9 Tools Every Home Should Have
Even if you don’t know the difference between a flathead and a Phillips, there are certain tools all homeowners need to have in their homes. And while you may not consider yourself an avid DIY-er, these tools ensure that you at least have the ability to save money on a handyman and fix your home’s most basic needs.
If you don’t have all of the nine basic tools below, then go out and head to your nearest hardware store.
There are few everyday fixes that do not require a hammer. Whether you’re mounting a new TV, hanging a new piece of art, installing open shelves in your remodeled kitchen or removing loose nails, it goes without saying that all homeowners need a hammer at their disposal.
Quick Tip: Sandpaper the face of the hammer every so often. This way, nails won’t slip.
Much like a hammer, a screwdriver is key to almost all basic handyman projects. Make sure you have both a Phillips, or X-shaped screwdriver, and a flathead screwdriver. All screws were not created equal—so you will need both. With either, make sure you purchase multiple tips. For example, there are numerous sized flatheads. Make sure you buy at least a small, medium, and large tip for your flathead screwdriver.
When it comes to fixing up the house, perhaps the most common chore is changing light bulbs. If you have a chandelier, tall ceilings or can’t reach those tough-to-get spots, you will need a ladder. Additionally, ladders come in handy as you store old clothes in the garage, clean the gutters or paint your entry. They may be a hassle to move and store, but a ladder is key in doing odds and ends around the house.
4. Tape Measure
Tape measures largely come in handy in a variety of settings, and especially when you’re moving. For example, before purchasing that $1,000 armoire, you must see if it can fit through the bedroom doorway. If you’re purchasing a bed, couch, TV or any other large piece of furniture, make sure you bring a tape measure to the store. Furthermore, tape measures also work for minor design updates like hanging new pictures, mirrors, and closet bars. They can also act as a straight edge.
There are three types of wrenches today. Your standard wrench, the adjustable crescent wrench, where you can alter the size of the opening, and an Allen wrench (hex key), used for specific hexagonal sockets. Adjustable wrenches come in handy as you rewire your cable, add new lighting in a room or remove a tough to get wire behind a bed or TV stand. On the other hand, Allen wrenches help with flush screws. They are primarily used when you’re putting together new furniture, such as a dresser or TV stand. If you’re in the market for a new Allen wrench, try the jack knife-style, where multiple Allen wrenches come in one.
6. Utility Knife
They’re not the safest tool, but a utility knife can be very useful for a wide array of home improvement projects. Yes, the most evident function is cutting boxes, which can be great for those active Amazon users, but it serves many other functions as well. One such useful project is flooring. Whether you’re removing carpet in the living room or adding carpet in your bedroom, a utility knife will make the process much quicker. You may not think of it, but a utility knife is certainly a tool worth having around.
New shelving is becoming the standard DIY project. To make sure your 100-year-old china doesn’t go flying off the shelves, you better make sure your new open shelving display is as level as your foundation. You could use levels for pictures, TVs, shelves, dressers or even DIY coffee tables. All these projects require a straight surface. If you’re going about any yourself, take the guesswork out of the equation and buy a level.
Though these last two tools are not found in a majority of American homes, both make minor home improvements much easier. A drill can be substituted for a screwdriver and therefore, many homeowners don’t own drills. However, drills turn 30-minute projects into 5-minute projects. They’re certainly more expensive than your average screwdriver, and you have to keep them charged, but if you plan on handling a majority of the minor home repairs, go out and get a drill.
9. Stud Finder
Sadly, drywall can not hold heavy shelves or your 50” flat screen. You must drill your screws into the studs or the wooden beams that are generally 16” apart from each other. Since you can’t mark the walls, more often than not, homeowners use stud finders to find the beams. They are cheap and very easy to use.
If you don’t own a stud finder, there are other ways to find them:
- Studs are usually next to outlets
- If you knock on the wall with a stud behind, it should sound solid
- If you knock on the wall with no stud behind it, it should sound hollow
- Press into the wall and see if it gives in a little; chances are, if the wall holds firm, a stud is behind it