Tips from the pros for a low-cost stainless steel cable railing system

Tips from the pros for a low-cost stainless steel cable railing system

It is well known that stainless steel 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 influence the costs. Here are some tips and advice to make a beautiful stainless steel cable railing project without breaking the bank.


Choice of cable and fittings

There are different types of components such as turnbuckles, cable and fittings, as well as various grades of stainless steel. Some products offered in big box stores are made of galvanized steel or 304 stainless steel. Although these products are often less expensive, we do not recommend choosing this option. This type of hardware have 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.


Build your own cable railing system

Yes, it is possible to build your own stainless steel cable railing. Once the posts and the handrail are installed, all that remains is to install the cable railing assemblies. For a full-size decz or balcony (16’ x 16’), allow half a day to install hardware and cable. For easy installation, get help from your spouse, neighbour or friend.


Wood posts / Timber posts

Wood is usually cheaper than aluminum, steel, and stainless steel. If you use spruce, pine or cedar wood (4'x4’) posts, the cost can be up to 50% cheaper than metal post alternatives.


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 degree angle can substantially reduce the cost of your fittings. Turning the corner allows you to maximize the cable distance and minimize the amount 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.