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labor cost to install deck railing

Average Cost of New Deck Railings

You’ve got a nice selection of attractive deck railing options to meet any budget. Here are costs and links to full pricing details for the most popular deck railing types.

$26 – $34 per Linear Foot

$29 – $36 per Linear Foot

$45 – $100 per Linear Foot

$52 – $60 per Linear Foot

$60 – $165 per Linear Foot

$65 – $90 per Linear Foot

$285 – $525 per Linear Foot

As you can see, the price range is wider with some materials, such as cable and glass, because there are more options and accessories available.

Last Updated: Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Overview of Deck Railings

Deck railings are required by local building codes for decks starting at about 30 inches above ground. Wood railing and PVC vinyl railing are affordable options, but can limit your view of the surrounding landscape due to their wider balusters. Cable, decorative metal and especially glass maximize visibility, but at a higher cost.

Porch and deck railing can be a mix-and-match option too. Wood or composite railing used with metal or cable balusters are popular options, for example.

Railing kits allow you to choose your railing style and balusters separately. They’re a good DIY option, but take longer to assemble and install. That drives up installation cost if you hire a pro for the work. Pre-assembled railing panels cost more for materials but install more quickly and affordably.

The remaining of the deck railing cost estimate covers cost factors and the retail cost of deck railing supplies should you consider purchasing and assembling your own railings. All related costs including permits and installation labor costs are discussed along with sample projects using the cost ranges for each material.

Various Type of Deck Railing Cost Factors

The list of porch and deck railing price factors starts with those related to materials and moves to labor cost factors.

  • Railing Material – The table above shows the wide spectrum of costs for material options. If you mix materials, cost will be affected too. All wood railing costs less than wood with wrought iron balusters or cable, for example.
  • Material Quality – As you shop for your preferred materials, you will find basic, better and best grades. Cheap composite railing costs about half the price of premium composite railing, as one example. Treated pine railing costs less than ipe or redwood. Even glass railing costs differ based on the quality of the materials and any treatments applied to the glass. Cable railing prices for galvanized steel are lower than if stainless steel cable is used.
  • Rail Width – Most railing materials are offered in standard, narrow top rails and wider top rails called “drink” or “cocktail” railing wide enough to hold a glass or small plate.
  • Railing Height – Common heights are 36”, 39” and 42”, and cost rises slightly with height.
  • Caps and Accessories – You can customize the look of most railing types with a choice of caps from plain to large and decorative. Adding solar LED lights is another popular option as is installing a few decorative balusters in each run of railing.
  • Premium Colors – Deep, rich colors of composite and vinyl PVC railing cost more than lighter colors.
  • Gates – Regardless of the material, the cost of a gate runs about twice the price per linear foot as the rest of the railing.
  • Stair Rail vs Straight Rail – Stair railing sections cost more for some materials. Installation generally costs more too.
  • DIY vs Pro Installation – Next to the material you choose, who does the work is the second most significant cost factor. How much you can save by DIY depends on the railing material and whether railings are preassembled or assembled/built onsite.
  • Deck Complexity – Professional deck contractors base labor costs on how long the job will take. Decks that are non-rectangular, have stairs or multiple levels cost have higher railing installation costs.
  • Time of Year – Deck railing estimates during peak seasons, spring and summer in most climates, might be higher than during the offseason.

There are additional deck railing cost factors specific to each type. They can be found in the individual cost estimates linked to above.

Retail Cost of Deck Rail Supplies

Here are the average material costs for the most popular railing types. Differences reflect quality, materials specifications and whether they railings are kits, which cost less than preassembled panels.

  • $14 – $22 | Wood Railing per Linear Foot
  • $18 – $25 | PVC Vinyl Railing per Linear Foot
  • $30 – $85 | Metal Railing per Linear Foot
  • $33 – $48 | Composite Railing per Linear Foot
  • $42 – $75 | Aluminum Railing per Linear Foot
  • $45 – $135 | Cable Railing per Linear Foot
  • $175 – $490 | Glass Railing per Linear Foot

See the specific Business Finance News for the materials you are considering for an itemized breakdown of retail costs.

Sample Projects – Professionally Installed

This comparison of deck railing costs for popular materials puts the cost per linear foot into perspective.

Three projects are used. Each deck is 500 square feet:

1). Rectangular 20’ x 25’, single-level Deck with 65 feet railing:

  • Wood Railings: $26 – $29 per Linear Foot
  • PVC Vinyl Railings: $29 – $32 per Linear Foot
  • Metal Railings: $45 – $65 per Linear Foot
  • Composite Railings: $52 – $55 per Linear Foot
  • Cable Railings: $60 – $95 per Linear Foot
  • Aluminum Railings: $65 – $75 per Linear Foot
  • Glass Railings: $285 – $375 per Linear Foot

2). L-shaped deck, single-level deck with 100 feet railing

  • Wood Railings: $30 – $32 per Linear Foot
  • PVC Vinyl Railings: $32 – $34 per Linear Foot
  • Metal Railings: $65 – $80 per Linear Foot
  • Composite Railings: $55 – $58 per Linear Foot
  • Cable Railings: $90 – $135 per Linear Foot
  • Aluminum Railings: $72 – $80 per Linear Foot
  • Glass Railings: $350 – $425

3). Two-level Deck with Stairs & Rails between levels, 115 feet of railing:

  • Wood Railings: $30 – $34 per Linear Foot
  • PVC Vinyl Railings: $33 – $36 per Linear Foot
  • Metal Railings: $75 – $100 per Linear Foot
  • Composite Railings: $52 – $60 per Linear Foot
  • Cable Railings: $125 – $165 per Linear Foot
  • Aluminum Railings: $76 – $90 per Linear Foot
  • Glass Railings: $390 – $525 or more per Linear Foot

Cost of Demolition and Disposal for Old Railings

Old railing costs about $3 per linear foot to remove when contractors take it down and dispose of it.

If you have a large amount of railing to remove or are demolishing an entire deck, which contractors charge $5-$7 per square foot to remove and dispose of, renting a dumpster and DIY is a cost-saving option. Cost per cubic foot of container space goes down as the containers size goes up.

Savvy homeowners often rent a larger dumpster and share the cost with neighbors who have cleanup projects of their own. It’s an option that saves everyone on disposal costs.

Cost details are found in our Dumpster Rental Costimate.

Permits, Inspection, Related Costs and Installation Time

Permits and Inspection Cost

  • $30 – $150 | A permit including an inspection is required to ensure the deck is safely built to code. Deck size and where you live determines exact cost of the deck permit.

Related Costs and Installation Time

Installation time and cost varies by material and whether panels are preassembled or assembled/stick-built onsite.

Each Deck Railing Cost Estimate we’ve produced includes specifics, but here’s a general range of installation labor costs.

  • $8.00 – $55.00 per Linear Foot | Installation labor cost to install deck railing. Most costs $15 – $25 per linear foot to install.

Installation time frames vary just as much. Installing 50 linear feet of deck railing can take as little as a few hours to more than a day depending on the material, railing complexity and, again, whether preassembled panels are used.

DIY or Hire a Pro?

Assembling a panel kit takes more time but will save you more money by doing it yourself. It can also be more difficult because you’ll have to make more material cuts than if installing preassmebled panels.

There is a DIY or Pro section in each Deck Railing Cost Guide where specific challenges for each material are discussed. Most also have links to video or written tutorials that will help you decide if installing deck railing yourself is within your skill set.

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