How to Improve your Outdoor Living Area
(ARA) – Feel like you’re outgrowing your home? How about extending the use and value of your house by taking full advantage of the outdoor space that surrounds it?

Outdoor living areas offer an extension of your indoor living space or additional area for entertaining and relaxation, and there are countless ways you can liven up your backyard to create a perfect outdoor living area.

Decks remain one of the most popular outdoor living projects - largely due to their potential to enhance home value and homeowner enjoyment. Another great addition for your backyard is a paved or tiled courtyard surrounded by plants and flowers. Water features are also popular. An ornamental pond can provide a soothing touch to your landscape.

These projects don’t have to be time-intensive or expensive. One way to cut down on the costs associated with developing an outdoor living area is to rent the tools you need.

According to the American Rental Association (ARA), more and more people are turning to rented equipment and tools for their do-it-yourself projects. Not only does renting offer significant cost savings, it is convenient as well. When you rent tools, you don’t have to worry about equipment maintenance or storage.

You will also be able to take advantage of expert advice from a rental professional. These trained professionals will be able to guide you in the right direction and give you tips on how to operate the equipment in the safest and most effective way. They can also help you select the correct tools for your project.

“Employees at rental stores are an excellent source of information,” says Christine Wehrman, CEO of the ARA, the trade association for the equipment rental industry. “They will be able to provide you with valuable insight about the tools and equipment you will need to successfully complete your projects.”

The design of an outdoor living space can be a large undertaking so start planning early. Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Get Inspired
    Before you start thinking about all the details, decide what type of space works best for your lifestyle. Are you looking for a great place to cook and entertain, or a secluded area to relax and read a book? It might take a bit of browsing before you begin to put together the outdoor living space of your dreams. Check out DIY magazines and Web sites to get inspired. Depending upon your preferences, you’ll need to keep requirements and needs of differing spaces in mind.
  • Start Planning
  • Once you’ve got a better idea about how you want to use your outdoor living area, it’s time to start planning your projects. Before grabbing your shovel and hammer, stop by your local rental business to talk to employees about what you’ve got planned. They will be able to point you in the right direction and give you the insight you need to get started, including safety tips. 
  • Get Equipped
    One of the most important things in all DIY projects is making sure you have the correct tools for your project. Being armed with the appropriate tools will not only simplify the process, it will also help you become as efficient as possible. If you’re building a new deck or patio, for example, consider renting a saw or pneumatic nail gun kit. This will speed things up significantly. If you’re working on a courtyard, a tile cutter may also make you more efficient.
  • Stay Safe
    Make safety a top priority when you are working on your outdoor living area projects. Always wear the appropriate personal protective equipment.
  • Personalize your Space
    Once you’ve completed your project, personalize the area to make it your own. Add color, fabrics and photos that reflect your personal style to give the area personality and make it come alive.

No matter what kind of project you decide on, renting equipment for your outdoor living projects will reduce costs and cut down on time. To find the nearest ARA member rental business, log on to

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