Planning Cable Railings for Decks

Cable railing systems offer unobstructed views from your deck or balcony. Learn what you need to know when planning cable railings for decks.

Beautiful, long-lasting, and safe cable railing systems offer unobstructed views from your deck or balcony. They are easier to install and demand far less maintenance than wooden or other metal options. Learn what you need to know in this guide for planning cable railings for decks.

Suppose you have a nice deck surrounded by a beautiful panoramic view. However, you wish you could improve the sightlines to enjoy the scenery from every perspective, even while sitting. Well, with a top-quality cable railing system, you can enhance your outdoor enjoyment and appreciate the advantages your deck provides.

But first, here are some factors to consider when adding cable railings on your deck, patio, or balcony.

Planning Cable Railings for Decks

1. Professional Installation or Do It Yourself?

For those who prefer to do things themselves, top cable railing suppliers like Atlantis Rail Systems have a selection of top-quality railings with components and clear instructions. Furthermore, this makes assembly less complicated and easy to understand. The modular parts, connectors, and fasteners allow home or building owners to install their systems quickly and safely.

However, there are plenty of dealers and trained professionals who will perform your installation quickly and worry-free.

2. Height and Infill Requirements

Check local codes for height and spacing requirements for a new railing system. Typically, standard heights are 36” for residential properties and 42” for commercial properties.  Always refer to your local building code officials prior to installing any Atlantis Rail system to ensure all code and safety requirements are met.

As an additional safety limit, codes require that the infill cables do not allow a sphere larger than 4” in diameter to pass through.  Atlantis Rail recommends spacing horizontal cable infill at 3” on-center.

3. How to Space the Posts

Since cable railing systems consist of vertical posts through which the cabling runs, proper distancing is essential. Post spacing should be 4’ on-center.  “On-center” refers to the measurement from the center point of each post to the next.

These 4’ increments will determine how many posts you need to encompass the perimeter of your deck. Note, that cable stabilizers can also be utilized to increase this distance. A cable stabilizer is a thinner metal pole that allows for cable lengths of up to 7’ maximum between main posts. 

4. How Are the Posts Secured to the Deck?

Securely anchoring the posts to the deck is critical for safety. Therefore, the first step is to understand local code requirements for deck railing height, post spacing, and attachment hardware. 

Spacing begins with measuring the distance between endpoints of each side. You’ll then mark off equal increments to have consistent spacing. As above, these distances must be equal to or less than the 4’ spacing to meet IBC standards. Dividing the spaces so that each length is the same will undoubtedly enhance your deck’s aesthetic, thus creating a clean and professional appearance.

What Kind of Deck Railing is Best?

To minimize maintenance and provide a beautiful, modern, long-lasting appearance, stainless steel railings are a clear favorite. Wood railings are another option, however, they do require frequent maintenance. Periodic painting or staining is crucial for wood to look great over several years. 

Not only is stainless steel attractive and easy to manage, but the material is also 100% recyclable, thus making it an environmentally conscious building material. 

Atlantis Cable Systems: The Leader In Cable Railing Systems

To learn more about beautiful and practical cable railing systems for your deck, stairwells, and balconies – interior and exterior – visit the Atlantis Rail System’s website. This Plymouth, MA-based company offers many unique, easy-to-install configurations complete with all necessary hardware to ensure a safe, code-compliant railing system.

For more information on planning cable railings for decks, you may contact the railing experts of Atlantis Rail Systems at 1-800-541-6829 or by completing the Contact Us Form.