Outdoor Spaces

Decks, patios, fire pits — there are endless ways to make your backyard a good-looking and functional place for family and friends to gather and enjoy the outdoors. Here are the tools you’ll need for designing an outdoor space.

Designing an outdoor space

How to build a backyard deck

Building a deck is hard work, so you’ll certainly need the right tools to get going. Meet all of your power-tool needs at A to Z RentAll!

To build a deck, the following tools are essential:
Once you have the necessary tools, follow these steps:
  1. Consider layout and function. Carefully consider how you’d access your deck from the house and yard, and what you’d primarily use it for.
  2. Obtain a building permit. That, or obtain permission from your homeowners association if necessary.
  3. Call diggers hotline. Public electricity lines are marked, private ones or not. Diggers hotline will come to your home free to charge to ensure your entire lawn is safe for digging footings.
  4. Select the right materials. If you’re on a budget and don’t mind the annual upkeep, pressure-treated lumber is a great choice.
  5. Install ledger board. Bolt a ledger board to your home’s exterior to provide a ledge to your deck, securely attach it to your home and provide weight distribution. It’s best to use 2x12 or 2x10 planks of pressure-treated lumber. Take appropriate precautions to protect it from the elements.
  6. Install foundation. Secure support posts into the ground with concrete footings for the deck’s foundation. Plant footings about every 8 feet. Make sure they reach below your region’s frost line.
  7. Frame the deck. After footers dry completely, you are ready to frame the deck’s perimeter using joists. Floor joists run perpendicular and should be in 16-inch intervals. Use galvanized joist hangers to attach them to support posts.
  8. Lay the decking boards. Start from the outer edge and work your way in. Randomly space the seams. Trim edges to get an even overhang.
  9. Plan and build steps. Use a rise and run calculator to determine measurements and materials for deck stairs.
  10. Paint the wood. Paint your deck with a stain and sealer to bring out the beautiful grain and protect your deck from the elements.

How to build a fire pit made out of pavers:

Fire pits are a great addition to any backyard area, especially if you entertain often. Who can resist the smell of burning wood and the nostalgic taste of s’mores? They’re also attractive and functional, and serve as the ultimate gathering space.

And the good news is, you can create your own fire pit in one weekend! From A to Z RentAll, you’ll need:

Other materials: tape measure, stake, string, gravel, spray paint, ready-mix concrete, capstones, paver stones, firebrick, screed board.

Once you have the necessary tools, follow these steps:
  1. Mark it. Use spray paint to mark the circumference of the circle. A 5’ diameter is a great length.
  2. Dig. Use a shovel to dig 6” down within the marked circle.
  3. Create the inner circle. Mark an inner circle that’s half the length of the outer circle’s circumference. Dig 12” deep. This is where your logs will live.
  4. Fill in concrete. Mix concrete with water until it reaches peanut butter-like consistency. Lay it over the outer circle until it is 1-1.5” below ground level. Use reinforcement bars for extra stability. Smooth surface with a trowel. Let dry for 24 hours.
  5. Lay your stones. When foundation is set, mix mortar and lay it atop the concrete base. Lay stones on mortar.
  6. Stack stones. Do so until they begin to take shape along the outside edge of the fire pit.
  7. Lay firebricks. Lay them to form the inner wall. To do so, level each brick and fill the gaps with wet mortar.
  8. Cap structure with pre-selected fieldstones.
  9. Put on the finishing touches. Brush exterior stones to remove excess debris. Spray with a garden hose. Paint fire bricks black with high-heat stove paint.
  10. Enjoy!

In addition, to learn how to put in a patio, here