Cable Instead of Balustrades

by Dawn
(Greenville, SC)

I want to use horizontal cable instead of wooden 2x2s.

Is there a code requirement for the cable size I need? Do I need to tighten it to a certain tension? And if so, how would I measure that?

Do I need to buy a specific "deck cable" or will cable I can get from Home Depot be OK?

I assume I still need to have them no more than 4" apart.

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May 24, 2009
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Common Cable Rail Questions
by: Editor - Rich Bergman

Cable horizontal rails are permissible in many areas. But you should check with your local building department at city hall. They will have your answer. Some areas only allow it in non-residential settings to prevent climbing.

Yes there are certain tensions and the frame of your railing has to be strong enough to handle the tension. I don't know the tension numbers.

Almost certainly you would have to have the cables no further apart than 4" but check your building department for the final answer.

I do not recommend you buy just any cable on the shelf at Home Depot. You are much better off buying from or talking to someone from like say www.cablerailmn.com. I have spoken to these folks and they are quite knowledgeable and can send you to the right people in your area if needed.

I would also recommend you check out this site and see if it helps you out. Very good stuff.

Stainless Steel Direct.

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