DIY Network

How to Install a New Orleans-Style Patio

Installing prefabricated cast-iron posts and railings will give any patio the look and feel of a New Orleans café.

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install a new orleans style patio
  • Time

    Two Days

  • Price Range

    $2,500 - $5,000

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Order Parts

Before beginning this project, it is essential to map out the placement of the café-style patio. Determine the position of the walls, posts and door opening. Consider using a 3-D computer modeling program or making sketches. Take accurate measurements and send to cast-iron fabricator and awning company so they can make the pieces.

take accurate measurements and place order

Step 2: Determine Placement

Snap chalk lines on the concrete slab, making certain they are square to the house and each other. In this project, the patio is built into an interior corner of a house, meaning that it has two sides and one corner.

Step 3: Attach Posts

With help, temporarily position the cast-iron corner piece. Mark the location of where to pre-drill the concrete pad. Remove the corner piece and pre-drill the holes with a hammer drill and masonry bit. Reposition the corner piece, check to ensure plumb, and secure using drive-pin anchors. Repeat this process for the two side pieces that abut the house. When plumb and secure, attach the side posts to the house using decorative brackets and self-tapping screws. Next, install the door frame posts in the same manner.

temporarily position cast iron corner piece

Step 4: Install Headers

With all the posts in, move on to the cast-iron headers. One spans the distance from the house to the corner post. The other spans the distance from the corner post back to the house. Position one header and secure with self-tapping screws. Position the final header and do the same. Using bolts, secure the two headers together.

install cast iron headers

Step 5: Attach Railings

With the headers in place, move on to the railings. Secure the railings to the posts using self-tapping screws. Make sure to space the railings apart evenly, and to leave the door opening free.

Step 6: Attach Awning Header

Snap a chalk line on the house where the awning header will be attached. Make sure the line is level. Mark the location of the wall studs. Measure and cut a 2" x 10" header board and temporarily nail it in place. Pre-drill the board and then secure to the house with lag bolts. Install flashing and caulk.

snap chalk line for awning header

Step 7: Stretch Awning Canvas

Before attaching the awning frame to the house, position the canvas onto the frame. Working from the corner, stretch the canvas across the frame and secure with self-tapping screws. Continue until the canvas is stretched and secure over the entire frame, making sure to keep any patterns square to the house.

stretch awning canvas

Step 8: Install Awning

With help, position awning frame against the house and attach to the header board using 4" wood screws. Next, connect the frame to the fascia board with 4" wood screws. Attach the awning frame to the cast-iron headers using self-tapping screws. Add decorative valence.

position awning frame against house and attach