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How to Buy Express Cable Railing

Cable railing can instantly elevate the look and feel of your space, but the buying process can be a bit daunting to a first-timer. With Express cable railing, we’ve simplified the process to four easy steps.

Step 1: Review Code Requirements

Knowing your code requirements is a key part of ensuring your railing is safe and secure. In addition to your state’s regulations, you might also have local code requirements to keep track of. One of the best things you can do is check in with your local building department or zoning board. They’ll be able to confirm everything you need to know before you install your railing.

Express cable railing is engineered to exceed code requirements, including the three main railing codes:

  1. 4-inch and 6-inch sphere rules
  2. Handrail and guardrail height regulations
  3. Force and load requirements.

For a detailed explanation: Cable Railing Code & Safety

 

Step 2: Measure Your Space

Accurate measurements are crucial when it comes to properly engineering and manufacturing your cable railing system. Each space is different and should be measured with care in order to collect the most accurate dimensions.

If your space has stairs, you’ll need to measure the rise and run of the treads in addition to the linear distance between the top and bottom of the staircase.

To find the rise (A), measure from the top of one tread to the top of the next tread.

To find the run, measure from the back of a tread to the front of that tread (B), then subtract any nosing overhang (C).

Finally, you’ll need to calculate the total number of steps, including the landing area at the top of the staircase.

Staircase Angle Calculator

 

 

Step 3: Choose Your Components

Every cable railing system consists of 4 main components:

  1. Cable
  2. Handrail
  3. Posts
  4. Hardware

While other companies force you to figure out what hardware goes with which posts, Express posts come with all of the hardware you need in one simple bundle. So that just leaves the cable, handrail, and posts.

How much cable should you buy?

Express cable comes in 100 or 400-foot spools. To determine how much cable you need, multiply the total linear feet of your level railing by the number of holes in your selected post, or Then, multiply that number by 1.1 to ensure you have enough extra cable in case of any mistakes you might make when cutting.

For example, if you have a 30 foot long run with 36 inch posts, here’s what the math would look like:

30 linear feet of railing x 10 holes on each post = 300 x 1.1 = 330 feet of cable required

In this example, if you purchased a 400 foot spool of cable, you'd have more than enough for your project.

How much handrail should you buy?

When it comes to handrail, simply purchase enough to cover the linear feet of railing you identified during the measuring process. Express handrail comes in 8 and a half foot lengths, which can be cut down to size on-site if needed. Make sure to identify any place where the handrail ends – you’ll need an end plug for each handrail ending for a clean, safe finish.

Which types of posts should you buy?

There are three types of Express Level Posts and two types of Express Angle Posts:

Level

1. End posts are used at the start or end of a run of railing.

2. Corner posts are used to turn a level corner with a single post.

3. Line posts are used between the ends and corners to keep your railing strong and up to code.

Angle

1. Angle End Posts are used at the start or end of a run of railing.

2. Angle Line Posts are used between the end posts to keep your railing strong and up to code.

While other companies force you to figure out what hardware goes with which posts, Express posts come with all of the hardware you need in one simple bundle. So that just leaves the cable, handrail, and posts.

Step 4: Complete Your Purchase

Finally, it’s time to purchase your cable railing. Make sure to add an Express Installation Kit to your cart – this has all the tools you need to install your system, including several tools most people don’t typically have in their toolshed.

Express Installation Kit includes:

  • Cable Crimper
  • Cable Cutter
  • Cable Rail Insert Tool
  • Allen Wrench
  • Post Level
  • 2” T-30 drill bit
  • 2 oz Tub of Screw Wax

If you’re still feeling a bit nervous, that’s okay. Feel free to give us a call. One of our sales reps can walk with you through the process to make sure you’ve got all the right measurements and components.

Once you’ve completed your purchase, your system will get sent to one of our expert engineers, who will give it one last look before it gets sent to production. From there, it should be ready to ship to you in just a few days.

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