The Right Tools to Turn your Outdoor Building Ideas into Reality

So you’ve got some basic construction skills and have decided to tackle building an outdoor living space yourself. Have the necessary tools on hand and you’ll save time and frustration. This article will serve as a general guideline to help remind you of some basic tools you’ll need for various outdoor projects.

Of course, patience, persistence, and planning are the three most important tools for outdoor projects, but here are some other tools you’ll need for your outdoor building ideas.

Tools Needed to Build a Patio with Pavers
Patio and Pergola
Sean Papich Landscape Architecture

Besides your standard tools that include a shovel, spade, wheelbarrow, measuring tape, string line, rake, utility knife, safety goggles, knee pads, and work gloves, you’ll need a few other items to complete this job. A wet saw with a diamond-tip blade is ideal for cutting pavers and can be rented. To compact the crushed stone and sand, you’ll need a hand tamper or you may want to rent a compactor. You’ll also need a level to check for flatness and a rubber mallet to knock down any high pavers.

Tools Needed to Build a Deck
Deck and Pergola
Anthony Wilder Design/Builder, Inc.

Aside from from choosing the proper deck materials, you also need to choose right tools. To dig the footing holes, you’ll need a posthole digger as well as a mixing trough for the cement. Add a circular saw, hand saw, and a power miter saw for cutting the posts, beams, joists, and decking. A chisel is useful for straightening out crooked boards. A quality cordless electric drill is essential for everything from drilling small pilot holes for screws in deck boards (to prevent splits) to larger holes for installing lag bolts. Add to that standard tools such as a shovel, measuring tools, chalk line, a hammer, wheelbarrow, utility knife, framing square, level, pry bar, ratchet and sockets, socket wrench, gloves, and safety glasses.

Tools Needed to Build an Outdoor Room or Other Structures (Pergola, Gazebo, Trellis etc.)
Touzet Studio

There are many steps you need to take before building your pergola, sourcing the right tools is one of them. The tools for outdoor structures are similar to the ones necessary to build a deck. Once again, you’ll need a post-hole digger and a mixing trough for the footing holes. Measuring tools such as a tape rule and chalk line along with level and framing square will ensure a successful project. A circular saw, hand saw, jig saw and a power miter will be needed for cutting. Other tools to have on hand are a trenching shovel, hammer, brad nail gun, cordless drill, socket/ratchet set, ratchet driver, screwdriver, wheelbarrow, step ladder, and safety glasses.

Tools Needed to Build an Outdoor Kitchen, Outdoor Fireplace, or Other Masonry Projects
Outdoor Kitchen and Dining Area
C & C Partners Design/Build Firm

The ultimate outdoor experience starts with a blank canvas. To build the frame and panels for an outdoor kitchen or fireplace, you’ll need a circular saw, a drill/driver, and tin snips to trim the top of the lath. A masonry hoe and a mixing trough will help you mix up bags of mortar. You’ll also need a finishing trowel to spread layer of mortars over the lath and a ½-inch notched trowel to score the surface. A grinder fitted with a diamond blade will shape the stone. If a stone is uneven along a top or bottom edge you can cut away the protruding parts using a miter box fitted with a diamond blade.

Use this list as a general guideline. You can also consult websites including DIY Network, This Old House, The Family Handyman, and Better Homes and Gardens as well as staff at home improvement stores for more information about needed tools for specific projects.