Improving Your Outdoor Entertaining Space

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 over it to provide shade on hot, summer days.

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


Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Tip for Storing Tool Instruction Manuals

Store each manual in a ziplock bag, and cut out a part of the packaging so you can tell which manual is in each bag. To keep these readily accessible, hang them on a nail, right over the work bench. (Watch Video)


Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
Behr Granite Grip Concrete Floor Coating

Behr Premium Granite Grip is a decorative, slip-resistant concrete floor coating. It hides surface imperfections and fills in hairline cracks in concrete. It is available at The Home Depot. (Watch Video)


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. When we remodeled our bathroom we installed a vent pipe for the sewer line. It goes upninto the Attic but not through the roof to the outside. How do we know where to cut the hole thru the roof to glue on additional pipe to the outside.

  2. I enjoyed the show and the fix was perfect. Having a pergola on part of the deck and a lovely umbrella over the table on the patio was a nice mix for shade choice. The rain diverter for the roof was something I had never thought of and a cool fix for the problem of the water. thank you for a great show. I love that your fixes are realistic and turn out so livable and easy to maintain. Thank you

  3. question Hi. I was wondering if I will get a confirmation of the fact that I entered your paver contest (my teenagers think I don’t know alot about computers…. ). I did submit an entry and hope you got it along with a “burst video” of my backyard….and keeping my fingers crossed!
    thankyou , MLea Jordan

    • Hi, MLea, you should have seen a “Thank you for entering” page after you submitted your entry. Best of luck!

  4. PS I REALLY enjoy youe program. I am learning alot about how to keep my home in good shape in all four seasons….! Thankyou for that…! Question: There are so many different types of sunrooms and companies for sunrooms. Have you featured a programs on sunrooms and woods versus metal…? I would love to see a program on featured ideas for sunrooms, thanks!

  5. Hi I have 2 questions: My home is 15 years old. All exterior doors plus 1 interior won’t stay closed, and I’m unable to lock them all. I’ve paid people to fix them, but they are only temporary. Also I have a sliding glass door, which becomes very difficult to use, I do clean the Track I’ve tried wax paper, but something else is wrong.

  6. This was a great show, of course it’s still on my DVR for reference. I’m always learning something new, and dreaming of one day being on your show….. 🙂
    I have so many projects on my list, there is no way possible to get them all done in my lifetime.
    Thanks for all your great ideas and information.


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