Cheap, quick deck railing
I’m no carpenter. But I decided several years ago that I could do a deck rail. So I told the carpenter to knock $200 off his fee and I’d figure out a rail myself.
That was several years ago. There’s still no rail. So today I started. It’s raining, so it isn’t complete yet (I want to put the sealant on it before putting it up–quicker that way and no standing on my head to get it done right). But wow, it was fast.
The railing will cost about $100 for a 10×15 deck. Four 2x4s, brackets to hang it in place, and some pvc pipe spray painted to suit. No screws. I simply marked an x every 5″ or so in the center of the board and drilled 1/2″ holes with a 7/8″ boring bit on the x’s. The 3/4″ pipe fits perfectly in the holes. I’ll cut each pipe into 4-5 pieces each and drill a second hole into a second 2×4. As long as the holes on the 2x4s match up, the rail will be done!
Later: It’s taking longer than I thought due to the weather, but I think it’s going to work. I’m sure it’s not the cheapest alternative, but it still seems to be simple enough that it makes up for my lack of carpentry skills. Screwing pieces of rail into place would have been very difficult for me, even if I started by drilling guide holes. I’m the kind of carpenter that can drill guide holes and STILL put a screw in crooked so it splits the wood or pops out the side of the board. So far, my worst accident has been bending one bracket.