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Deck railing on Bunch House

thebttmline's picture

In the latest issue (#10) of IH, there is an article on the Bunch house entitled "Haven in the Hills". On page 33, there is a picture of their deck - it shows an oak tree growing out of the deck. I am interested in what was used for the railing on this deck. It appears to be a rigid mesh of some kind.

Can anybody tell me what this mesh is called and where it can be purchased?

I really like how transparent the railing is, leaving the views relatively unobstructed. The transparency is similar to cable railings that I have been looking at, but I think this mesh would work better for the screened deck addition that I am planning.


playing in the dirt in beautiful East Tennessee, zone 6B

(post #175726, reply #1 of 9)

I loaned that issue to my dad, so can't see picture--does the mesh consist of horizontal and vertical wires about 4-6" apart in a grid, with the wires a little thicker than regular spaghetti "noodles"? If it is, it might be "welded wire fabric" (WWF). It is usually put in concrete slabs to help prevent cracks from shrinkage when the concrete cures.

(post #175726, reply #2 of 9)

Hi Danno,

It appears to me that the railing is a larger diameter than the mesh like would be used in concrete. It looks like it is thick enough to stay in a rigid panel even without tension (i.e. thicker than wire). But, it is hard to tell from a picture.

If Taunton editors are reading -- would the author of the article remember what it was like or have a contact that would know what it is?


playing in the dirt in beautiful East Tennessee, zone 6B

(post #175726, reply #3 of 9)

Hi Danno,

To me, it looks like something you could pick up at a hardware store or home center, though it may be more sophisticated than that. In any case, I will call the homeowners (since the architect is dead), and hopefully, they will be able to tell me (I'll post the answer here if I am able to reach them). If you have our September/October 2004 issue, it's very similar to the deck railing for the house in the "Loft-Living in the Woods" article. Another reader wanted to know what that was, and according to that homeowner, it's "hog fencing," available through agricultural supply stores and probably places like Home Depot. It was attached to the railing with heavy-duty staples.

Thanks for reading!
Samara Rafert
Editorial Assistant

(post #175726, reply #4 of 9)

I think Samara may have put me on the right track. I found something called "cattle panels" or "hog panels" The wire on these is 2-4 gauge. That is pretty thick stuff. Rather than coming in a roll, like a higher gauge wire would, these come in rigid panels.

Some panels were listed as having 1/4 inch diameter wire rather than specifying a gauge. I would guess 1/4 inch is 2-3 gauge?

I even saw reference to a "bull panel" with 1 gauge wire.

I'll have to see if I can find one locally to experiment with.

playing in the dirt in beautiful East Tennessee, zone 6B

(post #175726, reply #5 of 9)

Hi Steve,

Good to know! It sounds like our mystery may be solved. I did call the homeowners, but they weren't home and don't seem to have an answering machine. If I think of it I will try them again, but it sounds like you found your answer. I might add that the homeowner for the earlier article (the one with the hog fencing) told me they painted the wire a sage green color to match the tone of their deck--so it's a pretty versatile (and, I'm guessing, inexpensive) material! Best of luck with your own deck.


(post #175726, reply #7 of 9)

I think I know what to look for now, but thanks for trying to contact the homeowners, Samara.

I've used the welded wire fencing, the type that comes in rolls. I used it to line a split rail fence (keeps my yellow lab in). I don't think that would look good on the screened deck I'm planning. But these rigid panels might work.

playing in the dirt in beautiful East Tennessee, zone 6B

(post #175726, reply #8 of 9)

Yep, I just did the exact thing on my deck. (And I think I got the idea from the picture you are speaking of.)
I used "cattle panels" - its galvanized steel mesh, available from your local ranch supply store. It costs about $27 for 16 feet!! Now that my kind of price for railing! It looks great - very unobtrusive.

Cattle panels are 6" mesh and hog panels are 4" mesh. The hog panels looked too busy. BUT, if you have to have your home inspected by the county, check with the local codes. Here a 4" ball cannot fit between your railings. So, in order to pass my inspection I then took a roll of 18 guage galvanized wire and wove it in and out of every square. A silly game to play with the inspectors but I got what I wanted and I can now remove the wire.

Have fun!

(post #175726, reply #6 of 9)

According to Machinery's Handbook, 25th Edition, 1996, "The wire gage system used by practically all of the steel producers in the United States is known by the name Steel Wire Gage [...]" In this gage, #1 = 0.283", #2 = 0.2625", and #3 = 0.2437".

(post #175726, reply #9 of 9)

Probably galvanized bull wire from a feed store.

Florida Licensed Building Contractor, 50 years experience in commercial remodeling, new homes, home remodeling and repairs and all types building maintenance.