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5 over-the-top outdoor improvements for DIYers

(BPT) - A beautiful backyard has become a suburban status symbol much like a brand-new car in the driveway. Upgrading your outdoor space is not only uplifting, it’s practical, too. A great backyard expands your living space, enhances your enjoyment of your home and can boost resale value.
Anyone can plant some flowers or put in a patio. To truly take your outdoor spaces to the next level, though, look to projects that offer a big “wow factor.” Many are well within the capabilities of most do-it-yourselfers. You can find detailed instructions online, and all the tools you’ll need are at your local American Rental Association member rental store. Here are five warm-weather projects to turn your backyard into an enticing oasis this spring and summer:


1. Create a fire pit area
Metal fire pits and chimineas are available in home improvement stores, but to create a truly memorable outdoor experience, consider building your own fire pit. Rather than simply being another portable accessory cluttering up your outdoor space, a built-in fire pit becomes an ambience-boosting design element in your yard. To create a fire pit, you’ll need a good-sized circle of level ground in your yard, tools for digging, stones or bricks for construction, and implements for hauling sand, stone and bricks.

2. Plant a vertical garden
Gardening is a popular summer pastime, one that can fill your yard and home with beautiful blooms, lush greenery and nutritious, low-cost produce. If you don’t have a great deal of room for a spacious garden plot, or if you want a garden that’s more visually striking than raised beds or containers, consider a vertical garden. Virtually any unadorned outdoor wall can accommodate a vertical garden. Depending on how you choose to affix plants and containers to the wall, you may need to rent nail guns or construction-grade staple guns.

3. Add an outdoor kitchen
Cooking and eating outside are among the great joys of warm weather, and outdoor kitchens are a popular improvement to outdoor living areas. You have many options for creating an outdoor kitchen, from building a simple frame and sliding a standard gas grill into it, to a more elaborate stone installation complete with an oven and multiple burners. You can save money by using online guides and renting tools to build your own backyard kitchen.

4. Build a dedicated space for napping
What’s more relaxing than napping in the shade with a soft breeze as your blanket? Constructing a wooden swing, suspended bed swing or a wooden hammock can be an easy weekend project that requires the rental of only a few simple tools. When you’re done, you’ll enjoy testing the fruits of your labor with an afternoon nap.

5. Set up superior seating
Anyone can buy some patio furniture and put it on the deck, but built-in seating takes outdoor relaxation to the next level. Adding built-in seating can be as simple as building a wooden frame along a deck railing and adding plush cushions, or as elaborate as creating a sunken pit from field stone and patio pavers. Look online for inspiration and ideas that will fit with your space and design tastes.
Whatever project you decide to tackle, renting the tools you’ll need is a cost-effective way to get the job done without overspending. Plus, when you’re done with the tools you won’t have to worry about finding somewhere to store them. To find a local rental store, visit www.rentalhq.com.