Cable Rails – a DIY Inexpensive Upgrade for our Deck!

Jul 05 2020
This post may include affiliate links Click here to read my Disclosure and Copyright or, for more information on how this website collects your data, click here to view my Privacy Policy

Putting new cable wire deck rails in! Teaming up in our DIY Blog Hop this month with deck projects! (We’d love for you to join us by linking up below or click here for more info!) I made the conduit railings for the deck a few years ago even though I knew I would need to replace them eventually because: DOGS! The new cable rails moved to the top of the list this spring because Annie is now a permanent resident and she was very good at sneaking off to the treasure trove of a pasture full of horse poop. I can’t even express how annoyed we became of yelling at (and bathing) the damn dog. Not that I really blamed her… But having all of our doors to the deck open is mandatory for my happiness as long as the weather makes it possible! So, it was time for a solution that Annie could not get through…

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!

A couple years ago I moved the dog kennel out from the corner of the house to be right up along the back of the deck. It widened the kennel and made a lot more sense than having a “dead” unusable area between the dog kennel and the back side of the deck.

When I did that I used a gate chain link panel along the deck so, eventually, I would be able to leave the gate open and any doggos would have the deck to run on all the time as well.

Of course that would only work if the deck had rails that would KEEP A DOG ON IT.

So, here we are!

For this project I purchased two 400 foot spools of 1/8 cable from Amazon and this hardware to start, end the cable and also tighten it up.

I also had to purchase a clamping tool and a cable wire cutter.

The entire project came to around $200.


INTERRUPTION OF BLOG POST HERE TO MAKE A NOTE: If you plan on doing these rails the big cable rail kit companies out there will try to convince you to spend a lot more money than I did.

Their kits are ridiculously EXPENSIVE and MORE DIFFICULT TO INSTALL. They will also try to convince you to spend over $100 on a hydraulic clamp that you will never use for anything else and is way beyond what you need for this project.

DON’T BE FOOLED BY THEM.


With my materials we had enough to do 11 strands with four inches between each strand. My deck rails are extra tall at four feet but 11 strands was still plenty to keep most doggos on the deck.

(Note on rail height: I LOVE the height of the rails, yes they’re really tall but its a great spot to lean and, even better, it doesn’t interfere with the view when we’re sitting down.)

(I don’t know if this is to code – just like with my previous rails, it is not an issue for me – but if you plan on doing this project (or ANY project!) please check with your local building codes to see if they apply to you.)

My deck posts are screwed to the outside of the deck so putting the strands on the inside of them (instead of THROUGH them) made more sense. It also meant we didn’t have to drill a million holes that day so YAY…

(I grabbed a 4 foot 2×2 and made myself a ruler so I didn’t have to measure on every post.)

Putting in Wire Deck Rails around our deck. I made these conduit railings several years ago for one BIG reason: I was broke! But we can afford them now!

Putting in Wire Deck Rails around our deck. I made these conduit railings several years ago for one BIG reason: I was broke! But we can afford them now!

Putting in Wire Deck Rails around our deck. I made these conduit railings several years ago for one BIG reason: I was broke! But we can afford them now!

Putting in Wire Deck Rails around our deck. I made these conduit railings several years ago for one BIG reason: I was broke! But we can afford them now!

What took the longest on this project was the two hours to put up all the hardware! And to unscrew all of the tighteners too! Once it was all up though putting in the cable lines was pretty simple.

We ran the wire through one end and then all the way to the other end, looped it, clamped it and then pulled it tight at the first end, looped it and clamped it there before cutting it.

Then we simply repeated the process.

It meant we didn’t waste a single strand of wire and didn’t have to do any measuring – it was easy! After that we just tightened up the fasteners and we were done!

It really was that EASY… however I have to mention that after two hours of running steel wire our hands were pretty beat up. Yes this was easy to do. Yes we both felt like we lost a layer of skin off of our thumbs and the tips of our fingers. I tried wearing gloves initially but this was too tedious for gloves.

I did most of the clamping, we shared the threading but it was Lodi who had the hand strength to push the clamps up to the loop as tight as possible (like a pony tail) I would have had to have used pliers to get them as tight as he could.

It meant both of our hands were VERY tired by the end of this.

Putting in Wire Cable Rails around our deck. I made these conduit railings several years ago for one BIG reason: I was broke! But we can afford them now!

Putting in Wire Cable Rails around our deck. I made these conduit railings several years ago for one BIG reason: I was broke! But we can afford them now!

Putting in Wire Cable Rails around our deck. I made these conduit railings several years ago for one BIG reason: I was broke! But we can afford them now!

Putting in Wire Cable Rails around our deck. I made these conduit railings several years ago for one BIG reason: I was broke! But we can afford them now!

Putting in Wire Cable Rails around our deck. I made these conduit railings several years ago for one BIG reason: I was broke! But we can afford them now!

Another thing we both learned the hard way is if you brush against that wire cable just right it will attempt to rip all of your hair out lol. Because we didn’t put the cable through the posts we also went around with poultry fencing staples and tacked down each strand.

The pictures look so different because we did this over a few different days.

First set of pics we got all the hardware up and did one strand, another night we ran the rest of the cable rails and yet another night we really tightened it all up and then used my 2×2 ruler again to make sure each staple was exactly where we wanted it.

After that I waited a while to get pics of everything when summer was finally here and the yard was looking a little nicer.

Annie uses the deck as her sentry post now.

She comes up out of her dog kennel from under the bench with no problem and does laps starting at her doggie door, up on the deck and all the way around coming in through the kitchen screen door and back out again like its her own personal race track.

She sits a few feet from the entrance to her dog kennel guarding the entire space from chipmunks – its her duty lol.

The gates I built back when I did the conduit rails also had to be upgraded to keep a dog in. I had some extra lattice that I simply replaced the conduit with – its not perfect but works fine for now.

The gates will eventually be replaced when we move on to stage two of the deck but, like everything, it takes time and finances before we can get there.

For now the gates do their job even if they’re not real pretty!

All in I would totally recommend these cable rails for any deck or balcony – they’re modern, don’t interrupt the scenery and are really easy to install. Besides that they’re STURDY – you can’t pry them a part more than a tiny amount at all.

Putting in Wire Cable Rails around our deck. I made these conduit railings several years ago for one BIG reason: I was broke! But we can afford them now!

Putting in Wire Cable Rails around our deck. I made these conduit railings several years ago for one BIG reason: I was broke! But we can afford them now!

Putting in Wire Cable Rails around our deck. I made these conduit railings several years ago for one BIG reason: I was broke! But we can afford them now!

Putting in Wire Cable Rails around our deck. I made these conduit railings several years ago for one BIG reason: I was broke! But we can afford them now!

Putting in Wire Cable Rails around our deck. I made these conduit railings several years ago for one BIG reason: I was broke! But we can afford them now!

Putting in Wire Cable Rails around our deck. I made these conduit railings several years ago for one BIG reason: I was broke! But we can afford them now!

Putting in Wire Cable Rails around our deck. I made these conduit railings several years ago for one BIG reason: I was broke! But we can afford them now!

Putting in Wire Cable Rails around our deck. I made these conduit railings several years ago for one BIG reason: I was broke! But we can afford them now!

Putting in Wire Cable Rails around our deck. I made these conduit railings several years ago for one BIG reason: I was broke! But we can afford them now!

Putting in Wire Cable Rails around our deck. I made these conduit railings several years ago for one BIG reason: I was broke! But we can afford them now!

Putting in Wire Cable Rails around our deck. I made these conduit railings several years ago for one BIG reason: I was broke! But we can afford them now!


CHAS FROM CHAS' CRAZY CREATIONS -  How To Make A Solar ChandelierCHAS FROM CHAS’ CRAZY CREATIONS – How To Make A Solar Chandelier

KRISTIN FROM WHITE ARROWS HOME – DIY OUTDOOR SHOWER CURTAINKRISTIN FROM WHITE ARROWS HOME – DIY OUTDOOR SHOWER CURTAIN

ANDREA FROM DESIGN MORSELS - EASY PORCH PLANTERSANDREA FROM DESIGN MORSELS – EASY PORCH PLANTERS

MARY FROM LIFE AT BELLA TERRA - THE BBQ PROJECT IS COMPLETE!MARY FROM LIFE AT BELLA TERRA – THE BBQ PROJECT IS COMPLETE!

Hi guys! Chas and I are teaming up the first Sunday of every month for our DIY blog hop. Feel free to join us by linking up or you can also share it!

THIS WEEK’S DIY BLOG HOP: DECK PROJECTS!

Click here to grab the code and image if you’d like to add it to your post and see next months themes!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Comments

  1. jan
    July 5, 2020 at 6:37 am

    What an excellent idea!! I really like this for so many reasons! Durable, effective, budget friendly and not “obvious”! I especially like how you can see thru it which is great for us as well as the dogs!

    • July 7, 2020 at 9:31 am

      Thanks Jan, its one of our favorite projects so far this summer!

  2. July 5, 2020 at 7:52 am

    I love how those turned out. It makes the view so much better without slats. You have such a picturesque landscape. Thanks for sharing. I think my sister in Minnesota will want to try this.

    • July 7, 2020 at 9:32 am

      Thank you Andrea, I am SO happy with them!

  3. July 5, 2020 at 8:06 am

    Love your new deck Tarah! All your tips and tricks are appreciated – price points, ripping hair out (ouch). I love the unobstructed view too. We have a deck and that is my biggest complaint – we had to get some high chairs to see over the railing. Wonderful hosting with you friend!

    • July 7, 2020 at 9:33 am

      Thank you Chas! Yeah I’ve noticed that with standard rails and height that it can obstruct the view. We’re very happy with how this turned out. Thanks so much for doing the blog hop with me every month!

  4. Frances Batson
    July 5, 2020 at 12:08 pm

    Can keep in small children too!

  5. July 8, 2020 at 8:11 am

    My son was looking into the expensive system and changed his mind. I’ll be showing him your clever alternative. Pinned

    • July 8, 2020 at 8:30 am

      Marie, I am so glad I kept at it looking and looking – those systems are ridiculously expensive!

  6. Michelle
    July 18, 2020 at 6:24 pm

    I love this! Do you have a list with specific sizes of materials used? I wouldnt know what to ask for and what sizes when I go to the hardware store 😂

    • July 19, 2020 at 9:39 am

      Hi Michelle, the list of exactly what I purchased is in the post with links to the Amazon products I purchased, thanks!

  7. Rena
    August 12, 2020 at 9:57 am

    We did the same thing with our deck but we used close-line instead of cable it was much cheaper with the same result. I love the fact that you can see thru them and we have grapes in front of our deck so they had something to climb on…..

    • August 13, 2020 at 8:57 am

      That’s wonderful Rena, what a great idea!

Leave a Comment

Disclaimer

Everything you see here on this blog the author has chosen to do so entirely at her own risk. And that is: risk to herself and risk to whatever she may be working on/her home and her own wallet. The author assumes absolutely no liability if you choose to follow in her foot steps and attempt anything you see on this website yourself. The author strongly urges you to do your due dilligence before attempting anything of a diy nature at home.

Disclosure and Privacy Policy

This post may contain affiliate links and, if you do choose to use them it will cost you nothing, but you will be supporting my little farm as well as this blog and my future projects. Likewise for the banners and ads you see around this site. This site also collects Cookies:
For my Full Disclosure, click HERE
For my Privacy Policy, click HERE

Copyright Notice

All the photos and text on this blog are copyright Protected and owned by the author. If you would like to feature or use any of the photos or work you see here that is wonderful! You may share one photo from a post, if linked back to the original post. You may not copy entire articles and posts (even if you link back to me) without my express permission. Email requests using the contact form HERE