Easy Outdoor Living

Deteriorated deck and patio with outdoor furniture on back of house.
Outdoor living area on back of house before makeover.

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The outdoor living area on the back of Mike and Maureen James’s house had seen better days, so we gave it a makeover by replacing the worn wood deck and cracked patio tiles, and building a pergola to provide much needed shade.

Deck Demolition and Repair

The first step was removing the existing deck boards and repairing the framing underneath.

The deck framing hadn’t been securely attached to the side of the house, causing the band joists to sag. After the joists had been jacked up, they were attached to pressure treated posts set in the ground.

Danny Lipford on ladder installing rafters on the pergola.
Danny Lipford installing rafters on the pergola.

Building the Pergola

Holes were dug under the deck for the pergola posts. The 6” x 6” pressure treated posts were set in place, and the holes filled with Quikrete Fast-Setting Concrete Mix.

Pressure treated 2” x 10” beams were attached flush with the top of the posts using galvanized lag screws.

An ogee pattern was cut in the ends of the 2” x 8” rafters with a sabre saw, and the rafters were installed on top of the beams on 16” centers.

Watch Tips for Building a Shade Arbor to find out more.

Installing Wood Decking

The ground under the deck was leveled, and a trench dug to allow water from the roof to run off.

Using a cordless drill and deck screws to attaching decking.
Using deck screws to attaching decking.

Since the deck was low, 1″ x 12” boards were attached to the band joists for skirting.

YellaWood 2”x6” KDAT (Kiln Dried After Treatment) pressure treated pine lumber was used for the decking. The kiln drying process minimizes the tendencies of wood to shrink, cup, and warp and should be finished without having to wait for the wood to dry.

The decking was attached to the joists using 3” coated deck screws. A 1/8” gap was left between each board, using an 8-penny nail as a spacer.

After all the decking had been laid, the ends were cut off, and a 1″ x 4″ board attached flush with the top of the decking.

Watch How to Build a Wood Deck to find out more.

Pergola, patio, and deck on back of brick home.
Completed outdoor living project with new pergola, patio, and deck.

Concrete Patio Repair

To improve the look of the concrete patio, the cracked floor tiles were removed and a motorized grinder used to smooth the concrete.

Cracks in the concrete were filled with Quikrete Mortar Repair Caulk and Valspar Solid Color Concrete Sealer applied using a roller.

Watch Cleaning and Staining a Concrete Patio to find out more.

Installing a Rain Diverter

Installing a rain diverter on roof.
Installing a rain diverter on roof.

A rain diverter was installed on the roof to prevent rainwater from splashing off the deck and leaking in under the patio doors.

A rain diverter consists of a piece of galvanized sheet metal bent at a 90° angle that slides up under the shingles near the bottom of the roof.

The diverter is held in place with roofing nails under the overlapping shingles, which are then coated with roofing cement.

Watch How to Install a Rain Diverter to find out more.

Patio Furniture Repair

The broken plastic webbing on the patio furniture was replaced with nylon webbing, which was attached using sheet metal screws in holes drilled in the bottom of the metal frame.

The furniture was then sanded and repainted, and the torn cushions replaced.

Read How to Clean Outdoor Furniture to find out more.

Other Tips from This Episode

Plastic bags stored in tissue box.

Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Plastic Bag Reuse Storage Tip

An empty tissue box is great for keeping plastic grocery bags organized for reuse. Simply push the plastic bags into the box, then pull the bags out one at a time as needed. Since the bags compact, a tissue box will hold 20 to 30 plastic bags. (Watch Video)

Cutting grass in yard with Toro Recycler Lawn Mower.

Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
Toro Recycler AWD Lawn Mower

The Toro Recycler All-Wheel Drive lawn mower (model# 20353) has dual variable speed drive and a Briggs & Stratton engine that doesn’t need priming or oil changes. The Toro Recycler All-Wheel Drive lawn mower is available at The Home Depot. (Watch Video)

Using pressure washer to clean deck steps.

Ask Danny Lipford:
Deck Cleaning and Staining Tips

Wood decks should be cleaned and stained every few years. Start by applying a deck cleaning solution or diluted bleach detergent mix, then use a pressure washer or deck brush to remove dirt. Allow the wood to dry before applying deck stain. (Watch Video)


  1. On re-webbing the patio chairs. What distance were the screw holes placed in the frame ? and can it be done in both seat & back ?

    • Marguerite,
      That depends on the width of the webbing you use. For 2″ webbing you would space the screws 2″ apart. Yes, it can be done on the seat and back.

  2. I thought that installing wood decking would be more difficult. Looking at this it doesn’t seem as hard as I once thought. I think that it would be really rewarding to build your own deck. This is something I will have to look more into. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I ordered the webbing from Ace Hardware online, also the screws. It took more than 1 pack for the 1 chair that we redid so I ended up buying a total of 3 packs for 2 chairs. We found additional 1/2-inch self drilling screws at the home center. It was an easy project and we saved 2 really nice chairs.


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