Throwing Shade

Thursday, May 2, 2013

One of my favorite things about our condo is that we have a private backyard. Jonathan and I looked at several places and no other complex had pretty patios like ours does.

When we first saw our patio I was thrilled. It was all concrete which meant less dirt during the windy winter season and the skeleton of a cover patio. The previous home owner said that she had originally tried to cover the patio but it had flown off with the wind. Jonathan and I deduced that it was probably due to shoddy workmanship since there was so much of that going in the home. Haven't you seen the photos of the nasty paint jobs? We were pretty sure that it would be easy to cover ourselves. 

Just to clarify: Ourselves = Jonathan. 

The weather has been beautiful lately and that means summer and its 100 degree heat is just around the corner. So we kicked our butts into gear and did our homework to see what kind of material we were going to use. 

Its really popular to use lattice or tons of skinny slats of wood on a cover patio but since we enter the house through the patio we wanted to have something that would allow us to walk without getting wet. See what I'm talking about? That's the door to our garage.

My parents had actually done something similar to their cover patio last summer and used plastic carbonate roofing paneling. Jon had helped my brother do it and it wasn't hard. We figured we'd copy them and do it our place. Imitation is the highest form of flattery right? 

Maximum shade, easy install and it was cheap! Total we spent $250 including the nails. Heck yes!

Once we got back home Jon morphed into handy husband and did his thing. First, he moved our cable line so the top of the wood frame would be free to drill into.

Then he placed one panel on the frame, positioned it and drilled it down using special roofing screws. 

He started with the piece closest to the garage and then moved on to the panel that would partially lay on top of it, making sure he hit wood he used the drill to attach it to the frame. Meanwhile, I sat there and looked pretty. I may have enjoyed an adult beverage or two. I have the best husband ever.

It took a few hours but once he got in the groove it went pretty quickly. At least from where I was sitting!

We did have a couple of issues. One, the screws weren't long enough for some spots so we only got about halfway done before we need another Home Depot run. Two, some of the panels were not being fully supported on the inside because they weren't touching the frame. This was a problem because we didn't want rain to come in through there and we didn't want the panels to become loose due the strong winds this area gets in the winter. We tossed around a couple of solutions but then I decided to adhere the panels together using Liquid Nails.

Jonathan was concerned about me and the mess I was making so he stepped in to help me do it himself. Because the wood was warped and not completely straight, the panels didn't lie flat on top of each other. That meant that we didn't have a flat surface to work with for the Liquid Nails. Jon cleaned it up and just threw a couple of the roofing fasteners into the two pieces. Way faster and easier than my idea.

Since we had to make another Home Depot run, Jonathan ended up finishing it the next day. And we FINALLY got to enjoy the lovely shade.

Now that he's done his part, its my turn. I'm thinking of adding some new furniture and plants. And I'd really like to add some lighting. What we currently have is ugly and doesn't really work that well.

But that's for another day. For now we'll enjoy it as is!


  1. What a big endeavor this was! But I know it will be worth all the sweat to have a back patio that is shaded and SO much more usable. Some plants and new furniture will definitely make this a backyard paradise!

    The Thinking Closet

    1. It was a big job- so glad Jon did it! And you're right, we are enjoying it so much more now. In fact I'm typing this from our shady and cool patio now!


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