Pros and Cons of Cable Railing for Decks

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pergola garden patio

This is a collaborative post.

When it comes to improving the safety and visual appeal of your deck, cable railing emerges as an aesthetically pleasing choice. Constructed with stainless steel cables threaded horizontally between posts, the cable railing offers a view while ensuring excellent security. However, before diving into the installation of this feature, it’s crucial to consider the advantages and disadvantages that accompany it.

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Pros of Cable Railing for Decks

1. Unobstructed Views

Do you take pride in the scenery that surrounds your deck? With cable railing for decks, you can relish views without any hindrance from wooden or metal spindles typically found in traditional deck railings. This sleek and transparent design adds an element of elegance to any space while allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the vistas.

2. Low Maintenance

One benefit of cable railing lies in its maintenance requirements when compared to other types of railings, such as wood or glass. Thanks to their durable material, Stainless steel cable railings are highly resistant to damage and do not easily corrode or rust when exposed to different weather conditions. Unlike wood, they do not decay over time, saving you time and money on repairs and replacements.

3. Improved Safety

While there may be concerns regarding the safety of cable railing due to its design compared to traditional railings, it’s important to note that these railings are constructed using heavy-duty materials specifically engineered to withstand tension. Additionally, building codes mandate that wire ropes utilized in cable railing systems meet strength and spacing standards. As long as these standards are met during installation, cable railing provides protection against accidental falls.

4. Design Flexibility

Cable rails offer design flexibility when incorporated into decks of different shapes and sizes. The sleek appearance of stainless steel cables adds a touch of modernity and depth to any deck, allowing homeowners to achieve their desired aesthetic. When paired with different types of posts like steel, aluminum, or wood, cable railing can complement virtually any architectural style, from contemporary to rustic.

Cons of Cable Railing for Decks

1. Higher Cost

Although cable railing offers durability and an appealing visual appeal, it often comes at a price compared to other deck railings. The materials used in cable railing systems, including the cables themselves, tensioning hardware, and posts, tend to be more expensive than spindles or metal pickets. Additionally, it is highly recommended to have professionals handle the installation due to the expertise required. This contributes further to the cost of the cable railing system.

2. Time Consuming Installation Process

Unlike railings that can be easily installed by DIY enthusiasts, cable railing systems require measurements and adjustments during installation. It is crucial to ensure that these tasks are done accurately to maintain both the strength and visual appeal of the system. Therefore, it is advisable to hire professionals who specialize in working with cable railing systems for installation.

3. Regular Maintenance Required

Although cable railing systems require maintenance compared to alternatives like wood or glass railings, regular upkeep is still necessary for lasting performance and durability. Routine cleaning involves removing dirt and debris that may accumulate between the cables as periodic inspections for tension adjustments. Neglecting routine maintenance can result in issues such as corrosion or loose wires over time.

4. Potential for Climbing Vegetation

Another aspect worth considering when choosing cable railing is its susceptibility to being used as a support for climbing vegetation, like vines or ivy. When considering adding plants to your deck, it’s important to think about how they will affect the look and feel. While intentionally growing vines on surfaces or trellises near fences can bring a touch of greenery and natural beauty, it’s essential to manage their growth on cable rails to maintain visibility.

Wrapping Up

Before deciding to install cable railing on your deck, take some time to weigh the advantages and disadvantages. On the other hand, cable railing offers clear views, requires maintenance, enhances safety, and provides design versatility. However, it’s crucial to keep in mind that there may be costs involved in an installation process, regular maintenance needs, and potential issues with vegetation. It might be helpful to consult professionals who can offer expert advice tailored to your requirements. By considering all these aspects of cable railing for decks, you’ll be able to make a decision that ensures the perfect balance between aesthetics and functionality for your outdoor living space.

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