Patio Renovation Materials Info


This day has been a long time coming and I am SO EXCITED to finally share my first video with you guys! Disclaimer: please go easy on me haha, I am not used to shooting video!! YouTube is another part of the blogosphere I have wanted to add to my content for a really long time, and I’m fortunate that my brother, Jacob, is a videographer and photographer – so he has been kind enough to bear with me as I dip my feet into this new space. Ps. I may or may not have had a few mimosas prior to shooting to calm my nerves…ha! (You’ll want to watch until the very end – it’s pretty funny!).

Lately, the blog post that’s been coming back up in conversation via emails, direct messages on Instagram and comments on my blog – is how we renovated our back patio. In a nutshell, the paint colors, materials, why we decided to renovate, etc. A ton of you are working on patio renovations of your own, so I am thrilled to be able to give you a full-on walkthrough of the reno from the inside out, sharing all the details throughout! Aaand with that said, let’s get to it…

Though Blake and I aren’t certain this will be our forever home, what we do know is that it’s where we see ourselves for the foreseeable future. Thus, we were really excited to invest in a big renovation that would ultimately provide a ton of joy and transform the living room and our backyard. After living with the new space for a few months now, we are SO glad we made the changes. Even though it’s a bazillion degrees in Austin right now, we still pretty much live on our back patio. It’s where we have coffee in the morning while Watson plays, where I can escape midday (working from home has its pros and cons haha), and where we enjoy a drink as the sun sets. In sum, I give two thumbs up to this renovation!

I went into detail about the materials we used to complete the patio space and sliding doors, but I wanted to add some further info regarding each bullet point…

livvyland-blog-olivia-watson-backyard-patio-renovation-cover-polygal-roof-strand-lights-1PATIO COVER: This is a combination of cedar wood planks (they age beautifully!) and opaque Polygal plastic (also known as Polycarbonate Sheets). Above all, we wanted to keep the natural light flow from the patio and into the house. Although I adore the look of a fully covered patio with a roof extension, that design simply wouldn’t provide the light I wanted both inside and out. After chatting with our contractor about options, he showed us some previous patio work he’d done with Polygal – immediately, we were sold. Polygal is an extremely durable, high quality type of plastic that a lot of builders use for patio roofing, garage doors (there are some gorgeous modern ones out there!) and other various home projects. Our contractor provided both clear and opaque samples, but we decided on opaque. It’s weatherproof and looks incredible, too! I think the Polygal adds such a relaxed vibe and really provides an inviting, open feel to a covered patio.

livvyland-blog-olivia-watson-composite-trek-decking-brown-wood-deck-alternative-austin-texas-patio-renovationDECKING: When we moved in, the deck of back patio was extremely warped and painted the strangest red/orange color. Apparently it was only two years old at the time of move-in, but it was already deteriorating rather quickly. When looking at new deck options, we wanted something that would last a very long time and be able to withstand lots of foot traffic (from Blake and I, our puppers Watson and kiddos, one day!) and that also would look really beautiful and natural. Composite decking was brought up in conversation and after learning about how long it lasts, we added it to our list of changes. Though it’s more expensive than wood, most manufacturers offer a 25-year warranty (um, amazing!) and the best part? A simple wash-down once a year is all the maintenance you’ll be needing. Zero warping, staining or splintering involved…and that’s a total win in my book!

livvyland-blog-olivia-watson-austin-texas-outdoor-patio-renovation-chicken-wire-fenceFENCING: I didn’t really look at any other fencing options besides chicken wire, I have been in love with this patio fencing style for a while! It adds such a cozy, home-y vibe to the space. Big fan!

livvyland-blog-olivia-watson-before-after-outside-patio-renovation-reveal-furniture-austin-texas-lifestyle-blogger-12SLIDING GLASS DOORS: Given that sliding doors are expensive, we shopped around a LOT until we finally settled on the perfect brand for us. Blake and I sat down with a few folks in the door department over at Home Depot and eventually went with a custom build by Anderson. Interestingly enough, Anderson is not the cheapest on the market, but with the dimensions we needed, it ended up being the least expensive. Home Depot has a bidding system when it comes to certain doors and manufacturers can bid to get your business…which is why we ended up saving quite a bit by purchasing from Home Depot and moving forward with Anderson. This is in no way sponsored by Anderson or Home Depot (…umm, I wish haha!), but Anderson has an incredible warranty on all of their products – which is HUGE considering doors will be used like crazy over time!

SIDING + PAINT COLOR: We changed our vertical, light blue wood siding to horizontal, 12-inch hardy plank siding. The difference is seriously CRAZY gorgeous! We painted our siding a rich, deep blue color – we asked for Benjamin Moore’s Hale Navy but in BEHR exterior flat matte paint. Our trim is BEHR White Chip (we asked for an eggshell white). We went with BEHR because it has awesome reviews for exterior paint and our contractors highly recommended it… just our preference! We can’t even believe this is the same house after the siding + paint update…still in awe (and totally loving it) over here!

livvyland-blog-olivia-watson-before-after-outside-patio-renovation-reveal-furniture-austin-texas-lifestyle-blogger-4FURNITURE: If you want a closer look at our patio furniture and links to products, definitely check out this post. Our mid-century sectional is from Overstock, as are our white basket chairs, and the strand lights are from Costco (highly recommend! My whole family has these – they’re super durable and the bulb is that perfectly golden glow-y color…).

livvyland-blog-olivia-watson-patio-renovation-before-after-3 livvyland-blog-olivia-watson-before-after-outside-patio-renovation-reveal-furniture-austin-texas-lifestyle-blogger-23

Aaand that’s a wrap on this one! Hopefully I answered all of the burning questions regarding our renovation. If not – feel free to leave a comment below and please let me know what you think of the video (yay!!). PS. If you have other videos ideas you’d like to see – I would LOVE to hear ’em! XO




  • Celeste says:

    Great first video! Looking forward to many more, as I love your style (fashion and home)!

  • Diana says:

    Congrats on the new video. Your patio is absolutely beautiful! My hubby and I live in Austin and are building a new home. The backyard is lacking so we’d love to do something similar to this, gorge! How much did this reno cost? So I can get an idea. Cheers!

  • Jenny says:

    Where are the pillows from on the couches both inside and out? Love them!

    • livvy says:

      Hey Jenny! Our indoor pillows are from Urban Outfitters and the outdoor pillows are from World Market. We love them, great finds!! xoxo

  • allison says:

    Help! I love the wire you used but can’t seem to find it. I’m in Phoenix, AZ so should be similar mats local.
    Do you have a link to Home Depot or Lowes or wherever you may have bought the fencing? Everything is in a roll and to me your material doesn’t look like it was rolled. Maybe I’m wrong?

    • livvy says:

      Hey Allison! I know our contractor team did most of their shopping at Lowes, so I’d assume it’s from there. The one thing I know they went to a lumbar yard for was the cedar planks. Hope that helps!!

  • Lindsay says:

    Such a beautiful, cozy patio! You may have answered this, but I’m just not seeing it. Where is the fan from?

  • Mary says:

    I LOVE your patio. Can you tell me how the roof hieght was added?

  • Jenny says:

    Love your patio. We are looking to do something very similar. Curious about the wiring you used. Do you know the type of wire and size? We have little ones and a dog and I am wondering if the wiring bends easily. We are leaning towards hog wire, but haven’t decided yet.

    Thanks so much

  • Martha says:

    I love the patio cover but do you feel like you still have to wear sunglasses outside while you are under it? Is it really hot due to so much light coming in? I want to be able to comfortably use our patio in the middle of the day. I love the light but worry it will be too hot? Your thoughts?

  • Bob says:

    I have a question about the polygal too – the ice version (what I think you have) shows on their website that it has 32% light transmission – to me this sounds like it dims the light by 2/3 coming in. Do you feel like it’s significantly darker than not having the roof at all? I would like to use this but don’t want to create a dark space. The clear has more like 85% light transmission but seems less aesthetically pleasing.

    • livvy says:

      Hi Bob! The opaque or ice version definitely lets a TON of natural light in. It is shaded but definitely bright. When out during the day and it’s sunny, I will wear sunglasses – even under the cover. It is not significantly darker than not having a roof at all – it provides shade but is still very bright. I was super picky about ensuring our house would still be filled with natural light when having a covered patio. It provides the best of both worlds: lots of natural light inside/out + great coverage. Hope this helps!

      • Sheri Wagner says:

        I am wondering about the cost of the polygal and if you know where your contractor purchased it? We live in MN and are about to roof our pergola porch and I really want to keep the light but am not sure the polygal would work with our piles of snow on it. Thank you for any info you may have. Your porch is darling!

  • Jordan says:

    Hello! Not to be a bother but I love your design!! Im looking at doing something similar but there are so many options with the polygal. I found a supplier but there are so many options for thickness. Do you know what you happened to use?

    I found some from 6mm, 8mm, 10mm to 16mm!? Im guessing that the thickness not only effects the light tranmission but also the sturdiness (during install and against the conditions). If you would let me know I would super appeciate it! Cheers!

    • livvy says:

      Hi Jordan! I am guessing ours is 6mm – it’s quite thin! I remember when our contractor gave us some samples to feel and I remember them being much smaller than 16mm. I’d go with 6mm or 8mm. This is year two with the polygal roofing and it’s been amazing. Looks brand new, has held up perfect against wind/crazy weather. Hope you love it!

  • tiffany says:

    i LOVE your deck and we’re using it as inspiration as we plan our own deck project! thanks for sharing so much of your process, it’s been so helpful! i’m curious—how big is your deck? i’m obviously already thinking about furniture and wondering what we’ll be able to fit… 🙂

  • ELLEN Coady says:

    Hi Olivia, I love your patio renovation (2018). I am planning a patio renovation with partial roof/cover, for my hot tub. Can you give me more information on costs, contractor’s ideas/ “blueprint “? Especially attaching to the house; and the polycarbonate cover- I want to keep as much natural light as possible also. Thanks

  • Megan says:

    Hi there! Where are your white bungee chairs from?!

  • Gabriela Bailey says:

    Just wondering if you stained your wood and if so what was the stain that you used? It looks so light, I love it.

    Thank you,

    Gaby Bailey

    • livvy says:

      Hi Gaby, the cedar planks at the top of the patio are in their natural color, and the wood used for the sides is also as-is. No stain was used! 🙂 Over time the wood for the railing as darkened, but not by much – you could definitely stain it for a different look if you wanted. Hope that helps!

  • Lauren says:

    I love your patio! We’re also looking for options to keep as much natural light flow and I love the solution you’ve come up with. Could you give me information of cost estimates for the material? Thanks!

  • Hannah says:

    LOVE this! Hoping to do something at our home this summer. Do you guys have a supply list for something this?? Absolutely stunning back deck! Love it you guys!

  • James says:

    Hi, we are planning on building a covered deck of our own and are considering a similar plastic type roof covering, either clear or translucent. How does the material you used look after 2 years. My worry is that the plastic will look dirty after a while and be a pain to clean. What has your experience over time been?


    • livvy says:

      Hi James! Two years later and the patio looks good as new. We have a large tree nearby and haven’t had issues with the polygal getting gross or turning color. So far, we have no regrets with any materials we chose! One thing to note: while the opaque polygal does provide shade over the patio, you can still get sunburnt. Learned that the hard way, ha! Hope this helps. 🙂

  • Claudia says:

    Hey! Absolutely love this deck! What is the white material that is surrounding your patio (Between the wood and the polygal)? It adds a beautiful finishing touch! It looks like a white aluminum but would love to know what that is!

    Thank you!

  • Natasha says:

    What part of the country are you located? What type of weather do you have? Just curious about the polygals durability.

  • site says:

    Wow! Both the post and pics/video look great! Thank you for sharing this! Keep it up!:)

  • Ryan says:

    Love the look! Quick question, how deep is your deck?

  • Pam B says:

    Hello. I love your porch design. I am curious what brand and color your composite decking is.

  • Gaby B says:

    Hello again,
    I have the same question as Pam had about the brand and composite decking you used. We are planning on redoing our front steps and would love to use composite decking material for this project. Really like the color of your deck:)
    Thank you!

  • Til C says:

    Hi I love your porch. Could you tell me what it he ceiling height is at the outside wall, we are trying to figure out the drop needed. Thanks so much.

  • Kelly says:

    Love it all! We have redone our deck and are down to stringing up the lights. Can you tell me what type of hooks you used? We are trying to decide pattern and I live the zig zag. I’m hoping we won’t have to have hooks in center and can just drape from perimeter of our pergola. Not sure about that as our pergola is 14×24. Thanks!

  • Lauren says:

    How were you able to make sure no leaks get through the polygal roofing since the material can’t overlap like a metal roof can? Or are there connector pieces? Also, how often do you have to clean it? Does it mold? Really love this look and considering doing the same to our patio? Just wanted to check out how yours has aged? Thank you!!

  • Anita says:

    Hi Livvy! I have another Q for you about the polygal. I love how much natural light it lets in but want to know how hot it gets underneath? I’m curious if you can comfortably hang out outside during summer or it is way to hot to enjoy if its 80+ outside? Thanks! Your patio is gorgeous! 🙂

    • livvy says:

      Hi Anita! Great question. We have since moved from this house but I do remember our final summer last year quite well…and it was very hot! While the polygal does provide shade, it is very hot during the dead of summer if you’re under direct sun (without trees helping shade over the polygal). You will need to apply sunscreen too, ha! (Learned that the hard way). I hope that helps!

  • Cheyann Newman says:

    Do have a plan for this? I’m wanting something like this for home!

  • Sheelu says:

    Hi Livy,

    We are doing our back yard patio and I was looking for wicker furniture
    Could you please tell me where to find the one in the picture and the color description


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