Every homeowner knows that a house requires a considerable amount of maintenance. While there are some problems you want to outsource to the pros, you can save a lot of money by performing your own small repairs. But in order to DIY effectively, you need the right tools
This list is designed for the person who only wants the most basic tools. You don’t need the elaborate 100+ piece sets to get simple jobs done. In fact, you can take care of many tasks with…
10 Essential Tools:
- Utility KnifeThis is a multipurpose knife designed for cutting a variety of surfaces. Use it on drywall, asphalt roof shingles, fiberglass insulation, vinyl flooring, cording, grout, dried caulk, and carpeting. Make sure to get one with replaceable blades, since they will dull over time.
- HammerBesides the obvious use of driving nails, hammers can also be used for demo work, digging small holes, break up ice, and split wood. Spend a little more to get a longer, lightweight version with a steel head and a rip claw.
- ScrewdriverGet both the Philips (X-shaped) and flat-head versions in a few sizes and you’ll be able to tackle any screw. Also get a bit for your reversible drill.
- Cordless Power DrillIn addition to drilling precise small holes, this tool can also help you accomplish other projects. You can use it to cut bigger holes for reno purposes (such as making space for cabinets or pipes), mix different mediums like paint or grout, a sander for curved surfaces, straighten or twist wires, and attach a brush bit to remove rust from items.
- Tape MeasureThis little tool can save you a lot of time and money. Use it to measure areas before buying expensive items (you want to make sure your new king-size bed can actually fit in your room), determine how many curtain panels you need, and how much wood to get to patch a spot.
- Needle-Nose PliersPliers help you tackle wire work with ease. Their applications range from electrical work to crafting. Get a pair with comfortable handles, a solid pivot point, and thick, stable jaws that can cut wire.
- LevelI love a good bubble level for taking the guesswork out of ensuring straight lines. Whether you’re hanging a picture or building a table, a level is the easiest way to make sure nothing is crooked. Hint: your iPhone works as a level. Go to the Compass app, calibrate it, then swipe left to bring up the level.
- HandsawIf you’re not an avid DIY-er, skip the more expensive circular saw and just get a handsaw. You can use it to saw off errant tree branches, cut up kindling for fireplaces, and adjust the size of objects such as foam insulation. Even if you are a power tool fan, sometimes the small handsaw is the best tool for getting the job done in tight spaces.
- Adjustable WrenchA wrench provides grip to turn a nut or bolt. An adjustable crescent wrench has a jaw that can extend and contract to fit different size bolts. Choose a wider handle that is more comfortable to work with.
- FlashlightIn case the power goes out, you want a flashlight. But you also want a light source for peering into attics, crawl spaces, tight corners, and dark boxes.
4 More Items for Outside the Box:
These items won’t fit in the average tool box, but they are still worth adding to your set. You want a standard-size ladder, and might consider having a step-ladder on hand as well. Get a plunger for small plumbing issues. Electrical cords are helpful for yard work and getting your tools from a power source to the job site. Devote a broom and dustpan for home repair projects and keep your indoor ones clean.
Finally, make sure you have a tool box to store your tools! You don’t want to waste time looking for tools when you need to attend to a repair. Buy quality items that will last over multiple uses, keep them in one place, and know how to use them safely and effectively.
For the home projects you can’t or don’t want to do yourself, consider hiring one of our Responsible Contractors using our free, anonymous search!