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Thursday, March 7, 2024

Creative Design Ideas for Cable Railing

In an online survey conducted by Deck Specialist, thousands of professional deck builders were asked to name the type of railing infill they prefer to use on projects. Cable was the most popular response, with many survey respondents praising the infill option for its versatility – it looks great on modern and traditional homes alike. Sleek and linear cable railing fits right in by offering unobstructed views of the landscape or view beyond the edge of a deck while meeting building code requirements.

When made with a strong material like steel, cable railing can deliver a sought-after combination of style and performance to a deck, patio, front porch or balcony. In turn, homeowners can enjoy their outdoor space to the fullest. We’re here for it! Whether enclosing a modern rooftop deck or framing a project's best features, recede-from-sight cable railing offers endless creative possibilities. Here are some of our favorite ways to use them.

Use mixed materials to enhance the desired design aesthetic 

Extremely versatile, cable railing can help bring out a particular look or design aesthetic on any project. For example, to capture a more rustic look, pair stainless steel cables with the warmth of old-school wood posts or top rails. For a more industrial take, pair the barely-there lines of cable railing with contemporary steel or aluminum posts. Top of Form

Keep in mind that builders who pair cable railing with other wood-alternative materials like steel or aluminum are going to give homeowners a safer and more durable deck railing that sidesteps any issues associated with moisture absorption (one of the most common explanations for the disintegration of wood elements in traditional railing systems).

Orient cable railing vertically or horizontally to accentuate (not compete with) the surroundings

Design isn’t just about materials; it is also a play of proportions. A creative solution, cable railing can often be oriented horizontally or vertically to highlight a home’s best features without fighting for attention. For example, vertically installed cables will draw the eye upwards, adding length to doors and windows or even tall trees in the backyard. Whereas horizontal cable railings can practically disappear, offering uninterrupted views of the scenery beyond the edge of a deck.

View from deck of the sunset over a lake with patio chairs and cable railing surrounding the deck.Top of a multi-level deck stairs looking down on the deck that has a water feature and patio chairs looking out over the sunset.

Use cable railing on a multi-level deck to create a seamless design aesthetic

Many homeowners are commissioning custom multi-level decks that blur the line between indoor and outdoor living. Often, these multi-level decks feature several distinct outdoor “zones” that can accommodate all sorts of activities, from dining al fresco to cold plunges to planter gardening. Enclosing each level of the deck with cable railing can help the space maintain a seamless design aesthetic, which is one of the most common homeowner requests that builders receive. Supporting a cohesive look and feel across a large area is not only visually appealing, but it’s also going to be easier and safer to navigate.  

Cable railing enclosing  a multi-level deck with patio furniture and a rock swimming pool.

Proven cable railing systems that serve up performance and lasting style

Professional deck builders and homeowners alike can turn to a proven steel cable railing from Fortress Building Products. We use enduring 316 marine grade stainless steel cables to deliver sleek, minimal sightlines (whether oriented vertically or horizontally) without compromising strength or security. Our panelized cable railing significantly reduces installation time and minimizes wear and tear to the posts (since regular tightening is not required). In turn, this reduces the amount of time homeowners spend on routine deck maintenance.




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