Best Yard Redo: Before

His story: I've salvaged and upcycled for my whole life, so I already had most of the materials I needed to build a new deck when my wife, Kathleen, put her leg through the rotted boards of the old one. I knew how I would make it up to her. During my working years as a glass installer, I'd saved hundreds of patio-door glass panels from the Dumpster, and I thought they'd be perfect for sheltering an outdoor seating area. Oregon weather is unpredictable, so it's nice to go out there and not have to worry about sitting on wet cushions.

The only supplies I bought were five panels of corrugated plastic for the breezeway roof, deck screws, and several 2×8s to replace rotted floor joists. Then I just pulled out my materials and started putting boards together.

Shown: Mike built the original deck 36 years ago, after building the house itself.
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