Owning a home is a major accomplishment and should be celebrated. But as any new homeowner quickly finds out, you are now responsible for its maintenance and general upkeep. While this may seem overwhelming, a lot of issues that arise can be easily solved if you have the right set of tools at your disposal. Read on to learn what essential tools you will need as a homeowner.
First things first, you will need a place to put all your tools. Consider purchasing a quality toolbox with enough space to store more tools as your collection grows. Make sure your toolbox is portable so you can take your workshop with you as you make minor repairs around your home.
A good screwdriver set will be the most important item in your arsenal, hands down. The door latch screws, outlet plate screws, and just about every other screw in your home will eventually loosen. Since you will be using this tool the most, go for quality here. I recommend purchasing a ratchet screwdriver with interchangeable bits.
Almost as important as having a screwdriver set is owning a claw hammer. It is the most common type of hammer and the ideal tool to drive nails into wood surfaces. This tool is great for fixing panels on your deck and removing loose nails around the home. A hammer will also help drive tack nails into the drywall to hang pictures.
While you eventually want to move toward purchasing a wrench set with fixed sizes, an adjustable wrench will come in handy when trying to tighten nuts and bolts around your home. Also known as a c-wrench, it is adjustable and allows you to change its size to fit the connection you are trying to tighten. This is a great tool to have if you have a leaky sink.
A good utility knife will come in handy in a variety of circumstances. Whether opening boxes, cutting wallpaper, or trimming carpet edges, purchase a utility knife to have an all-around cutting tool. Some utility knives have fixed blades, but I recommend purchasing a utility knife with a replaceable blade. This allows you to always work with a sharp blade without having to sharpen it.
Allen Wrench / Hex Key
Furniture and a lot of assemble-it-yourself items come packaged with screws that have hexagonal sockets. An Allen wrench will come in handy for those screws. I have purchased a futon sofa on two different occasions and having a folding hex key during the second assembly was a lot easier than using the short arm key that came with the box.
A strap wrench grips a cylindrical object with a strap and through tension makes it possible to twist the object being gripped. It can be used in many plumbing applications and particularly comes in handy when trying to open a glass jar. A strap wrench is a perfect gripping tool for most situations where a socket simply will not work, such as knobs, pipes, etc.
Power Drill with Bit Set
A power drill is essential for twisting screws and making round holes. It is an essential tool for mounting things to the wall such as curtain rods and cabinets. A power drill is also useful when mixing paint, sanding curved surfaces, and can double as an angle grinder to grind metal and remove rust.
A tape measure is a flexible ruler used to measure distance. It helps measure quantities for materials, quantify the size of an object, and measure the distance between items. Before you move a couch to another room, take a quick measurement with a tape measure to determine if you have enough clearance to make it through the room opening.
A flashlight is a battery-powered, portable electric light. It will help you see in tight spaces and is also vital if the power were to go out. I recommend purchasing a flashlight with LED bulbs because they last longer than incandescent bulbs and are more reliable.
A level is a tool used to establish an even horizontal plane. It can be used when assembling a pool table, installing curtain rods, and hanging pictures. A 2-foot or shorter level will suffice.
A putty knife is used for scraping glue, applying spackling, and spreading putty. It can also be a useful tool for cleaning countertops and removing gunk off stovetops.
Sometimes you will need access to a power outlet where one does not exist. Purchase a few long extension cords so you will not be limited by your home’s outlet placement. I recommend buying one extension cord that is at least 50 feet long.
Make sure you have different types of nails and screws. There are kits available that come with an assortment of both nails and screws along with screw spacers. Screw spacers are sleeves that fit over the screws to maintain space between components and are perfect for situations in which the holes are too wide for the screw. Spacers come in handy particularly when door latch screws come loose.
The three types of tape you are looking for are:
- Duct Tape
- Plumber Tape
- Electrical Tape
Duct tape has a variety of uses. Aside from being the go-to tape for most situations, it can also be used to patch a hose or applied to the bottom of table legs to protect your hardwood floors. The uses are virtually endless and searching “DIY Projects with Duct Tape” yields crafts and projects you would not think were possible with duct tape.
Plumber tape is applied to pipe threads and used to seal pipes together to prevent water or air from coming out. It can be used to fix a leaky pipe under the sink or repair air compressor parts.
Electrical tape is used to insulate electrical wires. It comes in handy if a wire around the home is compromised. Electrical tape is very durable and comes in a variety of colors. Because of this, electrical tape is often used to color-code wires and other objects around the home.
Also referred to as a cable tie, a zip tie is a fastener used to hold items together. Zip ties can be used to organize the wires behind your television stand or to attach flowers in your garden to stakes. Like duct tape, there are many useful household projects that involve the use of zip ties. Some homeowners use zip ties to fasten together cabinet doors under the sink so toddlers cannot get access to the harmful chemicals stored there.
You also want to make sure you have a pair of shovels for home maintenance. A snow shovel will prove useful for shoveling snow out of the driveway. A round nose shovel will come in handy when you are working on your garden or doing yard work.
Dirt, salt, and other contaminants will accumulate on your porch, deck, driveway, and walkways around the home. An outdoor broom will help you keep it tidy with less effort than it would take with a regular broom.
As fall approaches, so do the leaves. If leaves are not removed, the grass will eventually die, and you will be left with the bigger task of dethatching and reseeding your lawn. A leaf rake will help you keep the leaves off the yard to prevent damage over the fall and winter months.
You will need to do a few touch-ups here and there to the walls. Over time, the walls are dented, dinged, scratched, marked, and so on. Since you have already purchased a putty knife and repaired the damaged area, purchase a paintbrush so you can touch up the paint.
A ladder will help you reach higher areas around the home. When you change the lightbulbs or paint the ceiling in your bedroom, a ladder is much safer than standing on a chair.
Essential Tools Recap
Now that you have a list of essential tools to purchase, consider making a calendar to schedule regular maintenance checks. For example, you can inspect the interior paint once every three months or check the door screws every six months. While you’re making your maintenance schedule, be sure to give Perfect Power Wash a call every spring to clean the exterior of your home. A power wash will help prevent your siding from harmful algae, as well as keep it clean.
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