Google+ Nine Red: Patio Progress: Building a Pergola

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Patio Progress: Building a Pergola

On Monday I showed you all how we kicked down the walls (literally) of our "unique" patio (click here if you missed that), and today I want to show how we polished that up:
Yay! I am happy. What used to be such an eye-sore is now becoming pretty cute... and while it wasn't hard, it was a bit time consuming - most of which was painting the existing structure. I was NOT about to take it apart just to paint it! So up the ladder I went.  Let's see, on Monday we left off at this point:
...and today will be picture-palooza (don't say I didn't warn you!) of the finishing touches.  After kicking the walls down, tearing off the plastic ceiling, and realizing that this would actually be a fantastic pergola... the new goal was cute-ification, which only involved a lot of paint & 2x2's.   Here come the photos!

First things first, let's focus on this door!
A lot of people have red front doors.. and now so do we.  Can't help it, I love the look, I love bright red, and I think it's really making this look like a FRONT to our house of many doors.  Currently this door goes into a downstairs room with it's own bathroom. They called it a bedroom during the open house, but what "bedroom" do you know has a spiral staircase dropping right into it? Exactly.  But that's another day's story.. let's paint!
Rather than going down the rabbit hole of installing a new door hardware, we just taped off these "beauties" for now - someday? New door.  Hopefully something with windows to let the light in, or a dutch door!
That is Behr's Firecracker Red right there, and wow - it's RED.
Tah-dah! Progress already. That was simple and inspiring - which got us to painting the entire structure in a fresh coat of white. Actually, it's called "Crystal Cut" by Behr, and has the tiniest tint of pink/purple in it, because we had to play off our mauve-ish  house, which now looks grey.  Gotta love optical illusions.
Yum-Yum. So now the plan of action was to tackle the top.  It was a little boring, and to disguise this ex-enclosed-patio to look like a pergola, we added some simple 2x2's in the opposite direction. You can kind of see in that photo how we placed the plain ones up there to try them on before deciding, and it was good.  Enter, Mr. Miter saw - my new best friend:
Set to 45 degrees, we were ready to cut.  If you don't have a miter saw, these 2x2's would look fine in their natural square-end form on the top, I just wanted an excuse to use the I decided to angle the pretty much everything...
We went with 78" since the frame was pretty wide. It was just a convenient halfway point that I could cut ALL 16 of these to.. so many cuts...
Hooray for angles!
With the leftover wood, I cut a few pieces to later become corner braces - just some details to make it look like this whole structure was intentional, not to mention the added stability these provided:
Hello beautiful forest view back there...

Now time to paint. Tip: paint them before putting them up - it's just easier (unless you;re going to do some crazy spray action, then by all means.....).  We used exterior paint & primer in one, in Semi-Gloss to help resist some of the rain we get around here.  That Primer being in there saves so. much. time!
Alrighty! Once those are done it's as simple as measuring, placing & attaching. I started with long deck screws but found using long thin nails to be a little easier, plus they held it still so I could put a few deck screws in afterwards.

Halfway there!

DONE!  We moved our hanging planters down to frame the place...
Take a quick step back, look at all that new found light! 
What's that, an angel? No... it's our front patio...  Close up of the corners....

A few quick details added, like whitewashing this hanging pot (50\50 water to paint):
... and replacing that tiny gold wall fixture for a cute hanging lantern ($35, Amazon!):
I believe we have ourselves a front porch.
What do you think, big improvement? In the future.... more plants, a vine to the left of the door, probably a bench and some new brickwork or other flooring down there.... but for now? I'm so so SO happy with the results.  It wasn't even that expensive! Between the wood, paint, dump runs & fixtures, we're still sitting under $100... not to shabby at all.

Got any projects going on at your place that are changing your home's curb appeal? Think you might tackle a pergola project? I say do it - the results are so rewarding! Remember my sister & her boyfriend's pergola?

Keep me in the loop via comments, facebook, email... whatever works :)

Up Next: Let's make Concrete Firebowls

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  1. Awesome, Jesse! That was quite the "before" I gotta say! We built a pergola a few years ago and LOOOOOVE IT! Your red door is awesome too. Good things come to those who wait I always say, so some day you'll find the PERFECT door with windows and all for a price you wouldn't have dreamt of. :)

    1. Thank you!! Yea, We're in NO rush at all for the door as it's not *really* our front door, and installing a door is still on my intimidation list - haha. I can't wait to spruce the patio up with accessories though! A bench, planters.. fun stuff :D

  2. Such an amazing transformation. Love, love, love it!

  3. Looks awesome!! You guys did a great job!! Looks like your house has a front door-and love the new lantern! :) Love, Mom/Diane

  4. Fantastic and perfect update! I love the way the pergola looks with the house, great job! - Susan

  5. Wow, what a massive improvement! I love the red door too and the pergola is perfection!

  6. Your pergola looks just great - so much better!! Nice work and I have this linked to my DIY pergolas post too today, for inspiration!

  7. Definitely an improvement! The red door stands out quite nicely against the white frames and the sidings. Would love to see it again after the pavers are done. Cheers!

    Terence @ The Fidus Group

  8. “...tackle a pergola project? I say do it - the results are so rewarding!” - I agree with you. The building process may be tiring and challenging, but your hard work and patience will pay off when it's done, just like how you felt. Adding some plants and vines would be a nice touch; I'm looking forward to seeing those. Enjoy! #Floy @ Orlando Pools By Design

  9. Amazing! What a transformation. It must have been hard work but the effort clearly shows in those pictures. And you just convinced me to work on my own pergola project as well, though I'm not confident I could do a good job as you did. I agree with Floy that adding some plants on your pergola would be a nice touch.

    Kendra Dennis @

  10. I just love the painted door! It sets in contrast with the white walls and pergola nicely. I think the mess in the earlier photos were quite understandable, as it is part of remaking a part of the house. Congratulations on a job well done! I hope you post some more home renovations. Cheers!

    Christian Renwick @ AltitudeFenceAndDeck


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