A patio is a significant investment, whether you build it yourself or have one installed. Once it’s finished, you will likely spend many hours decorating and putting the final touches on it. Patio covers often add to the beauty of a home, and also have the benefits of being functional furniture. A good patio cover will protect your house and windows from the heat of a hot summer day, a torrential downpour of rain, high winds, and the prying eyes of the neighbors. At a more basic level, a patio cover may become a sanctuary of sorts in your own front or backyard. Follow the following instructions to build your very own oasis; it will take less time than you think!

First, ensure you have the necessary tools and materials. This patio cover will require a box of nails (try to select nails two inches long), a box of deck screws (these should be coated and also two inches long), two bags of concrete, water, enough corrugated plastic (in length and width) to cover the area you wish to shield with your patio cover, eight lengths of two by four inch pieces of wood (these should extend past the area you want to cover with your patio cover), and four lengths of wood that are four by four inches, each of which is eight feet in length. Both sets of wood should be treated.

For tools, you will need a level (to ensure your construction is balanced), an electric drill (preferably with an attachment for a screwdriver), a shovel, a hammer, a ladder, a tape measure, and a circular saw.

Be sure to have all tools and materials within easy reach in your yard ahead of time before you begin. Ready? Okay, here we go.

Using your shovel, dig four holes in your yard. Each hole should be at least eighteen inches deep; these holes will mark your patio’s four corners.

Next, measure outside the outer perimeter of each hole. Get your two by four inch pieces of wood, and cut them to lengths equivalent to each side of your perimeter. Lay each piece around this perimeter. Grab your electric screwdriver, and at each intersection, use it to insert your two inch screws.

Grab your remaining two by four inch pieces of wood, and place them on top of the frame you made with the first piece of wood and at 90 degree angles to the first four pieces. Use your electric screwdriver again for inserting two inch screws at each intersection.

Next, grab the four by four inch piece of wood and stand it in your first hole. Grab some friends or struts to help balance the piece of wood. Next, pour your water and concrete into the hole; mix them together well, and check with your level to ensure that the wood is standing straight up. Use wood struts to support it until the concrete has set. Repeat this process with the remaining three holes and four by four inch pieces of wood.

Once the concrete has completely set, it is time to cover it with dirt.

Next, place your frame (the one made of two by four inch pieces of wood) on your four by four inch poles, and screw things together with your screwdriver, using two two inch screws at all four of your corners. Grab your corrugated plastic and sit it on top of the frame you have created. Grab some nails and nail the corrugated plastic to your roof frame. Congratulations; you’re done!

Additional Information:

eHow: How to Build Patio Cover

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