Case Study: Corbett Lunsford on Modern Cable Railing Systems

Project: Atlanta Homestead for Home Diagnosis T.V.

To watch the Lunsford installation process and learn more, watch our collaboration video.

Building to Last 100 Years

The Science Behind Modern Construction Methods

Inside Atlanta’s perimeter is a lovely rural oasis where a family homestead resides on two and a half acres of land 15 minutes from downtown. The homestead, owned by the same family since the 1930s, recently was sold to Grace and Corbett Lunsford, creators and producers of the Home Diagnosis T.V. series airing on PBS, which aims to demystify the science behind products and construction methods used in the home building process. “We describe it as This Old House meets C.S.I.,” said Corbett. They are building a high-performance home on the land and will be airing segments in season two.

The family of the original homestead sold it to us because they liked that we wanted to homestead it similar to what they did, instead of selling it to a developer who would then turn it into 20-plus houses. ~ Corbett

It’s the first time Corbett and his family have built a house from start to finish. And, as he describes, everything the Lunsford’s do is a family affair. Family is the T.V. show. The only things they didn’t do themselves are the top layer of the roof, drywall, electrical service, drain lines, finish flooring, and tile. Aside from that, 90 percent of the home, built by the family, including Corbett’s parents and their two young daughters cheering from the sidelines.

This 3,000 square foot home intends to explore and teach people the science of homes, including physics, chemistry, and microbiology. They’re building a home that is the ‘perfect character’ in the story of the science of homes. 

Traditionally, homeowners and builders build the way it’s ‘always been done.’ However, the Lunsford’s aim to change the conversation and start thinking more scientifically about homes — is building and using products that may be slightly different to achieve specific, often invisible goals for a high-performing home that will stand the test of time.

Product Selection: Maintenance Free and Durable 

Choosing beautiful and durable products that don’t require a lot of upkeep is vital for this home. The house is being built to last 100 years, and the products will need to keep pace. The Lunsford’s don’t want to have to worry about replacing things on a 10-year rotation, as many homeowners sadly do. 

I equate it to not wanting or needing laces for my shoes, now that we have that option. I want the same ease of use and low maintenance experience in the products I choose for this home. ~ Corbett

Although Corbett and Grace chose wood for the decking and siding, traditionally a high-maintenance material, he used a thermally modified wood product that is durable and doesn’t require sealing now or in the future. It can stand up to the climate of the southeast and is virtually maintenance-free. 

Other products include air sealing details to be as quiet as possible due to the proximity of one of the world’s busiest airports and installing a dedicated ventilation system to pump filtered outdoor air throughout the home. When they open the cupboards, they won’t smell the stored vinegar or cat litter box as a result. It is also obviously ideal in areas where wildfires and extreme humidity are a problem.

The home has even been ‘hurricane tested,’ creating a significant vacuum inside, and then pressure washing the house to force that water to penetrate inside the home if it can. After pinpointing the failures, they fixed them all, so the family can now withstand major storm events without worry.

Modern Cable Railing Systems: Clean and Classic Design

When it came to adding railings to the first and second-floor decks, the Lunsford’s wanted a classic and clean look. They chose cable railing because it enabled them to see the landscape’s beautiful views from inside the house and see the house from outside without obstruction. It offers a seamless panorama with it’s modern cable railing system.

The Lunsford’s found RailFX at an industry trade show in early 2020. After talking to several cable railing manufacturers, RailFX was most in line with what they were trying to accomplish. “RailFX was also the most excited about our project out of everyone we talked to,” said Corbett. 

Corbett’s parents installed RailFX in two different areas of the home. The ground floor and second-story decks. They commented that RailFX makes it very clear and straightforward to install. There was one slight field modification made, but it was easy to adjust. 

“I’ve taken deck safety courses in the past, and I find that it can get complicated, but RailFX makes it very clear,” said Corbett. 

The Lunsford’s installed RailFX’s black aluminum top railings, a surface mount, and posts with 1/8-inch stainless steel cable for the exterior decks. The next installation will be the interior stairway once the painting and flooring is completed. They will use custom wood top rails and silver fascia mount posts.

Because it's made in a state of the art facility, the railing system is perfectly designed and fit for our purposes. ~ Corbett

Forever Home Update: Interior Stairway Cable Railing Installation

Corbett is making the finishing touches to his Atlanta forever home and recently installed RailFX cable railing systems on the interior stairway. Corbett said the real difference for the internal cable run is the amount of use they will experience with three small children running up and down the stairs.

He opted for fascia-mounted posts on the stairway, which was a different attachment process than he experienced on the outside’s surface-mounted posts. Since the interior stairway is four feet wide, code dictated he install ADA compliant railings on each side. Corbett used RailFX’s ADA graspable handrail and RFX 400 top rail option in silver. He used pecan wood from Grace’s family’s backyard for the top rail for an upscale finishing touch.

“Now that the installation is complete and we’re living in the house, I love it,” said Corbett. “It feels very solid, and I love knowing that if it gets dirty, scratched, or anything, the fix is very easy.”

How disruption makes us better

This year has been anything but predictive. With a pandemic to multiple hurricanes and other weather disturbances to forest fires in the West, it has been a significantly unpredictable year. Manufacturers, dealers, distributors, builders, remodelers, and contractors were forced to look at how they do business and learn to manage their business differently. RailFX customer service continues to be a major focus for our business.

Some lasting effects and changes will live long past this year. Industries are changing to ensure everyone is safe and healthy. While the outlook is anything but crystal clear, one thing is sure, the building and remodeling industry continues to be a bright spot in the nation’s economic recovery.

With more homeowners working and playing from home, the need for specific products rose during the second quarter. Manufacturers able to pivot and adapt haven’t missed a beat. In our RailFX facilities, we made modifications to keep employees safe and healthy while supplying our customers and homeowners with products from the start of the pandemic to today, while also looking at the future.

Technology + Personalized Communication

Now, more than ever is the time to embrace technology. Whether it’s new or enhanced, technology like video conferencing, has replicated the face-to-face business transaction. We no longer need to be in the same room to have an effective meeting, and in some cases, we’re more effective and efficient.

Technology, coupled with practical communications skills — writing an email, social media, text messaging — has led to improved productivity. At RailFX, we made the transition seamlessly.

We make it easy to order with our simple online quoting form and step-by-step process. Faster lead times are possible with our aluminum railing systems, FlexFX, and, cable railing kits. Quotes are turned around in 24-48 hours, and products (stock colors) shipped within three to five days to all 50 states in protective packaging. 

RailFX Customer Service

There are many products to choose from and depending on the category, it can make the decision process difficult. You can rely on RailFX customer service and our expertise in the cable railing business. We do the work, so you don’t have to spend the time and dive into all the microscopic details.

Any company can say they have excellent customer service, but they may fall short somewhere between quote and final installation. At RailFX, we personalize each job for all our customer, from dealer, builder, and our DIYers. We offer support for all your technical needs in the field for a smooth installation.

Simple Installation

Our installation process is simple. Because of the way we manufacture our cable railings and accessories, RailFX products don’t require fabrication in the field. You only need to assemble the cable railings onsite. Generally, basic tools are all that’s needed to install our products.

Interior stair mount

Our website offers technical data support and installation documents and videos from simple to complex installations along with one-on-one technical support. Because our products are easier to install, our reorder, and satisfaction rates are excellent. See for yourself how stellar RailFX customer service is.

To learn more about RailFX and our turnkey cable railing solution, email us at or call our customer support team at 206.453.1123.