Today I want to talk about one of my favorite home improvement projects we’ve ever done, our covered patio. Actually as far as life changing projects the patio probably surpasses the kitchen, and our kitchen remodel was pretty awesome. We didn’t build the covered patio ourselves, at the time it seemed a little out of our league and we wanted it done right, but we were heavily involved in the design, and Brian did the electrical work himself.
In this photo you see we added on to the concrete patio and also a metal pergola structure, and it really served us well for a few years while we rented. If you look closely, just outside the door is original concrete patio. It was so small that you could barely fit a small table and four patio chairs on it. Forget about adding a grill or any flower pots.
I thought I had a photo of the original tiny concrete slab but I can’t find it. In the next photo, if you look at the darker colored concrete near the door that was the original concrete, about 8′ x 12′.
We knew we would be renting for a while so we decided that extending the patio on our dime was worth it. Whether we were to stay here or move on we knew we loved outdoor time and it would greatly improve the quality of our lives so we paid for it ourselves. Then we purchased our pergola from Lowe’s, and bolted it into the concrete. The metal pergola was really nice about shielding the sun, and it also helped define the space. Even though it wasn’t waterproof we really liked it at the time. I had potted plants and some small furniture out, we spent many days and nights enjoying the patio.
Even if we had moved the investment would of been worth it in our eyes with all the joy it gave us, but as you know we stayed here and ended up buying our rental home. Once the inside updates were coming along I immediately turned my focus outside. We love being outside when the weather cooperates, and I’ve always wanted a large covered patio to sit out in the rain. So I listed the metal pergola free on Craigslist, free as long as they disassembled it themselves. A day or 2 later it was gone.
This picture was taken just a few months after Brian had built our new wood pergola, we had to wait a bit to get on our contractors schedule. The concrete patio looked huge with the old metal Lowe’s pergola gone, but the space was overwhelmingly open and had no shelter from the rain and harsh west sun. Here below you can see all the changes Brian had to make to our sprinkler system.
Once our contractors schedule opened up and they started working I was amazed how fast everything happened. I would look out the window watching the patio being built in awe. I was just so happy it was finally happening after wanting this for so long!
We have a weird roof line along the back of our house, it was difficult to plan the edges of the covered patio. The contractor wanted to leave the sides open or start the covered area to the left of the door, meaning if we were to walk outside while raining we would still get wet. I stood my ground, weird roof line or not I wanted the entire concrete area covered.
So what ended up happening is the 2 awkward edges past the roof line peak became small pergola areas and topped with Polygal roofing. When properly installed Polygal should not leak water and will hold up to harsh weather just fine.
The right side of the patio ended up being a larger portion of pergola and polygal with the left side being much smaller.
Polygal is a great solution if you have an existing pergola that you would like to keep dry but still let light through. Several color options are available and I can’t remember the name of ours. Sometimes it can look clear, but it’s not. It has a bit of a smokey tint to it.
When planning our patio I knew it had to have a pitched roof. Luckily this went along with our roof line anyway. I knew I would want a rustic chandelier hanging in the center.
This chandelier is from Overstock. Its not the highest quality item, but for outside I think its just fine. It looks nice though and it’s held up well with high winds and storms. If you’re interested it’s the Design Craft Alma 6 Light Chandelier.
We ended up tiling our floor with a slate tile. I wanted a finished look for the floor and bonus, it covered up our mis-matched concrete add on. We bought the Adoni Black Large Versailles Pattern from The Tile Shop. It looked really dark in the store, but we purchased a sample and in the outdoor light it had the blueish gray tone I was looking for.
I ended up purchasing a Pottery Barn outdoor sectional. Even with the sale price it was a large, scary purchase. I looked around for reviews and I couldn’t find any. I absolutely love our sectional so much and I know purchasing large items like this are stressful so I reviewed our sectional. If you are interested in purchasing the Torrey All Weather Wicker Sectional you can read more details about it HERE.
Sunbrella curtains were added to block the sun. I love Sunbrella fabrics, they do not fade and are very stain resistant. I read somewhere Sunbrella fabric is so tough you could even pour bleach on it and it would be fine, but I won’t be trying that. Sunbrella is machine washable and can handle anything except the dryer. The curtains get wet all the time when it rains. They dry very quickly so mildew isn’t a problem.
We used pipe to make our curtain rod and I spray painted it bronze. Not only did the pipe curtain rod save us money we were able to get the perfect rod size. Brian just measured the space, went to Home Depot and had the pipe cut to the exact length.
Our contractor had our wood stained in Ready Seal Pecan. You can buy it from Lowes, Home Depot, or Amazon. I love it so much that I now use it on everything.
The electrical work was really simple. We already had a porch light outside the door, and the switch was just inside. Brian just removed it, added the junction box, and ran wire and conduit up to a new chandelier box on the ceiling.
That green cord coming our of the electric box goes to our string lights. I love lights strung from the trees, it’s so charming. It was a dark corner of our yard that needed light anyway.
Brian also added a new junction box and outlet where an existing flush-mount outlet already was. Then he added this this timer from Amazon into the circuit, so now our fountains and speakers don’t run all the time.
We purchased Bluetooth Outdoor Rock Speakers from Amazon and they’ve been so awesome!! Music enhances every experience, so if you want to have a great relaxing outdoor experience music is a must. These speakers have great sound and they’re waterproof so you do not need to keep them under a covered area. I play a lot of Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald, they’re my wine drinking tunes.
When designing the patio I didn’t want a full size table and chairs on it. I wanted just a lounging area, or an outdoor living room. I did want a bistro bar style table for sipping wine or coffee and I had just the right spot over on the end of the patio. If you’re interested in the 3 piece Bistro Bar Set you can find it on Amazon.
Instead of 1 long coffee table I purchased 2 square ones and they perfectly fit the space. These are indoor coffee tables and on the few occasions they have gotten wet from storms and sideways rain they have dried and recovered nicely.
Surprise surprise they’re from Amazon. With Prime it’s just so quick and easy to purchase what we need, plus we get a lot of Amazon gift cards. You can purchase these HERE from Amazon, my tables are the natural 27 inch ones.
You can see our grass is still in recovery from adjusting the sprinkler system. The grass seed is starting to come out and it’s slowly filling in.
Over to the right I added a serving cart for drinks or to hold gardening items.
I spent a lot of time searching for the perfect outdoor wall art. I just stumbled upon this owl canvas art from Pier 1 one day and it’s perfect for the spot. It’s regular indoor wall art. It gets sun and during some storms with high wind it’s flown off the wall a couple times, but it’s still in great condition. This owl is tough. Yay!
Day or night, rain or shine, we love our patio so much! Sitting out during the rain is so much fun! Everything stays pretty dry except when we get our sideways rain. We haven’t had any hail storms yet, but I would love to sit out in a hail storm. As long as its not sideways hail….ouch.
If you live in Tarrant Country or the DFW area and are interested in using our contractor leave me a comment and I’ll get you his contact information. I hope you’ve enjoyed the story of our patio, and if you are planning an outdoor patio space I wish you the best of luck! It’s totally worth it! If you have any questions leave them in the comments section and I’ll try to answer them the best I can. You can read more of our outdoor related blog posts here under the OUTDOOR section.