Category Archives: Decks

Composite (Top Choice) deck and cable rail- Fairbanks, Alaska (Part 2)

Is Top Choice decking good? Alaska  On this deck Straight Ahead Construction used Lowes “Top Choice” composite decking. A bit more affordable than some other brand names but it was more a color preference by the decking contractor Fairbanks Alaska    composite Top Choice decks Fairbanks  Fairbanks Alaska cable railWe are dedicated to detail.


deck contractor reviews fairbanksAnd here is what the old deck looked like this spring in Fairbanks, Alaska

deck before and after photos   Lowes Top Choice deck

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How I install cable rail on composite decks

Honestly, cable rail looks the best on a composite or Trex deck but it does cost a bit more.

Why do cable rails cost more than standard handrails or guard rails on decks?

1. Stainless steel cable and hardware

2. Composite posts cost more than twice as much as standard 4X4’s

However, installation costs are nearly the same with the exception of stairs.


Below are some photos of cable rail on a deck in Fairbanks, Alaska. Here the posts were custom-made by the owner and we installed them.

cable rail Fairbanks Alaska

They are made of 1/4″ black steel and standard 1/4″ cable.  Using standard cable saves more than 50% from stainless steel cables and turnbuckles.  Turnbuckles also come in a variety of metals. Stainless is the most pricey on down to galvanized. Use galvanized, it saves money and still looks cool.



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Tips on how to install cable rail and posts.

1. Make a jig that spaces your cables at 3 7/8″ so you meet code when it’s assembled.

2. Pre-drill your posts using the jig and a drill press. This is a must for keeping the holes straight for the cable and consistent in spacing.

3. Pre-drill holes for the lag or through bolts that will secure your posts in place.

4. Layout the post positions evenly (check local codes)

5. Secure posts to deck face making sure they are plumb.

6. Use eyes on the starting post and start threading the cable through the proper hole in the series

7. Run to the turnbuckle at the terminus

8. Have ALL of your turnbuckles loosened nearly all the way but also MAKE SURE they are loosened about the same amount.  This will help the initial finish product look even and organized.

9. Once you have looped the cable back through the turnbuckle and tightened the U-bolts, cut the cable with a sharp cable cutter the TAPE IT using electrical tape.  Do a neat job with the tape, please.

That’s all I got.  Any questions? Ask here or at Straight Ahead Construction if you don’t have a wordpress account.

Fairbanks Alaska best contractor

How to build a composite (Trex) deck

This composite deck was built near Fairbanks, Alaska by Straight Ahead Construction,llc.

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composite deck stores fairbanksSweet thumb shot!

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Check out the stairs for this massive deck in this post


Related stories:

Roof removal, rafter furring, and shingling for Fairbanks home

How to builder extra, extra wide stairs

Building a 16X20″ camera!

See our website for testimonials!

Or call us in Fairbanks, Alaska to have your deck built today.

Straight Ahead Construction is an Interior Alaska construction company!

Fairbanks Alaska best contractor

Composite/ Trex deck with Jacuzzi to a garage addition in Fairbanks, Alaska

We added a garage to this Fairbanks, Alaska house but it also had a flt roof for a huge deck space and jacuzzi…

Fairbanks, Alaska jacuzzi install

composite decks

garage addition with deck on top Alaska

Call us about your Fairbanks, Alaska garage or home addition, composite deck solution, or combo garage with deck over the roof.

See more about this project in our gallery.

As always, please Like us or share this with your friends on Facebook.


Fairbanks Alaska best contractor

Why add stairs to your deck when you can have bleachers?

Anyway, that’s what one of the guys said when I got to the job site the other morning after he had nailed the risers across the 41 stringers need for this set of stairs.

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Fairbanks deck builder

trex deck construction Fairbanks AlaskaIMG_0529




Please contact Straight Ahead Construction about getting your Fairbanks deck built. See our testimonials or visit our website for more information.

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A new patio and deck in Fairbanks, Alaska

See the new concrete patio and second story deck we added to a return clients home.  It is a good example of starting fresh after removing a temporary deck.

Here we have made concrete forms to pour a new patio that also serves as a solid foundation for the second story deck. We compacted 4 inches of fine gravel that we hauled on to site.

Making concrete forms for a deck in fairbanks, alaska

For you do-it-yourselfers (DIY) you can use Sono tubes as alternative foundation if you do not want or need the patio.  Sono tubes are a must on disturbed soils but can also be replaced with simple pier blocks in some situations.

Slab just after screeding concrete.

We also put black steel into the concrete slab so we could insert the adjustable post saddles into the concrete for any movement that  might occur.  Above posts have been set with our load bearing beam on top and bracing on the sides.  Also a handy photo for a DIY deck building.

This is a nice change from the before photo and a great new space to spend time.

The new view from the upper deck.

And now summer is more fun in someone else’s backyard.

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This moose does not care if I have to work (video).


I showed up at the job site and saw this cow moose.  I snapped a few photos and then saw that she was not going anywhere.  The home owner came out and told me she had a calf and had been there a few hours.  The cow was on her knees licking the ground.  In short time we figured out that when the home owner had her water system redone the water guy had dumped the filters there producing a nice salt lick.  I scared the cow off but for the rest of the day I would be working and suddenly notice she was there sometimes with her calf close by.  A bittersweet encounter no doubt.  I am sure we will be seeing more of each other this week!


For more Alaskan moments check out my other blog.

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