Our deck and deck railing needed to be replaced. Because we live on a lake, we wanted to use wire so as not to obstruct our view of the lake. We researched several options and decided to install hog wire deck railing. Actually, we learned through this process that we wanted to use sheep/goat wire. It consists of 4×4 squares. (Hog wire consists of rectangles and cattle wire consists of larger rectangles.) We purchased the sheep/goat wire panels from Tractor Supply Company. We purchased all the treated lumber from Ace Hardware and were pleased with the quality.
This DIY deck railing project has totally transformed our deck and YES, we have a great view of the lake.
Before we installed our new wire railing, we updated our deck (flipped the decking boards). It costs less than $60. Click HERE to see check it out; you will be amazed by the result!
So back to our deck railing project . . .
First, we decided on the height of our deck railing. It helps me to draw this out. Below is my rough sketch. The standard height for residential is 36″; we opted for 37 inches (including the handrail).
We had to remove the old deck railing. We used a flat bar, a crowbar, and a hammer to remove the old spindles. We used a level to screw an old 2×4 to the post and a circular saw to cut the 6×6 posts. The 2×4 ensured that we had a nice even/level cut for the new 6×6 post to rest on.
Next, we cut the 6×6 treated posts. Because we did not want to replace the posts down to the ground (our deck if very high on the front of the house), we cut a 2″ wedge from each post. We started the cut with our miter saw and finished it with a chisel and hammer.
This enabled the post to rest on the deck. We used 8″ carriage bolts to secure the 6×6 posts to the deck.
Here is a section in which the posts have been installed. Our posts are 36″ tall. After adding the handrail, the height will be 37″.
Here is a picture of the corner post. (I inserted this after writing the original blog post at the request of a reader.)
Building the Frame
Installing Two 2x4s on the Bottom:
We used our DeWalt miter saw to cut all the wood.
We use two treated 2x4s on the bottom and on the top. Below shows Neal installing the two 2x4s at the bottom. Notice we used a scrap piece (3.5″) to hold the 2x4s in place (i.e. at the proper height) while installing the two 2x4s.
Installing the Wire:
We purchased the sheep/goat wire (actual sheets of fencing) from Tractor Supply Company. We used bolt cutters to cut the wire. (We saved some of the excess/scrap wire to make trellises for our garden next year.)
NOTE: Be sure the wire panels are facing the same way. In other words, we made a decision for the horizontal wire to be on the inside of the railing and the vertical wire to be on the outside. It does not matter as long as you are consistent when installing each wire panel.
To ensure consistency, we used these scrap pieces of wood (see picture below) each time we installed a wire panel.
When attaching each 2×4 to the 6×6 post, Neal used a drill bit to create a pilot hole for each screw. Notice he is doing this at an angle. We also used clamps to pull the 2x4s tight against the wire.
He then used screws across the bottom of the 2×4 (attaching the 2x4s to each other.)
Installing the Top Two 2x4s:
Neal followed the same process, to attach the top 2x4s (used clamps, used a drill bit to start the hole for each screw, screwed the end of each 2×4 into the 6×6 post, and added screws to attach the two 2x4s to each other.)
Installing the Four 2x2s:
We measured to ensure the proper length of each 2×2, cut and screwed these in place (on each side of the wire and on both ends of the panel). These complete the frame which holds the wire in place. Again, we used clamps to ensure the 2×2 were snug against the wire before screwinging place.
Installing the Handrail:
We used 5/4 decking boards for the handrail. We measured and cut the exact length. We screwed these in place using the same decking screws. We cut a 45-degree angle where two boards adjoined.
We did the step railing the same way; however, we had to cut several angles. We have a handy tool (see picture below) that enables us to measure angles and then adjust our miter saw to cut that angle.
These step railing took a little longer due to all the angles. My advice is to take your time. As good carpenters say, “Measure twice and cut once.”
Pressure Washing the Exterior Ban:
After completing the deck railing, we pressure washed the exterior ban where the spindles were nailed. We love our pressure washer!
Here are a few AFTER pictures:
Here is a picture that shows the view from the inside of our living area. I like how you can see the lake through the railing. That is exactly what we wanted to accomplish!
Let’s look at one more before and after . . . even Daisy likes it!
Let us know what you think or if you have any questions by posting below.
Don’t forget to check out how we updated our deck floor by flipping the boards. You will be amazed by the result!
60 thoughts on “DIY Hog Wire Deck Railing”
I like the way this railing looks. We need to redo our deck railing. Is this something an inexperienced person could do?
If you have never used power tools, I would think this might be a little challenging. However, if you have used power tools in the past, then you might be able to manage this project. I would suggest to take your time. Let me know if you decide to do this.
It sounds like very useful info for anyone wanting to improve their home.
Thanks, Joseph! We hope this is helpful!
Looks great! I just built a deck off the back of our home and built the railings nearly identically. The only difference is that I sandwiched the hog wire between the 2×4’s and 2×2’s prior to attaching them to the posts in a frame like manner. I then took that entire piece and screwed them in to the posts. I would recommend this look no matter which way it’s done. We love it because of the limited obstruction to the view off our deck. Also, the double 2×4’s adds structural rigidity between posts and helps support the top rail.
Thanks so much for the kind words. I am also glad to know you build the same type of railing system. We thought about doing what you did using a dado blade. I think your approach is good too. Thanks for sharing this option with my readers! I am glad you like your new railing as much as we do!
Thanks for reading my blog and taking the time to share about your new deck railing.
I’ve been researching how to update the rotted railing on my deck of the house I purchased recently and came across your post. Because I’ve spent so much on the renovations of my home, I need to find a budget friendly diy solution for this problem that’s also pleasing to the eye and you guys “nailed” it! Thank you for your detailed tutorial and for sharing this for people like me who need ideas on huge problems! ? Great job!
Your sweet comment made my day! This is exactly why I have this blog – – to help other people learn from our projects. We are still learning and I hope our learning helps others. Ironically, we are doing the same type of railing (spent all weekend working on it) on our dock. I have actually referred back to me blog to remind me of the process!
Thanks for visiting my blog! Let me know how it goes.
Do you have a close up photo of a corner post? I am curious to see what you had to do cutting wise to the post.
Thank you so much for the detailed instructions and photos. I have seen pictures of the finished product before on Pinterest, but yours is the first webpage to have dimensions and other helpful info.
I am glad our blog post was helpful. We struggled to find detailed posts on this too, which is why we were so detailed. I inserted a picture in the post of one of the corner posts. Let me know if that helps or if you have more questions.
Looks amazing! This is exactly what we plan do with our deck. Thank you for sharing such great pictures and detail. I was wondered if I could have just a little more information on the panels. How long are the main panels on your deck? Some look pretty long and was wondering if there is any give to the center of them? Also, what stops the goat panels from falling down between the frame/how are they secured? Would love to see a post on your scrap goat panels as well, such as your trellis or anything else you may have made with them. Thanks again.
Thanks for the affirmation! We love our deck railing!
Some of the panels are as long as 8 feet. We do plan on adding 2×4 block for support under each 8-foot section.
The wire is sandwiched between the 2x4s and these 2×4 are screwed into each other so the wire is very secure.
We have talked about what to do with some of the scrap pieces and one option was making trellises for our garden next summer. If so, I will do a blog post on this!
Thanks for your questions. Let me know how is goes or if you have any other questions.
Planning on a hog wire fence. Thanks for all the detail. Looking forward to starting it now! Watching for new stuff!
Thank you for this. I used this very idea on a 16’ x 12’ deck I built on the little creek behind our house. I went to the extra trouble to use a kregg guide to angle the inside horizontal 2” x 4”s so there’s no visible screws. Turned out real nice. Thanks again for taking the time and trouble to post this. I’m sure it’s helped and encouraged many.
Thanks for sharing that tip! What a good idea!
Thanks for reading our blog.
Love the DIY Suzanne and Neal did.. but Curious, do you have a photo(s) on this kregg cut? I am trying to visualize this angle cut and just can’t. Lol
I wonder if you meant this for another blogger because it was addressed to Eddie. But thanks for the kind words about our deck. Let me know if you have any other questions.
Looks awesome. This exactly how I am going to do our pool deck… but question did u in anyway secure the wire to the 2×4’s other than just sandwiching them?
Thanks for the affirming words. We are so pleased with our deck railing! Great question. No, we just sandwiched the wire. We held the board that sandwiched the wire in place with clamps and then screwed them in place as tight as we could against the wire. They are very secure. It really helps because the wire is thick and rigid.
Let me know how your project goes!
I love the design and plan to use it on the 50×10 deck we’re building on our new cabin. Question: Do you have any issues with rain water collecting in the bottom set of 2x4s? Did you cut off the bottom horizontal of the wire to allow water to drain?
Thanks for your affirming comment. We REALLY are pleased with our deck railing. Good for you for getting ready to build a deck on your new cabin.
We do not have any issues with rainwater collecting in the bottom of our 2x4s. Because of the way the wire is welded together, it creates a gap for the water to drain through. Hence, we don’t have any issue with rainwater draining. I hope this helps.
Let me know how it goes with your new deck. Thanks for visiting our blog!
I’m living your deck project as well. Looking forward to copying your idea ??. We have 3 tiered deck so there’s work involved for sure.
Based on the water drainage on the bottom, what about water pooling on the hand railing..where the 5/4 deck board was used? Currently we have 2×4 railing(pretty old) but they have slight angle cut for drainage. Your thoughts?
We did not cut an angle on the hand rail. We just made sure to install it crown up to allow water to roll off. I hope this helps!
I enjoined reading your build instructions. Plan something similar on outdated deck overlooking a dune lake in Florida.
My question is, how did you secure the older cutoff posts(lower members) to the deck framing. I see the new posts are well secured.
Thank you for sharing your project with others.
We did not secure the older cutoff posts to the deck framing. We set the new post on the old post and let gravity hold it in place. We bolted the new post to the deck frame. We have not had any issues so this worked fine for us. I hope this helps.
I enjoyed your post; thank you for the detailed description. Have you noticed any rusting of the wire, or did you take measures to prevent rusting? We’ve had issues with some similar fence panels rusting over time.
Good question! We have not had any issues with the wire rusting. It is galvanized steel and thus not supposed to rust.
Thanks so much for visiting our blog!
If the wire fencing squares are 4*4, how does this pass code?
There is no issue with this passing code because the 4″x 4″ squares are actually a smaller space than spindles would be. I hope that helps to clarify.
I cannot locate any fence panels with a 4”x4” hole. I have thoroughly searched tractor supply website to no avail. Do you have any insight on this?
We had a difficult time finding the galvanized fence panels with 4×4″ holes too, so I can relate to your ordeal. Some Tractor Supply Company Stores do not carry these panels. We had to call around but finally found them.
After reading your comment, I went on their website and think I found a panel that would work: https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/utility-panel-5-ft-x-16-ft#
These panels are 5 x 16 feet which are similar to what we purchased. We had to cut the excess off to get the size we needed.
My neighbor used a similar panel with a larger hole on his deck and they worked fine too. I think he used this size: https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/feedlot-panel-combo-16-ft-l-x-52-in-h?cm_vc=-10005
What we purchased actually had the small rows on the bottom of each panel just as this second version does. We just cut this off as we did not need it anyway.
If you can’t find a store these panels in stock, perhaps they can order for you. I hope this helps!
Thanks for reading our blog.
Check Ruralking.com as well.
They have some options that might work. Just make sure it is rigid. The Sierra Sheep and Goat panel might be a good option.
Let me know if you have any other questions.
Can the wire be painted? I really like the black wire look.
I think you could spray paint this is a high-quality black spray paint and it would look great. You might need to repaint it over time. I would initially paint it prior to installing. I have also seen similar wire panels that are powder-coated black at building supply stores. They are a little pricey, but they do look nice. I hope this helps. Thanks for reading our blog!
Thanks for sharing this. It will be super helpful as I design a replacement for our deck railing.
Question about how the wire panels attach to the vertical posts:
Did you consider drilling holes into the posts to insert the wire? Would love your thoughts on that method. Thanks!
We did consider using a dado blade to cut grooves in the vertical posts to hold the wire; however, we opted to install the 2x2s instead and that works fine. Either option will work. For us, it was easier to just install the 2x2s. I hope that helps.
Thanks so much for posting these detailed instructions!!! We are in the process of building our deck and come back to your instructions over and over. Thanks for your guidance and help. We are 64 and 71 years old and doing this by ourselves so we are very grateful you posted these easy to follow instructions.
Your comment makes my day! I am so happy our post is helpful to you.
Kudos to you both for being DIYers and redoing your deck. You remind me of us! So proud of you both!
Thank you for responding! May God bless you for blessing others with your knowledge!
You are so kind! God is so good and may He bless you too!
Thanks for your reply, Suzanne. But I was referring to holes – one per wire – in the post for each wire to be inserted. Just wondering you considered that and, if so, why you decided to go with the method you chose. I’m just trying to consider pros and cons. Thanks!
Thanks for the clarification. We did not consider the option you mentioned. We had done a lot of research prior to starting this project and opted for the method we used because it was easier and yet sturdy. We are really pleased with how it turned out. We are getting ready to do this on our new steps to our dock too. I hope this helps.
Great build! My wife and I are going to redo our deck railing to this as well.
Quick question, what size screws did you use for the whole project?
Thanks, we really like the result. We recently added the same type of railing to part of our dock. We used 2″ screws.
Hello! Beautiful deck! What length did you cut the wire panels?
Thanks for the compliment! We are pleased with how our deck railing turned out.
The length varies because we have a lot of turns and angles. Across the front of our deck, they are longer (96×32, which equates to 24×8 of the 4×4 squares) because the posts are farther apart. Down the side, they are a little shorter (84×32, which equates to 21×8 of the 4×4 squares). The smallest section is 64×32, which equates to 16×8 of the 4×4 squares). I hope this helps!
All I got to say that was the easiest deck railing I have ever done. Thanks for the great ideas. Did it on 2 sides of a pergola on my deck. No to redo my entire 48 foot deck… Wish I could send you pictures.
I am so happy our blog post helped you! That makes my day! I will email you so you can share pictures. I can’t wait to see your deck railing.
When u cut your wire did u have unsupported “ends” from cutting the wire to fit? Ie: no horizontal piece. I bought 4×8 3”x3” wire and I cut it in half width wide leaving me with one section with open ends. Any suggestions on how to secure the bottom rail other than using the clamps and screws?
Thanks in advance,
Like you, we had cut the wire which is why we installed 2x2s on each end to frame the wire (to hide the cut ends and hold the wire in place).
I don’t have any other suggestions on securing the bottom. Using a 2×4 helps hold it in place. The clamps help tighten the two 2x4s sandwiching the wire firmly in place. The screws hold it in place permanently. I hope this helps.
Let me know if I misunderstood your questions.
Love, love, love!!! Would we be able to use the 2×4’s for the top and bottom if we only have 4×4 posts to attach them to? Wouldn’t the be a bit too thick? Would 1×4’s be sufficient?
Thank you ?♀️
Thanks for the kind words. We love our deck railing and glad you do too!
I don’t think 1×4’s would be strong enough but I do think 2×4’s should work if you have 4×4 posts.
I hope this helps.
We plan to do the same thing so thanks for the post detailing your install. Quick question, I know you used the scrap pieces of wood each time we installed a wire panel to have the panels level but how thick is the scrap of wood (how low did you have the panel extend down “into” the 2 sandwiched 2×4’s)? Likewise, how high did the panel extend up between the 2 sandwiched 2×4’s up top? (Assuming same)? Finally, what drill size did you use to pre-drill your 2″ screws? Thanks much!
Great questions! The block of wood we used was 1 1/8″. However, the important thing is that you are centering the squares on the wire. This may be different depending on the height of your rail. Hence, our top square of the wire was also 1 1/8″ (the part that is exposed). I hope that makes sense. We used 2″ screws and thus we used a 3/64″ bit. Check the box of screws you are using. In many instances, it will tell you what size drill bit to us.
I hope this helps. Thanks for reading my blog.
I came across your article some time last year and knew immediately that this was the deck railing I wanted for our log home. Yesterday our railing replacement project was completed and I couldn’t be happier with the result. We did have a contractor do the work and we were very fortunate to find one who was also a wonderful craftsman with an eye for detail.
We did not use rigid hog panels as funds were limited but found a nice rolled fencing product with 2×2 squares covered with black PVC coating which I preferred anyway.
Thank you for the design and I can’t wait to show it off. I would be happy to share photos with you if you would like. We have to wait until spring to stain since the PT lumber is wet and then my cozy home will be beautiful once again.
Your comment makes my day! I am so happy for you. I will send you my email so you can share pictures! I can’t wait to see it!
I wanted to thank you for the inspiration.
I recently finished my 68′ x 13′ deck across the front of my house. I took your thoughts and did some small changes.
Given availability, I used cattle fencing. It has smaller rectangles across the first 4 rows or so, which I put at the bottom, leaving the bigger rectangles for the eye-level view.”
All my screws came in from underneath or the back to minimize water intrusion.
I didn’t use sandwiching boards to hold the wire, because I have a wasp problem. I drilled holes for the horizontal wire and curving the panel, “poked” them into the supporting posts. The posts were roughly 6-8′ apart, which made the panels taut. The panel also poked into the top rail, which was attached to the posts from underneath. So the tension involved holds them in place without any give.
All in all, I am in love with how it turned out. I also used cattle fencing with shade cloth on it, to top several large pergolas I have in front, protecting shade gardens.
Thank you for taking the time to explain your process. It really helped me take the idea out of my head and put it into play. No one around me had the imagination, but now they all “ooooooOOoo” about my beautiful deck.
I am so happy to read your comment! Good for YOU! I just love it when people use our instructions but adapt to make it work for them. What you did may help other readers, so thanks for sharing! I love that your neighbors are oooing over your new deck! Good for you! Enjoy your deck!
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