Please Visit DIY Tool Supply for all your Tool Needs

12 December 2011

How to Build a Pergola on an Existing Deck

In the last few posts we went through the process of refinishing your deck. I did mine and it came out beautifully. One of the things I mentioned was that the most detrimental thing to the deck is the UV rays that beat on it all year.

In order to combat the rays and provide a friendlier place to hang out you may want to think about building a shade. Luckily, I have trees that shade my deck but I have assisted on a few pergola builds and I assure you this is not a hard project to take on in a weekend.

When you first look at building a shade you want to take a look at your budget and size requirements, also see if there are any building codes in your area before beginning construction. You may need a permit.

The next thing you are going to want to do is get yourself a good set of plans. The pergolas I have helped build have all come from the same source and I recommend them as the most complete set of plans to show you how to build a pergola step by step.

You can download the plans here.

The last thing is to follow the plans exactly. Take your time. You want a good solid construction for safety and for durability. Here are a few good free resources on building pergolas:

Popular Mechanics - Pergola Build
How to Build a Wood Pergola - DIY Network
Family Handyman - Pergola

Don't forget, the most important part of the build is starting with good solid plans that you can have laid out in front of you. Don't follow free plans, they are usually thrown together by someone who is not a licensed contractor and you never know what you are going to get.

Get the best Pergola Plans Here

10 December 2011

How to Refinish a Deck - Part 3

The next step in refinishing the deck was to apply the waterproofer. Now Behr has a wide variety of water proofers. They have clear, wood-toned, semi-transparent, and solid color stains and waterproofers. I decided on the semi-transparent in mahogany tone.

From Behr's website: BEHR’s best semi-transparent product, this advanced 100% acrylic formula penetrates deep into wood to deliver complete protection from the elements for up to 6 years on decks and 8 years on fences and siding. The silicone-fortified formula delivers excellent protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Behr’s Premium Semi-Transparent Wood Stain is available in 83 custom colors that add beauty while allowing the natural wood grain to show through.


1. I loaded the waterproofer into my pressurized sprayer for a quicker application. This is important as you want to be able to maintain a wet edge as you work so that the stain blends well.

2. I started on one side of the deck, spraying the waterproofer on and then backrolling it with a long paint roller in order to fully saturate the deck. It worked beautifully.

3. Moving from one side to the other I sprayed, then rolled keeping a wet edge as I moved along.

4. I let the first coat dry for 24 hours and then applied a second coat.

The whole process was very easy and it turned out beautifully. I can't wait to enjoy the deck with my friends this summer.

In the next post I am going to talk a little bit about adding a fancy element to the deck, a pergola. Not only is it beautiful, but it breaks up the UV exposure to the deck, allowing your hard work to last many more years.

15 August 2007

How to Refinish a Deck - Part 2

We spoke in the last post about the reasoning behind why I chose the products and methods I chose. If you missed it, go back and read it here before reading this post.

Step 1: Cleaning

Since my deck has no previous finish I luckily do not have to worry about stripping or sanding the old finish. I will simply use a cleaner/brightener. I chose the Behr product no.63. You can find all the information on their website HERE.

Basically I bought the cleaner/brightener and a pressurized sprayer from Home Depot. The pressurized sprayer ran about $30 but was definately worth it. I mixed up a gallon of no. 63 with 4 gallons of water in a 5 gallon bucket and then poured it 2.5 gallons at a time into the sprayer.

I sprayed the deck down while my wife scrubbed with a brush in between taking care of the baby. It all worked out pretty well even though she had to bail halfway through to entertain what the DR. refers to as a "Wild man."

I finished the deck alternating between spraying and scrubbing. The only problem I had is that you need to keep the deck moist with the cleaner while you are working. I had to rush the deck project through the week to be ready for a party on the weekend so it was a hot day that I chose to do this procedure, too hot. The cleaner was drying too quickly so it didn't foam up well. I was still able to keep it pretty well moist before spraying it off with the garden hose.

It came out very well. I think it would have come out better if I waited for a cooler day like the directions state but I am happy with the results. Simply put, here is the procedure:

  1. Lightly dampen surfaces with water prior to cleaning.

  2. Apply solution liberally with a plastic container pump sprayer, brush, mop or roller.

  3. Keep the surface wet for 10-15 minutes. Reapply solution as needed to keep the surface wet and foaming during the cleaning period.

  4. Scrub surface using a stiff bristle broom or brush. The solution will foam.

  5. After the 10-15 minute cleaning period, rinse the surface using a garden hose with nozzle at maximum pressure.
In the next post I will talk about the waterproofer I used.