Introduction: Tiki Bar, Bar-B-Q, and Patio Cover Backyard Project

Hello Instructable World of Designers, Doers & Creaters!

This summer, I dedicated 5 weeks to design and build two items that my backyard desperately needed: Tiki Bar & Patio Cover, with new Bar-B-Q. My backyard previously consisted of a pool/spa and a fire pit. In Southern California, the fire pit was seldom used and my very old, used Weber bar-b-q was falling apart. I budgeted $3000 for the combined projects and ended up at $200 over budget. Not bad.


Tiki Bar Materials:

2x6's for the horizontal rafters

4x4's for the beams and diagonal braces

4x6's for the posts

2x4's for the horizontal roof braces

2x8's for the diagonal roof supports

Metal Roofing panels

Various decorations (cheap surfboards, tikis, etc.)

Various Simpson Strong Ties for all attachments

Decorative black ties for high visible connections

Various structural screws

Cordless Drill

Step 1: Phase 1: Tiki Bar Site Prep

Out with the old, In with the new. The first step in most construction projects is to prep the site. This means that I had to say goodbye to the existing fire pit. Brick by Brick, my son and I broke it up and cleaned it out. We had to be careful because of the existing natural gas line that fed the fire pit. The line was surprisingly shallow. I had to repipe the gas line and reroute it to the intended spot for the new bar-b-q. Then, simply clean it up and lay the cement. A few decorative bricks were repurposed to use as the center point of the Tiki Bar. Special Note: In rerouting the gas line, use tape for the black pipe and be sure to coat the threads with teflon tape or paste. My wife wanted a mini fridge out in the tiki bar so....had to run electrical as well. Not a big deal. Use outside romex in conduit and run underneath the counter tops. Add electrical outlets and covers.

Step 2: Prepping the Wood

I actually reused this wood from a very large custom pallet. After routering the edges for a sleeker look, I stained them. Much easier to do this on the ground vs in the air after completion.

Step 3: Setting the Posts

After laying the outline for the approximate location and dimensions for the tiki bar, it's time to set the posts. Various anchor rigs can be purchased. Some meet new codes while others meet repair codes. Be sure to research this. The most difficult part of this was getting the tops of the posts level because the concrete is usually not level due to water run off and drains. You know, 2% slope and all that.

Step 4: Beams, Joists & Braces

Adding the beams and joists is possible with one person, but easier with at least two. When setting the horizontal beams, be sure not to disturb the vertical posts too much because at this stage, they are still a bit wobbly. Once everything is tied together, the entire structure becomes one solid unit and is much stronger as a whole.

The photos here illustrate the joist choices as they secure the middle beam at its apex. I chose the 3rd picture as the easiest and strongest. Some people notch and nail. I use Simpson ties in all my construction projects. Be sure to fill all the holes with either nails or structural screws. Also, the diagonal braces I used were existing 4x4s measuring 2 feet, so the 45 degree angle is achieved. Attach with lag bolts.

The facia boards are last. They add aesthetics and increase structure rigidity.

Step 5: Painting the Trim

After cutting a lot of 2x4's and spacing them between the joists for rigidity and roof support, next was to paint the trim. No need to paint the entire structure, only that which will see sunlight and rain. I used 2 coats of brown exterior paint, and followed up with a water sealer.

Step 6: Metal Roof, Counter Top, and Bar-b-q

After attaching the metal panels to the rafters, add 4" trim all the way around the perimeter at the roof. the bar tops went through 3 cycles. The cheap, the existing material, and other existing material. The actual bar to set hors d'oeuvres and drinks on took a little time to lay out the design. I knew I wanted two levels for the bar, so I just kept trying different designs and finally settled on one which I liked. I had to support it underneath a little more because of the cantilever design where it extends outward. I also went through several choices of counter top material and finally settled on a tile overlay. The first can be seen is the blue adhesive which was supposed to resemble small cube tiles. It looked cheap and I don't recommend. The next was laminate floor planks which were supposedly water proof but not a good choice either. Then I went with real tile. It's heavier, costs more, but is the right choice. Affix and seal with grout. I also like the color contrast.

Step 7: Decorations

But first, run down to Costco and get a strand of low amp outdoor lighting. Plug it in to the electrical outlet that I installed previously and, Viola! Night Lights!

Then on to the fun part! Decorations! I added old surf boards and tikis that I found on Craigslist, and completed with a custom lasered sign.

Now....on to a patio cover!

Step 8: Phase 2: Patio Cover Site Prep

Here are pictures of before and after. Looks pretty plain before, right?

The sliding glass doors were going to be ruined if I didn't do something quick. They were getting pounded from sun and rain. Plus, house was dramatically heating up from the sun coming through the doors. So, phase II of backyard improvement. The patio cover. I was a little loose in purchasing the materials for the tiki bar so this time I generated a more detailed list of expenses and then I enlisted the help of my 2 sons (again) and loaded up in the truck for a trip to Home Depot:

Patio Cover Estimate and Material List:

Ledger Boards 2x10x10' 2 $13.00 $26.00

Lag Bolts + washers 1/2" x 5" 14 $4.00 $56.00

Joist Hangers 2"x8" 14 $1.00 $14.00

Hurricane ties 2"x8" 14 $1.00 $14.00

Post Base Support 4x6 3 $35.00 $105.00

Post Top Support 4x6 3 $70.00 $210.00

Posts 4x6x8' 3 $14.00 $42.00

Beams 4x10x20' 1 $70.00 $70.00

Joists (18" Centers) 2x8x8' 14 $8.00 $112.00

L Bracket (near house) channel 2 $10.00 $20.00

L Bracket (near facia board) channel 4 $10.00 $40.00 2 1/2"

Joist hanger screws box 1 $9.80 $9.80 1 1/2"

Joist hanger screws box 3 $9.80 $29.40

Simpson set xp or set 22 expoxy tube 1 $10.00 $10.00

Vent Covers each 2 $25.00 $50.00

Stucco pre mixed quart 2 $9.00 $18.00

Spray Paint can 4 $7.00 $28.00

Brown Paint Gallon 2 $37.00 $74.00

Hex head bit each 2 $2.75 $5.50

Silicone tube 4 $7.00 $28.00

Tongue & Groove 1x6x8' 19 $8.00 $152.00

Tongue & Groove 1x6x12' 19 $12.00 $228.00

Roof Panels 3'x8' 5 $30.00 $150.00

Water sealant gallon 2 $20.00 $40.00

Facia Boards 2x8x20' 1 $20.00 $20.00

Sub Total: $1,551.70 Total: $1,671.96

Step 9: Material and Site Prep

After purchasing the materials and dragging them to the back yard, it was the dreaded task of painting. I hate painting but it is much easier to paint before than after.

Step 10: Installing the Ledger

Install the ledger board. Use either Ledger Lock fasteners or lag bolts. Secure to the rim joist. The is usually 3/4" below the floor of the second story. Consult the code on this and use a W pattern for high and low location. I could have used a 2x8 but I went with a 2x10. Also, much easier to secure brackets to this board while on ground, then bolt to wall.

Step 11: Installing the Hardware

I swapped out the old venting hardware for new. It provides a newer, cleaner look. Can you tell which is which? These are not secured in the picture, just resting there to see what it would look like. This is where the ledger will go.

Step 12: Setting the Posts and Connectors

Use a concrete anchor bolt, epoxy, and a strong connector for new builds, not repairs. Can't find these at Home Depot so I had to go to a specialty store for lumber, Ganaults. Make sure they all line up and are on the same level. Add the top connectors before you secure to concrete anchor. Before attaching the connectors, I spray painted a grey primer, then flat black to give it more of an accent.

Step 13: Setting the Beam

Get help for this step. This beam is 4x10x20 and it is massive. I actually drilled holes while it was in the air, then placed it gently in the connectors and secured with bolts, nuts, and washers. Crank 'em down good and tight. Notice everything is already painted? It's just easier.

Step 14: Installing the Joists

Start by adding joists to the ends and middle, then fill in from there. The structure should be much stronger now. I used hurricane ties for these and hexagon structural screws.

Step 15: Installing the Sub Roof

Installing the 2x6's requires a little finesse. This is all Tongue and Groove. I used a pneumatic nail gun to secure to rafters. Line up the boards so that no seam is visible from underneath. Then use a spray gun to seal out moisture on bottom and top. I added a light color for aesthetics (it also helps to see where you've sprayed).

Step 16: Add the Facia Board and Metal Roof

Final touch is the facia board. Again, this steps up the rigidity even more. Don't forget the 2 inch metal band around the perimeter either. For the roof, I used brown metal panels that I special ordered 3x8'. Screw down on the ridges to the joists underneath. Did you notice the adjustable ladder half in and half out of the pool. Got to love problem solving! Add a few decorative items like a refurbished bench, anchor, and rerouted electrical flood light to complete the project....but wait....there's more!

Step 17: Custom Sign

How can you not have a Backyard sign for a Backyard Contest? This completes the look! Now invite your neighbors, fire up the bar-b-q, and get your swim suit on. Let's go!

Backyard Contest

Runner Up in the
Backyard Contest