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Maintaining IPE Decking

Famous "Glass and Wood" home with Ithaca style cable railing.

Maintaining the natural beauty of IPE decking requires some care when installing and during yearly maintenance.  IPE is a natural material that moves with the elements, therefore, it is subject to checking (looks like cracking), twisting, warping, and cupping similar to other types of woods. Proper installation and maintenance are key to the long-term beauty of your deck.

There are many websites that you can access to obtain a variety of expert advice for caring for your IPE. Below are some helpful recommendations.

What are some helpful recommendations for IPE Deck Care?

Always seal the cut end (end grain) of the board with a paraffin wax, such as Anchorseal.
Do not install decking without an oil-based finish being applied to all four sides with sufficient rack time to dry.
Do not use film finishes such as a varnish

What type of finish should I use on IPE Decking?

Finish the IPE with a penetrating oil. We have had good experience using Penofins for hardwoods. When applying, use a brush, rag or sponge. Once applied,, wipe and remove all excess oil. DO NOT over apply as it will become sticky and tacky and my take a very long time to dry. IPE does not soak up the oil like a softwood does.

CAUTION: The rags (applicators used) are FLAMMABLE and must be disposed of properly – READ the manufacturer’s instructions for disposal.

How do I maintain my IPE Deck and Railing?

Our recommendations for maintaining IPE are to routinely clean off your deck by sweeping off leaves and hosing off spills and mud to help prevent staining. Depending on the amount of sun exposure the deck receives, you may need to thoroughly clean and re-oil your IPE yearly or bi-yearly. Thoroughly wash your deck with a product made for this application and allow it to dry completely before re-oiling.

Proper installation and care for your IPE deck and railings will greatly influence the beauty and longevity of your deck.

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New for 2019! Black Stainless Steel Cable Railing

Blackened Stainless Steel Cable Railing

Black Stainless Steel Cable Railing by Keuka Studios:

Looking for an alternative to stainless steel? Keuka Studios is proud to announce that we now fabricate black cable railing systems. We have blackened stainless cable and blackened stainless cable fittings* available to purchase today for cable railings. Black is making a comeback in 2019 and you can now purchase blackened stainless cable and blackened stainless fittings for your cable railing system to go with your all-black decorating theme. This is a hot new design trend in 2019. Our black cable railing and hardware is made of Type 316 marine grade stainless steel and black-oxide coated.

* U.S. Patent No. 10,436,23

Common Questions:

What is blackened stainless steel?

Typically, blackened stainless is achieved by a conversion coating process known as black oxide. This process forms a slightly transparent black patina on the surface of the metal. This can add color and character to the otherwise shiny cable railing fittings.

Is blackened stainless suitable for outdoors?

Yes, blackened stainless cable and fittings can be used outdoors. Like most patinas, the black layer can lighten over time when used outdoors. We do not recommend this finish in coastal areas.

Where can I buy blackened stainless steel cable fittings?

Blackened stainless steel cable fittings and cable are hard to come by. At Keuka Studios, we offer cable railing systems with the option of blackened stainless steel hardware. Take a look at our design process to learn how we can build and deliver your perfect black cable railing system.

How much do blackened stainless steel cable railings cost?

Because it takes time to oxidize the stainless steel, blackened cable railing hardware does cost more than regular stainless steel. Also, the cost of your railing system will depend on the specs of your project. To get a better idea of how much your black cable railing system will cost, you can request a customized quote.

Black Railing System Example:

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Keuka Studios Receives Best Of Houzz 2015

best of houzz badges 2015

Over 25 Million Monthly Unique Users Rated Top-Rated Home Building,
Remodeling and Design Professionals in the United States and Around the World

Rush, NY USA January 26, 2015 – Keuka Studios, Inc., of Rush, NY 14543 has been awarded “Best Of Houzz” for Design & Customer Satisfaction by Houzz, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. A family owned and operated company established in 2002 that designs and fabricates custom cable railings and staircases was chosen by the more than 25 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than 500,000 active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.

The Best Of Houzz award is given in two categories: Design and Customer Satisfaction. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 25 million monthly users on Houzz, known as “Houzzers.” Customer Satisfaction honors are determined by a variety of factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2014. Winners will receive a “Best Of Houzz 2015” badge on their profiles, helping Houzz users around the world who discover and love a professional’s work to learn even more about that business’ popularity and satisfaction rating among their peers in the Houzz community.

“We empower our team to do the right thing for the customer at every step of the process.”
“Houzz provides homeowners with a 360 degree view of home building, remodeling and design industry professionals, empowering them to engage the right people and products for their project,” said Liza Hausman, vice president of industry marketing for Houzz. “We’re delighted to recognize Keuka Studios, Inc. among our “Best Of” professionals as judged by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts who are actively remodeling and decorating their homes.”

Follow Keuka Studios on Houzz  http://www.houzz.com/pro/keukastudios/keuka-studios-inc

About Keuka Studios, Inc
We work with architects, contractors, and homeowners all over the country to provide our railing and staircase designs ready to install.

About Houzz
Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device. From decorating a room to building a custom home, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community powered by social tools, Houzz is the easiest way for people to find inspiration, get advice, buy products and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality. Headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, Houzz also has international offices in London, Berlin and Sydney. For more information, visit www.houzz.com

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5 Considerations For Choosing Railing Color

Cable railing image in the evening light.

Part of planning your outdoor deck project is thinking about what the railing color should be. This can be perplexing or lots of fun! Your home color is a personal choice, and your railing color will be a personal choice too.

Here are some things to consider when selecting your cable railing color choices.

Which is more important to you?

Is it the look of your deck and railing from the outside of your house or how it will look from the inside of your house?

deck railing color from inside and outside
Looking at the home from the outside vs. from indoors.

Which railing color will best blend in with your view? 

Dark colors generally blend in better with a forest view and stand out against a water view. Lighter colors blend in better with ocean and lake views.

deck railing with forest view railing color blends in
Notice how the dark color of the railing posts blends in with the trees.
cable railing color on deck with water front view
Light-colored posts blend in with the water view.

What type of experience do you want while enjoying your deck?

One way to think about railing color is to establish a theme for your deck space. Should your space provoke a specific feeling or mood? Do you want it to feel Zen-like, nautical, rustic, or modern?

More passive or neutral colors can give a soothing Zen-like feeling to your outdoor space. Silvers, whites and stainless steel can look more nautical or modern. Browns and greens can feel more rustic and blend in better with a backyard garden space.

Did you know light conditions can greatly affect the appearance of color?

It is important to look at color samples in the area that it will be used. Whether you’re planning an outdoor deck railing project or an indoor staircase, look at color samples in natural light. Direct sunlight is best. Observe the railing color sample during the daytime and evening. Observe the railing color in the environment that the color will be used. The eye perceives color differently on vertical surfaces than it does on horizontal and curved surfaces. If the color is being applied to a vertical surface, be sure to look at the sample on a vertical surface. This will give you a better perspective on how the color will actually look.

Should the railing color match the outside of the house or accent it?

Many times we are asked by customers, “should the railing color match the house color, window trim, or accent color?” These are important things to consider. Contrasting colors can be used to accent or draw attention to the railing, making the railing a focal point. Similar colors can make the railing posts appear to blend in with the home. See these example images below showing different railing color variations. These images may help you visualize how your completed project will look.

wood rail vs metal rail
Wood top rail vs. metal top rail.
matching the trim or the siding
Railing matches siding vs. trim.

I hope this has helped you to make your railing color choice easier, so have fun with your project! For more on color options see this page on our 6 signature colors.

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Keuka Studios Receives Best Of Houzz for cable railings, 2014

best of houzz 2014 award - Keuka Studios

Keuka Studios Receives Best Of Houzz for cable railings

Annual Survey and Analysis of 16 Million Monthly Users Reveals Top-Rated Building, Remodeling and Design Professionals Rush, NY February 4, 2014 – Keuka Studios of Rochester, NY has been awarded “Best Of Houzz for cable railings” by Houzz, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. The 12 Year Old Fine Architectural Metal Work Company was chosen by the more than 16 million monthly users that comprise the Houzz community.

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Use Escutcheon Plates for a Refined Look

Railing Escutcheon Plate

By definition, an escutcheon (pronounced es·cutch·eon) plate is a shield, cover, or an ornamental or protective plate. Escutcheon plates are used to conceal something functional like mounting hardware or an unwanted hole.

Use escutcheon plates for a clean, simple, or modern style railing.

More and more customers are looking for a clean, seamless, or modern look for their home. For interior or exterior railing, whether it’s a cable railing or any other type of railing, the escutcheon plate is a great choice to conceal the hardware. I find that especially with interior applications, you might want all the fasteners and hardware hidden with no exposed bolt or screw heads. Escutcheon plates are a perfect and easy solution. They simply slide over the post, hiding the hardware and providing a more refined look. Our escutcheon plates are typically machined from a solid billet, not the thin stamped sheet metal common in the industry.

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Cable Railing Post Material Choices

stainless steel cable railing.

When purchasing a cable railing system, it’s important that you consider your railing system’s enviornment before chosing materials for the top rail and railing posts.

While the cables and fittings are usually made from stainless steel, we offer a wide selection of top rail and post materials. With so many different choices of railing materials, it can be very difficult to know what the best choice is for your railing. Here is a guide to help you understand the materials we offer and their advantages and disadvantages.

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Where Do You Find Cable Railings Used?

Green cable railing posts with wood hand rail.

Once in a while, I have a customer who contacts me and says, “I found your cable railings online and I love them!” They follow up with, “I have never seen a railing like this in my area, where can I find examples of your work?’

Since we manufacture and ship our railings all over the country, our work can be found everywhere. With that being said, there are certain areas in particular where cable railings are more popular than other areas.

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Fascia Mount Vs. Surface Mount

Fascia mount and surface mount cable railing posts.
I always get customers asking me how to attach their railing to their application. While there are many different ways to attach your railing, the most popular methods are mounting to the fascia or mounting to the surface. Fascia mounts are also referred to as a side mounts or joist mounts and surface mounts are occasionally referred to as deck mounts, floor mount, or even top mounts.
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