10 essential tools for every homeowner
Everything you need for basic home maintenance
No matter how thrilled or bored you are by the prospect of maintaining your home, you’ll need at least a few tools to complete basic repairs and upgrades. That’s why most people keep a screwdriver, hammer and tape measure somewhere in the house. But what many homeowners don’t understand is how much more pleasant maintenance becomes with good tools. I’m not necessarily talking about expensive, pro-grade stuff, either. There are many affordable options that will make your around-the-house tasks easier and more enjoyable.
Organization is important, even if you only have ten tools. That’s why you need a toolbox. I suggest one with metal latches, lots of room and a rubber seal around the lid to keep things dry. This box is also strong and long enough to accommodate a 24” level – another must-have home improvement tool.
2. 18-volt cordless drill
If you can only afford one power tool, this is the type to get. There are many good brands out there. Regardless of the brand you choose, keep your eye out for three specific features as you select a drill kit. A model with two batteries let’s you work continuously while the second battery is charging. You’ll also appreciate a fast charger—one that fully recharges a dead battery in an hour or less. Cheap drill packages sometimes come with chargers that take 3 to 8 hours to do their job. And finally, consider a model with hammer drilling capacity. This allows much faster drilling progress in brick, block and concrete.
3. Tape measure
You will want a tape measure that can extend out fairly far before folding downwards under its own weight. This is especially helpful when you’re measuring large spans without a helper. A good quality tape measure can extend 10 to 13 feet before collapsing.
Nothing fancy needed here. A 16-ounce claw-style hammer works fine for hanging pictures, driving small nails and assembling things. If you’ll be building a deck, dock or backyard shed, a 20- to 24-ounce framing hammer with straight claws works better.
5. Utility Knife
A good utility knife is simple, strong and easy to reload. It’s a good idea to get a knife that takes wider, stronger blades for heavy work.