You can choose between vertical cable railing designs and horizontal designs when building your deck, patio, balcony or stairs. Both options provide many benefits, such as unobstructed views, better ventilation and a modern look. However, these options are best suited to different applications. Find out the right cable railing orientation for your property.

Horizontal and Vertical Cable Railing

Many contractors and professional installers offer horizontal cable installation. This is the industry standard  when it comes to cable infill orientation and is typically the best suited and most economical option for the majority of properties and railing applications. 

Some cities and other jurisdictions, however, don’t allow them, perceiving them to be potentially dangerous. Homeowners may also mistakenly believe that children might see the cables as rungs on a ladder and attempt to climb over them, also known as the ladder effect. However, according to a study conducted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), this so-called risk is not real. The study affirms that even at a young age, children can identify and have a sense of danger, allowing them to avoid risks of falling. 

Horizontal Cable Deck Railing Applications

If the local building codes in your area allow for horizontal cable deck railings, you can choose from any design applications outlined below.

1. Urban Homes With A Modern Design

Horizontal cable railings look outstanding when installed on rooftop balconies and upper decks, especially in urban areas. The horizontal lines they make blend well with modern cityscapes without overpowering the other architectural elements of your property. They also enhance the look of buildings, skyscrapers, and other parts of the urban skyline.

2. Large Open Spaces and Naturesque Views

If your home has ample outdoor living space, then horizontal cable railings are an excellent highlight. The horizontal lines emphasize the open space on your balcony or deck, while making the sitting area look more prominent.

Horizontal railings also complement grand vistas of lakes or mountain ranges. If you’re lucky enough to get unrestricted swathes of open fields and greenery, you can add an open and refreshing effect with horizontal cable railing on your porch or patio. The horizontal lines fade seamlessly into the natural backdrop, preventing obstructions of the breathtaking view.

3. Complementary Architectural Designs

Horizontal cable railings complement many architectural styles, flowing harmoniously with the structures they’re connected to. For instance, they follow the lines of stairs creating a dynamic effect, often emphasizing the angles and orientation of your property’s architectural features.

Vertical Cable Deck Railing Applications

There are plenty of applications for vertical cable deck railing installations. This option can become a head turner boosting your home’s curb appeal due to its sleek and modern look. The open views work best for minimalist-style homes. Here are some of its applications:

1. Homes Where There Are Small Children

Safety should be one of your priorities if you have small children playing on your patio or deck. Vertical cable railings can provide the necessary structure to keep children and pets safe. At Stainless Cable & Railing, we offer cable and infill that may be used to construct vertical railing systems for homes and offices. 

2. Indoor Staircases

Vertical cable railings look phenomenal when installed in indoor staircases. They also look gorgeous as balcony barriers, creating a clutter-free look compared to more traditional balcony styles. Vertical railings can also be used to add a minimalist appeal, hinting at a mindful and intentional feel. They blend well with any decor without overpowering the other design elements of your interiors.

3. Properties With Tall Designs and Features

Some homes feature tall columns or towering windows, creating a sense of length and stately appeal. Vertical cable railings match this type of design concept very well. The cables enmesh with the established architectural patterns of your property, creating a sleek and elegant look.

4. Yards With Tall Trees and Vertical Structures

Do you have tall trees in your yard? If so, then vertical railings will work well for your property. These natural features blends well with the design element to draw the eyes of onlookers upward. It enhances the vista by emphasizing the natural canopy and foliage on your property.

Benefits of Cable Railings

After understanding vertical cable railing vs. horizontal designs, speak with your deck and rail specialist about installation options and cable railing kits that work best for your property.

Cable railings do not block fresh air coming into your property, which can be a welcome treat on hot days. They also require less maintenance since they’re easy to clean. On top of that, you can easily remove snow from the cable railings during winter. Their design versatility is something to look for, which can be used indoors or outdoors.

Check Local Building Codes

It is crucial to check local building codes before installing either horizontal or vertical cable railings. Pay attention to local guidelines and make sure the cable rail construction and design follow standards outlined in the International Building Code (IBC). Remember that each city or state has different minimum height requirements but always has similar spacing requirements.

Work with Seasoned Cable Railing Specialists

Cable railing specialists can help you choose the design and orientation that best suits your home. At Stainless Cable & Railing, we have industry experts that will help you comply with building codes and create impressive lasting designs for your porch, decks, stairs and balcony. Choose from our catalog of cable railing kits, or fill out this form today for a free quote.