DIY Inexpensive deck rails out of steel conduit, easy to do!

Nov 06 2017
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A post on how I built inexpensive deck rails out of steel conduit. Have you seen the gorgeous steel wire railings that have been populating Pinterest the last couple of years and gaining huge popularity? Well I sure have and I’ve been drooling over them for months and months… at least until I saw the price tag. It was an absolute no go for me, on top of that they do require tightening over time and that kinda bugged me too. I was leaning toward just wire fencing (yes like hog panels) but that felt a little rough even for me and I would have wanted to frame them out in wood and that would have been labor intensive and costly.

DIY steel conduit deck railing, inexpensive alternative to steel wire railings you can do yourself, how toDIY steel conduit deck railing, inexpensive alternative to steel wire railings you can do yourself, how to

I didn’t want to do the regular spindles for several reasons: the first being I find them kind of boring and the other reason being that, they too, are very labor intensive and expensive when it comes to a deck the size of mine (over 700 square feet!) I also really didn’t want to obstruct the view, I wanted to feel like I was sitting in my yard not blocked off from nature which is why I was so drawn to the wire railings to begin with. But I’m definitely going to have dogs in my life so I still needed to have SOMETHING and, universe knows, my deck has looked pretty unfinished while I’ve been working on this dilemma.

DIY inexpensive how to deck rails out of steel conduit to look like steel wire deck railings, tutorial on how we did the railings on our deck!DIY inexpensive how to deck rails out of steel conduit to look like steel wire deck railings, tutorial on how we did the railings on our deck!


The light bulb went off one day when I was in the electrical department of my local fleet store and I caught a glimpse of the 1/2″ steel conduit. And then I saw the price and my heart literally jumped: at $2.99 for 10 feet this could work! At first I was going to drill through every single post around the whole deck and thread all of the conduit through them. Well, I don’t know about you, but the idea of drilling three holes through my posts really made me wince at how much I would be hurting their structural integrity. I literally had images of them breaking off in my next serious storm. So, no go on the drilling. I saw these steel hole straps on Amazon (at only $10.49 for 100!) and I knew exactly how I was going to do this.


DIY inexpensive how to deck rails out of steel conduit to look like steel wire deck railings, tutorial on how we did the railings on our deck!DIY inexpensive how to deck rails out of steel conduit to look like steel wire deck railings, tutorial on how we did the railings on our deck!DIY inexpensive how to deck rails out of steel conduit to look like steel wire deck railings, tutorial on how we did the railings on our deck!

I went around the deck first making a mark where each pipe strap would be using a scrap 2×2 that I marked with a magic marker. I put all the straps over my marks leaving the screws a touch loose so it would be easy to thread the pipe through. Once the pipe was in place I just had to tighten them all down. Joe (my now ex husband) cut the pipe using an angle grinder with a steel “blade”. At first I didn’t want any “seams” but these little pipe couplings were small enough that they didn’t bother me.

DIY inexpensive how to deck rails out of steel conduit to look like steel wire deck railings, tutorial on how we did the railings on our deck!DIY inexpensive how to deck rails out of steel conduit to look like steel wire deck railings, tutorial on how we did the railings on our deck!DIY inexpensive how to deck rails out of steel conduit to look like steel wire deck railings, tutorial on how we did the railings on our deck!DIY inexpensive how to deck rails out of steel conduit to look like steel wire deck railings, tutorial on how we did the railings on our deck!


At first I was going to try and have the seams random but once I started adding the pipe I preferred the look of all the seams in the same place. (I did cut the pipe in one place so every single length of pipe I used hit on at least two hole straps.) When I was at this it occurred to me just how versatile this idea is. Why not use PVC pipe and spray paint it to look like copper or wrought iron? Or you could just literally use copper pipe or galvanized pipe (though the expense would be more) and you could also use big rope here too.


DIY inexpensive how to deck rails out of steel conduit to look like steel wire deck railings, tutorial on how we did the railings on our deck!DIY inexpensive how to deck rails out of steel conduit to look like steel wire deck railings, tutorial on how we did the railings on our deck!

DIY inexpensive how to deck rails out of steel conduit to look like steel wire deck railings, tutorial on how we did the railings on our deck!DIY inexpensive how to deck rails out of steel conduit to look like steel wire deck railings, tutorial on how we did the railings on our deck!

All in the deck rails cost only about $110! Pretty amazing for only a couple of hours of work and now my deck finally looks almost finished. Next job is to make the gates! (Note: you will have to check with your local building ordinances if you want to build a deck railing up to code ESPECIALLY if you plan on selling your home. Every state, city and county has their own very specific ordinances I also double checked with my house insurance company to make sure that this would work with my plan.)

DIY inexpensive how to deck rails out of steel conduit to look like steel wire deck railings, tutorial on how we did the railings on our deck!DIY inexpensive how to deck rails out of steel conduit to look like steel wire deck railings, tutorial on how we did the railings on our deck!DIY inexpensive how to deck rails out of steel conduit to look like steel wire deck railings, tutorial on how we did the railings on our deck!DIY inexpensive how to deck rails out of steel conduit to look like steel wire deck railings, tutorial on how we did the railings on our deck!DIY inexpensive how to deck rails out of steel conduit to look like steel wire deck railings, tutorial on how we did the railings on our deck!DIY inexpensive how to deck rails out of steel conduit to look like steel wire deck railings, tutorial on how we did the railings on our deck!

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32 Comments

  1. November 7, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    Oh my gosh Tarah I love this idea!!! I am a big fan of the plumbing and electrical departments! haha. You never know what you can re-purpose in that section cheaply. 🙂 This is such a fun idea! I will have to keep this handy when we build our deck in the next couple of years. Thanks so much for the idea. pinned:)

    • November 7, 2017 at 4:47 pm

      Thank you Kathleen, I was so relieved that it turned out!

  2. the cape on the corner
    November 7, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    oh MAN i love that! i was trying to get the boyfriend to diy this, but wasn’t too convincing. well done!
    b

  3. November 7, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    These look really good, more solid and they don’t need to be restretched. The wire ones don’t look sturdy enough for me and with the acreage privacy isn’t a concern, what a great solution.

    • November 7, 2017 at 7:50 pm

      Thank you Leanna! I’m really relieved this project turned out!

  4. liz
    November 8, 2017 at 2:29 am

    Wow- this is such an ingenious and seriously creative idea!!! I am in love with this railing and definitely going to convince the hubs that we need to do this on our deck.

    • November 8, 2017 at 4:49 pm

      Hey Liz, I was so relieved when this turned out, it was so simply and inexpensive and now I just love it!

  5. November 8, 2017 at 5:33 am

    Looks amazing, awesome idea!!

  6. November 8, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    I love you solution and how it lets you’re see that lovely view! Thanks for sharing with Party in Your PJs!

  7. November 8, 2017 at 9:07 pm

    I love this look for your deck. I think it ties in the view of the silo and the gates. We have been complaining about our view being obstructed by those vertical wood “sticks” on our upper deck so I need to find a similar solution I think. Great idea.
    🙂 gwingal

    • November 8, 2017 at 9:58 pm

      Thank you Nikki! I was really relieved that this turned out as well as it did, so far nothing but compliments from friends and family! And it was so easy and inexpensive!

  8. Jann Olson
    November 9, 2017 at 7:18 am

    I really love the look! Thanks for sharing the how to’s with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

  9. November 9, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    This is really neat and it looks great. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  10. November 10, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    Yes, those steel wire railings are so expensive, but look amazing. This is definitely a creative option, too! Thanks so much for sharing at the #happynowlinkup!

    • November 14, 2017 at 4:14 pm

      Thanks for coming by and commenting Leslie!

  11. November 11, 2017 at 6:53 am

    Brilliant idea Tarah and it looks amazing

  12. November 13, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    This looks really a great project. Great Job 🙂 Thanks for sharing with us.

    Have a great day.
    Khadija
    http://creativekhadija.com/

  13. November 14, 2017 at 2:43 am

    So cool!

  14. November 14, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    Your railing turned out great, love the idea of using metal conduit.

    • November 14, 2017 at 4:11 pm

      Thank you Christine, have a great week!

  15. Alice
    December 11, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    This looks absolutely beautiful. Will it rust over time? Do you need any type of protective coating?

    • December 11, 2017 at 3:55 pm

      Thank you Alice! I do expect them to rust over time and I kinda felt that would be ok with my look on the deck anyway. But they could certainly be painted in a rust proof paint like rustoleum!

  16. Sam
    August 26, 2018 at 6:07 pm

    Where did you buy the couplings?

    • August 27, 2018 at 9:52 am

      Hi Sam, I bought them in my local fleet store’s electrical conduit area. They were a pain in the butt the find and my local store didn’t have enough so I ended up buying them on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/2LuctrA

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