Guide to Stainless Steel Balustrading

FAQ’s for Stainless Steel Cable Balustrades
  1. “How many runs of cable do I need to do so I comply with current relevant codes?”
The current relevant code for Cable Balustrades can be found in the National Construction Code (NCC 2012) formerly The Building Code of Australia (BCA).  As a general rule of thumb, if your deck is one (1) metre off the ground and your handrail one (1) metre high, you will require Eleven (11) horizontal runs of cable.  This allows for an 80- 85mm gap between cables. Should your deck be higher than Four (4) metres off the ground then you may be required to fit your cables “Vertically” instead of “Horizontally”.  It is however always best to check with your local authority prior to proceeding*.
  1. “What is the recommended spacing between Intermediate Posts?”
In order to attain correct cable tension, Intermediate Posts need to be spaced at no more than 1500mm.  These recommended distances are based on 3.2mm Stainless Steel Cable being used.
  1. “Can I make the cable go around corners?”
No.  You need to stop all runs of cable at corners and changes of direction.  This will ensure that the required cable tension can be attained initially and also allows the cables to be adjusted in the future.
  1. “How many Tensioners do I need to use?”
One (1) Tensioner per run is generally sufficient for runs up to eight (8) metres long.  Runs of more than eight (8) metres but less than twelve (12) metres long should have a second Tensioner fitted.
  1. “What size holes do I need to drill in End Posts and Intermediate Posts?”
Hole sizes vary depending on the kit you are using. If you are swaging the cables yourself, using either Kit 1 or Kit 2, then 4.0mm holes are required for Intermediate Posts.  Cables attach to End Posts via Saddles and Screws supplied with Kits 1 and 2. Pre drilling of End Posts for the screw fixing of Saddles is dependent on the Timber you have selected.  Softwood (Treated Pine), should not require to be pre drilled.  Hardwood (Merbau etc), will require pre drilling.  A 3.0mm Drill should be used to pre drill Hardwood Posts. Kits 3, 4 and 5 are all “Hydraulically Swaged” in house by Metal By The Metre and come to you ready to install.  Intermediate Posts will require a 7.0mm hole to be drilled so the pre swaged cable end can pass through.  Timber End Posts need to be pre drilled with a 4.0 – 4.5mm Drill for Lag Screw Ends. If you are fitting Black Nylon Grommets to Intermediate Posts as part of your installation, then an 9mm hole will need to be drilled.
  1. “Can you supply me with everything I need to do the job?”
As long as you can supply the Labour, a Power Drill and the enthusiasm, Metal By The Metre can look after the rest. From Swaging Tools to Drill Bits, Hire of Square Post Drilling Templates, Fabricated Stainless Steel Posts, helpful and informative advice and much much more.  We have it all here at our Barralong Rd Erina Store.