August 7, 2020

DIY Cable Railing

Thanks for stopping by my tutorial on how to build DIY Cable Railing from scratch! In today's post, we'll go over some of the steps involved in building cable railing. These methods can be used to build indoor or outdoor cable railing. I chose to build my own deck cable railing to save money and to get exactly what I wanted.

Cable Railing Video Tutorial

Benefits of Cable Railing for your Deck

Cable railing has a very clean and modern look. Cable railing is also a great way to preserve your view from the deck. The thin 1/8 inch stainless steel cable will not obstruct your view like a wood rail system does. Cable railing systems are a great way to keep your children and pets safe.

DIY cable railing
Minimal obstructions to the sunset and mountain view.

How much does cable railing cost?

While cable railing can certainly be expensive, taking the DIY approach will save you a lot of money. Doing your posts out of wood will be the most cost friendly, but if you want the most clean and modern look, I'd recommend going with metal posts.

Metal posts for cable railing are available in a number of different materials. Many website online sell posts that are aluminum or stainless steel. These are great solutions, but they can be pretty expensive. Quality posts will start around $100 with holes pre-drilled. This can be a great option to go with, and then you can buy your remaining supplies and install the system yourself to save a lot of money.

High end cable railing systems for a deck can be very expensive. I would say I have a pretty large deck, since I have 126 linear feet of railing. The cost to do a high end complete system not including labor can easily run in the $6,000 – $10,000 range.

If you buy items separately for this size deck, you'd on average be looking at about $35 / linear foot for materials. I used 32 deck posts, which would have come to about $3200 if they are all $100 a piece. The remaining materials would put me around $4000-$4300 and would bring the cost to around $35 / linear foot if I'd install it myself.

Total Cost to Build From Scratch

The total cost to build my deck railing from scratch was $1,545. Here is a breakdown of the costs. Many of the links for products are affiliate links. This means that you'll help support more projects on the DIY Pete website by purchasing a product through the link. Prices may fluctuate from when the project was built.

Steel tubing and flat bar: $342

1/8 inch cable: $218

Cable hardware: $299
Cable railing hardware for deck perimeter
Cable railing hardware for stairs

Crimping tool and cable cutter: $73

Cedar wood: $330

Washers, bolts, nuts, lag screws, roofing screws, spray paint, drill bits: $283

DIY Metal Posts for Cable Railing from Scratch

For those of you with some welding skills, a great option is to build your own metal posts. I built mine out of 2 inch square tubing. I used .120 or 1/8 inch thick tubing for the corner posts, and .083 or 1/16 inch thick tubing for all the inner posts.

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