My parent’s home has an amazing back patio. Growing up there, I remember the variations over 30 years–brick, cement, umbrella, lattice, no lattice, shade cloth, and now fancy aluminum pergola–but there was always an outdoor table and lounging space and I always spent at least part of the summer days out there, reading,  getting tan, what have you.

When I moved out ten years ago, I missed that so much. My first apartment had no outdoor space, but I tried to make a little space in my second apartment in 2007. However, like everything else there, it was a little cramped:

When I started looking for houses, a patio or potential patio was high on my list…until it got bumped by such things as modern wiring and attached garages. When I bought this house in 2011, I thought the tiny deck was better than nothing and got pots planted even before the landscaping was put in:
But it wasn’t quite right. There wasn’t enough space to really lounge, and it just felt temporary, even though I’d taken out a 30-year mortgage.

Well, two summers later,  something clicked and I went from “maybe a pergola?” to “THIS is what I’ve missed;  THIS is what I’ve always wanted” in about two months. Behold, the new patio:


That’s a 10×10 rough cut fir pergola and a 10×10 redwood deck, both designed, engineered, and built single-handedly by my dad. (Look at that trim around the edge of the deck so you don’t see the end grain! The steps! The cross bracing on the pergola!)

I didn’t know how much I wanted somewhere to hang out outside until this was all finished and furnished last week. I’m out there in the weekend mornings and afternoons and every evening until it’s dark. It’s another room, it’s my treehouse-fort, it’s what the house–and I–was missing.



Thanks, Dad.