Tips from the pros for a low-cost cable railing project - Gauthier De LaPlante

Tips from the pros for a low-cost cable railing project

It is well known that cable railing systems are much less expensive than glass railing. When it comes to plan for your cable railing project, different planning and design elements can impact the costs. Here are some tips and advice to make a beautiful cable railing project without breaking the bank.


Choice of wire rope and fittings
There are different types of components such as turnbuckles, wire rope and fittings, as well as various grades of stainless steel. Some products offered in big box stores are made of galvanized steel or stainless steel 304. Although these products are often less expensive, we do not recommend choosing this option. This type of hardware has a less beautiful finish and are susceptible to rust. For a durable project with products that will not rust, we recommend selecting 316 stainless steel or marine grade stainless steel hardware and cable. Because SS 316 is more durable, you will save money on the long run.


Build your own cable railing system
Yes, it is possible to build your own deck railing with stainless steel cable and it is easy to install ( DIY ). Once the posts and the handrail are installed, all that remains is to install the tensioners and terminals. For a full-size deck or balcony (16’ x 16’), allow half a day to install hardware and cable. To ease your installation, get help from your partner, neighbour or friend. If you choose to have your cable railing installed by a contractor, it will definitely more expensive.


Wood posts / Timber posts
Wood is usually cheaper than aluminum, steel, and stainless steel. If you use spruce, pine or cedar posts (4'x4’), the cost can be up to 50% cheaper than metal post. You can easily find these wood posts in any large retailers or big box store.



Metal posts with wooden handrail
A railing that combines wood and metal is an option that highlights the materials by contrasting effect. If you decide to put a wooden handrail on metal posts, even with an exotic wood species, it will still cost less than an aluminum handrail or a steel handrail. Moreover, it is relatively easy to install the wooden handrail on a metal railing yourself!


Install two posts on corner
Using two posts at a 90 degrees angle can substantially reduce the cost of your fittings. Turning the corner allows you to maximize the cable distance and minimize the quantity of turnbuckles and fittings needed. If you go for quality turnbuckles, you can create a cable run of over 50 linear feet. However, for narrower deck or balconies, this option does not necessarily confine the best look.