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Replacing the Decks


Cable Railing Systems for Decks


Unfortunately, the UBC (Uniform Building Code) is making it difficult. As of 2008, here in Marin the railing must be 42" high. And must be able to withstand 200 pounds' pressure.

But the rule that drives me crazy is an older rule: the 4-inch ball test. This rule states that a 4-inch ball can not be squeezed through any part of the railing. Apparently this rule came into being so that babies' heads don't get stuck. Hmmm. I have no babies, and I've never even seen a baby with a 4-inch head. This seems like regulation gone wild.

The wood railings on my current deck are 10 inches apart. So for me to maintain a similar "transparency" I will need to use cable, and cable's expensive. I've got 99 linear feet of railing. My first quote, for materials only, is $7,200! The cables won't even be 4 inches apart. They will be 3 inches apart, since cable is flexible, and who knows how strong that baby with the 4-inch head is...

Cable manufacturers I'm considering:

Feeney Architectural Products, AKA "Cable-Rail" (2603 Union Street, Oakland, CA 800-888-2418). Nice website, with useful drawings. Just got a quote from them - Not only is there price shock; I'm disappointed that delivery takes 4 or more weeks.

Ultra-Tec (52 Heppner Drive, Carson City, NV 800-851-2961). I asked them for an approved installer, and was given the name of a Marin-based contractor. He visited within a day, but shocked me with a quote of $23- $27,000, depending on post system. I didn't even ask for his business card.

AGS Stainless Inc. (7873 NE Day Road, Bainbridge Island, WA 206-842-8179) Quoted $7,338 + shipping, + either $100 (rental of cutting/crimping tool) or $935 (cables already crimped on one end) or $1925 (cables cut to exact length and crimped at both ends.)





Cable railings are expensive... but I think it's the right thing to do.
  I've got a nice view, and want to keep it.  
© 2008-14 by Bill Fridl ( billfridl@gmail.com ). All rights reserved.
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Last Updated Feb 2014.