Thursday, April 21, 2016

Requirements for Outside Cable Deck Railings

It’s time to refinish that outside deck for the summer months. Are you wondering whether you should tear down that old wood railing and replace it with something modern that is easy to maintain? Stainless steel cable is a good choice because it offers outstanding strength, luster, and durability and is resistant to rust and stains.

Following is a checklist of requirements when designing/selecting a cable railing system.

  1. Check with your local building department. There are code requirements for spacing of space posts and vertical/horizontal cable.
  2. Posts/Framework can be made out of round pipe, square tube, angle iron, flat bar, or wood. Do NOT use aluminum because it is too soft for cable railings. End posts need to be able to support 350 lbs. per the number of cables. (See Diagram 1)
  3. Select the cable size. For residential areas the most popular and economical option is to use 1/8” cable size. Commercial areas should use either 3/16” or 1/4” since they are designed for durable, high traffic areas.
  4. Select the fittings. Fittings comprise of an adjustable threaded terminal and a locking connector end fitting that will support the tension of the cable (see Diagram 2). Note: Cable assemblies should only be fabricated by a wire rope fabricator (Ex: WiscoLift).
  5. Select hardware accessories. There are many options to customize the look of your railings such as end caps that either blend in or accent your post color. For angled stairs, use stainless steel beveled washers to provide a flat surface.



For more information on custom cable assemblies for your cable railing project, email us at or call us at 844-WireRope.