When you own your home, things are going to break and, unless you want to keep spending all of your money on handyman visits, you’ll need to learn to fix some things yourself. Luckily, you don’t need an arsenal of tools to handle most home maintenance fixes.
These 10 tools will cover most of your basic projects:
- Cordless drill.A cordless drill is a must-have for installing cabinets; drawer pulls, hinges, picture frames, shelves and hooks, and more. Whether it’s for do-it-yourself projects or repairs, you’ll use your cordless drill just about every month.
- Drain cleaners.Shower and bathroom sink drains are susceptible to clogs because of the daily buildup of hair and whisker clippings. You can use chemical clog removers like Drano, but they can get expensive and the lingering chemical scent is unpleasant. Another option is to buy some plastic drain cleaners that can reach into the drain to pull out the clog of hair and gunk. You can purchase them online or at a local hardware store for a low price.
3. Shop-vac.No matter how careful you are, spills and accidents will happen and there are some tasks that just can’t be handled with paper towels or a standard vacuum, like pet messes or broken glass. A wet Dry shop-vac is a good investment. Plus, many models today have detachable blowers to help with yard clean up.
4. Loppers. Even the minimum amount of care for your landscaping will require some loppers to remove damaged branches, vines, thick weeds, and any other unruly plants in your yard.
5. Flashlight. You’re going to want something a little more powerful than your iPhone flashlight when you’re in the crawlspace! Any sturdy flashlight will do for starters, but you’ll soon wish you had one you don’t have to hold while you work. Options include flashlights that can be tilted and aimed where you need light and ones with a headband for hands-free aiming.
6. Screwdrivers. If storage is tight, buy a screwdriver with interchangeable tips. Otherwise, opt for a set of separate screwdrivers in sizes you’ll use most: three sizes of slotted-screw drivers and three Phillips-head screwdrivers in #1, #2, and #3 sizes.
7. Hammer. A 16-ounce claw-style hammer will handle most jobs around the house. The more you use one, the more you’ll appreciate a cushioned grip.
8. Tape measure. Buy a 25-foot model with a blade lock. The blade should be at least 1 inch wide to keep it from collapsing when extended beyond a few feet.
9. Safety Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection and Breathing Protection. To prevent accidents, make a habit of wearing safety gear. Even if you wear glasses with impact-resistant lenses, flying debris could damage them and even find its way to your eyes. If you don’t wear glasses, safety glasses can protect you. If you do wear glasses, consider a pair of goggles large enough to slip around them. As you add power tools, such as circular saws, you’ll want hearing protection. When working in dusty conditions, a respirator provides a more comfortable way to protect your lungs than paper masks.
10. Wrenches. Sets come in two types: SAE (or standard) wrenches are sized in inches (1/4 inch and 1/2 inch, for example) and metric wrenches sized in millimeters. Choose SAE wrenches if you’ll be working on fasteners around the house. For auto repairs, though, you may need a metric set (or both). These “combination” wrenches are enclosed on one end and studded with “points” that grip the corners of a bolt or nut. The other end is open and useful when you can’t slip the closed end in place.
Agents who have been certified by AdvantageU Home Sellers’ Resource have a lot of experience helping homeowners identify the home improvements that add the most value to a home.