How to Build a Deck Wire Trellis


Adding a wire trellis on a deck expands the gardening opportunities for flowering and other types of climbing plants. Two considerations should be kept in mind when planning for a trellis: What view would you like your trellis to frame or feature and what type of plant do you intend to use on the trellis. A well planned trellis will become a garden focal point as well as a support frame for a climbing plant or flower.

Step 1

Select which deck railing sections will be converted to trellis panels. This type of trellis panel will create a privacy screen and it can be installed to block a less appealing view allowing open adjacent views to become more important.

Step 2

Remove and replace the posts and railings where the trellis will be installed. Use the existing deck posts as a pattern for how each post mounts to the deck. The new posts should be 8 feet or taller. Reattach the adjacent deck railings using a power screwdriver and decking screws.

Step 3

Drill 3/8-inch holes and mount the new posts using 3/8-inch lag bolts, washers and nuts. Tighten the posts into position using a socket wrench.

Step 4

Measure, mark and cut 1-inch by 1-inch treated boards. Use a table saw to cut the boards. Cut two boards to fit inside the new posts. Cut two boards 8 inches less than the height of the posts.

Step 5

Mark the inside of the post at 4 inches. Align the bottom of your post height board to this mark and 1 inch from the back edge of the post and screw the board to the post using decking screws every 12 inches. Repeat for the other post.

Step 6

Toenail screw the top board to span between the two posts using decking screws and a power screwdriver. Toenail screw the bottom board under the height boards so that it spans the two posts as well. You should have an inside frame that is attached between your two posts that is 3 inches above the deck and 3 inches from the top of the posts.

Step 7

Measure and cut stainless steel mesh to fit your frame. Cut your mesh with metal shears. Attach the mesh to the frame using a power stapler with galvanized staples.

Step 8

Measure, mark and cut 1-inch by 1/2-inch treated boards. Use a table saw to cut the boards. Cut two boards the inside width between your new posts. Cut two boards 8 inches less that the height of your new posts from the top of the deck to the top of the post. Screw these finish boards over the wire mesh, into the frame using decking screws.

Tips and Warnings

  • Wire mesh is sometimes hard to handle so wear gloves.

Things You'll Need

  • 4-inch by 4-inch posts (optional)
  • Drill
  • 3/8-inch lag bolts
  • Washers and nuts
  • Socket wrench
  • 1-inch by 1-inch treated boards
  • Tape measure
  • Table saw
  • Power screwdriver
  • Deck screws
  • Mesh shears
  • Galvanized steel mesh
  • Power stapler
  • Galvanized steel staples
  • 1-inch by 1/2-inch treated boards


  • This Old House: How to Build A Wire Trellis
Keywords: wire trellis, deck trellis, garden trellis

About this Author

F.R.R. Mallory is a senior at UC Berkeley completing degrees in both Neuropsychology and English. She has been published since 1996 in both nonfiction and fiction, books, short stories, articles and essays. Her fiction short story "Black Ice" recently won a National Space Society contest.