wood railings needed replacement on the second-story deck, including adding a stairway for accessibility. The customer specified RailFX Aluminum Cable Railing System bronze posts, top rail, mounts, and a 1/8-inch cable railing with a custom bronze gate. The client now enjoys the views of their 28-acres overlooking the valley where they raise their sheep, dogs and practice their green thumbs.

Focal Point

With sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean along the Oregon coast, the owner and his grandson contractor focused on adding more viewing areas throughout the home for both interior and exterior.

RailFX cable railing was neutral in terms of blending in well with the color of the area, cloud coverage gray, and of course, offering an unobstructed view. With an older home, not everything is level, which posed challenges, but it was worth overcoming with a prized focal point. This impressive view won the RailFX 2020 Photo Contest.

Photos are your signature of a job well done and one of the best marketing tactics that are low in cost and easy to execute. While you can use your smartphone to take pictures, consider hiring a local photographer specializing in real estate, home building, and architectural photography to take the pressure off.

To view more eye-catching projects and images, visit our blog or inspiration page.

Tips for Installing Cable Infill with Composite Railings

While decks are a key part of any outdoor space, railings are an equally important component in creating a deck that looks great while also offering the durability and functionality that today’s homeowners expect. Although many consumers still opt for wood railings, composite deck railings are gaining traction. They may be more expensive than wood at the outset, but their benefits – resistance to the elements and a significant reduction in long-term maintenance costs – make this railing type increasingly attractive. In addition, composite rails are available in a variety of styles and colors, providing design versatility.
Homeowners seeking to optimize their view are typically drawn to more minimalistic railing types – for example, stainless steel cable rail infill, which offers a very clean, streamlined look. While cable infill is frequently used with wood posts, it has been – until recently – challenging to install cable infill in a frame with composite sleeved or wrapped posts.
Recognizing the growing demand for composite deck components, Feeney has developed a solution for railing projects pairing its CableRail infill with composite components. Feeney’s patented Quick-Connect® Lag and Pivot fittings have been specially designed for attachment to wood posts with a composite sleeve or wrap. These easy-to-use fittings attach to the inside faces of the posts, simplifying installation for both level and stair railings.

Trex Transcend® composite wrapped railing with Feeney CableRail infill (photo: Robert Germany Photography)

  1. Before starting your project, be sure to check with the composite manufacturer and your contractor to confirm that the frame materials and railing design can support the tension loads of Feeney’s CableRail infill.
  2. Feeney’s Quick-Connect® Lag Fittings (recommended solution) come with a hanger bolt. The lag threads screw into the core post, and the machine threads attach to the fitting. Make sure there is a solid wood core inside the composite sleeve or wrap for the lag threads to engage. Good thread engagement within the wood core will provide the necessary pullout strength to enable the cables to be properly tensioned.
  3. Feeney’s Lag fittings come with hanger bolts in two different lengths. When installing CableRail in wrapped or sleeved wood posts, choose the longer hanger bolt (with 2-1/2” of lag thread) to allow enough length to adequately penetrate and clear the composite material. Many composite wraps have built-in ribs that will touch the wood post on the inside, which helps to eliminate gaps and strengthen the post.
  4. Installing Feeney Intermediate Pickets mid-span will provide additional support for the cables between the sleeved posts. If you are using a Feeney pre-drilled Intermediate Picket, use it as a template to mark all drill holes along the center line of the inside faces of the termination posts. If you are using an undrilled picket, measure and mark holes that are no more than three inches apart, and make sure the top and bottom cables are three inches or less from the top rail and bottom rail or deck.
  5. To prevent the cable from snagging on post holes, it is recommended to use Feeney’s Cable Lacing Needle for threading cables through intermediate posts and pickets.
  6. When tensioning the cables, start at the center cable, alternating top to bottom until all cables are tightened. Be sure to follow the suggested tensioning sequence to minimize stress on the railing frame and easily adjust uniform tension across all of the cables. Feeney’s CableRail Tensioning Tool and Tension Gauge can be used for faster, more efficient tensioning.


For more tips and a step-by-step guide to installing Feeney’s CableRail infill with composite sleeved or wrapped posts, see our video tutorials.
View drone footage of a recent large residential entertaining deck that features Feeney CableRail and Trex composite railing. Nestled in the hills of Anaheim, California, the expansive deck more than doubled the homeowner’s outdoor living and entertaining space.

Trex Transcend® composite wrapped railing with Feeney CableRail infill – Anaheim, California (photo: Robert Germany Photography)

 
Trex Transcend® composite wrapped corner post with Feeney CableRail infill and Quick-Connect® fittings – Anaheim, California (photo: Robert Germany Photography)

 
To learn more about Feeney’s CableRail solutions, visit feeneyinc.com/CableRail.