Cost Comparison of Screen Porch Guardrail Infill Solutions

Screen Tight and MeshGuard Installation

When planning for your new screen porch, you need to factor in any code compliance that your new porch will require. If your porch is above 30 inches from the ground you will be required to have some type of guardrail solution. Guardrail solutions can include traditional cable rail, pre-built railing kits, and our MeshGuard screening system. Below we will take a look at each system and help you choose the right solution for your screen porch.

Cable Rail

Cable rail is exactly how it sounds, cable that runs horizontally across openings in the porch, providing a barrier. Cable rail is the closest to a wide open view but is much more expensive and a hassle to measure and install perfectly. Upkeep can also be a challenge. Stainless steel resists corrosion more than other metals, but it isn’t completely stain-proof. You will need to occasionally clean and re-passivate the cables which can be quite a chore. Corrosion is more likely in marine environments where the salty air is a factor.

Cable rail also comes in a variety of fitting options. Deciding which fitting option is best can be a bit overwhelming. This also makes replacing them hard.

Cable rail is also costly. The typical cost for a cable rail for a 24 foot span ranges between $500 – $700.

Pre-Built Railing Kits

Pre-built railings kits are the most common guardrail solutions. These prebuilt kits are often referred to as pickets or balusters.

Traditional railing kits start at about $50 for a 6×3 area so the cost for a 24 foot span is about $200. While this is less expensive than MeshGuard, they greatly obstruct your screen porch view. There are about 13 pickets spaces, 4 inches apart are required to meet code. With each picket typically measuring 2”, traditional pickets block about 40% of your view!


Deck Rocking Chair

If you are looking for an affordable alternative to cable rail and pre-built railing kits, then MeshGuard may be for you. MeshGuard is a code compliant screening system providing a wide-open view of the outdoors. It integrates seamlessly in with Screen Tight and provides architects and designers with design freedom.

MeshGuard can withstand 2x the designed pressure for guardrail infill. It is also composed of premium hardware including vinyl, steel, and polyester screening that won’t rust or corrode in coastal climates.

A MeshGuard kit, which includes everything you need to install four 6’x3′ panels of MeshGuard (24 feet total) costs $350, making it a relatively affordable option for guardrailing.

When planning for your screen porch, it’s important to consider building codes and what may be required for your porch. Each guardrail solution has it’s unique benefits and challenges. Download our Guardrail Comparison Guide for a quick and easy reference tool, to help you decide which guardrail solution will work best for your porch.