Are Cable Railings Right For Your Home?

The traditional model for creating railing for a deck or stairway is to use spindles running between your deck and a top rail. Often, these railings are made from wood and come with a low cost but a high susceptibility to weather damage. If you are looking for a more durable and/or less conventional railing choice, then you should at least look at using steel cables. 

The Durability of Steel Cables

Wood railings are susceptible to rot, water damage, insect infestations, and breaking. Thus, when you integrate them into the design of your deck, you create the need to maintain them. If you paint your railings, the paint will fade, crack, and chip over time, which will leave your deck looking run down and tacky. While stain will not chip, it will fade with time, so you still have to re-apply from time to time. Galvanized steel cables are impervious to weather damage as long as their galvanized coating stays intact. Thus, they will stay looking like the day you installed them for years to come without the need for maintenance. Furthermore, they won't break or rot, so you don't have to worry about the structural integrity of your deck degrading with time. 


Take a peek as just about any deck nestled in the confines of suburbia and odds are that you will see wooden rails. Occasionally, a homeowner may stray from the norm and use metal railings, but the number of cable-rail system will be few and far between. Thus, if you want to add a little character to your home, cable railings are the way to go. 

Other Considerations

If you have small children in your home, you might worry that cables will be less safe than other options. In a railing system, the cables used are under tension, so they should be almost completely rigid. Thus, as long as the spacing between the cables is small enough, you should not have to worry about a child falling through, or even sticking their head through the cables and getting stuck. 

Railings are an opportunity for you to make your mark on the design of your home. You can go with the safe option of using wooden railings, but this will make your home less an expression of individuality and more of a validation of the status quo. Cable railings may not mesh with every design scheme, but if they work for your situation, they are a valid option for enhancing the look and performance of your deck. For more information and ideas, contact a company that provides services like wrought iron fencing by AJ Wrought Iron Security & Ornamental Ltd.