During the course of home inspections, we often take note of small issues that could easily have been taken care of by the homeowners themselves if they just had a toolbox stocked with some essential home maintenance tools.
By the same token, in those homes that are mostly in good repair, we’re certain to spot a well-used toolbox containing an assortment of home maintenance necessities!
If you’re just embarking down the road to homeownership, make it a priority to stock these 20 invaluable aids in keeping your new home in good shape and nipping small issues in the bud before they become major problems …
Make sure you’ve got a plunger around to take care of the occasional plumbing clog. (Better yet, stock two — one for the bathroom and kitchen sinks and one for the toilet.)
A 16″ all-purpose claw hammer will come in handy time and time again for everything from hanging artwork to pulling out nails to prying off wooden moldings or rotted wood that you want to replace.
Kind of like the “Swiss Army Knife” of the home, keep one of these in your kitchen “junk drawer” to save you a trip to the garage when you need a screwdriver, a utility knife or pliers for a quick fix.
4. Adjustable Wrench
An adjustable wrench is a must for assembling everything from a kid’s bicycle to putting together a new outdoor grill. Get a long handled pair for most jobs, but include a short handled pair for tight spaces, too.
5. Hacksaw and/or Handsaw
Hacksaws are great all-purpose cutters because you can use them to cut through so many materials — metal, PVC pipe, bolts, etc. A handsaw is best for wood, but a hacksaw will handle that too, so if you have to choose between the two when you’re building your tool set, choose the hacksaw.
6. Retractable Tape Measure
Get yourself a good 35′ retractable tape measure, and keep it handy because you’ll use it more often than you might think. Make sure that it’s got a good “grabber” on the end so that it’ll stay put when you’re trying to measure something long and don’t have a helper.
7. Step Stool
You’ll need a good multi-level step stool for all kinds of household maintenance chores from changing light bulbs in overhead fixtures to cleaning the tops of your cabinets.
Start with four screwdrivers — a flathead and a Phillips-head each in a small and large size.
9. Slip-Joint Pliers
As time goes by, you might want to acquire a variety of different types of pliers, but to start with, get a pair of slip-joint pliers. They’ll grab hold of a nail, a nut, a bolt, and more. They’re versatile because of the jaws, which feature both flat and curved areas for gripping many types of objects. They also feature a built-in slip-joint, which allows you to quickly adjust the jaw size to suit most any task.
10. Duct Tape
The all-purpose temporary “fixer”, duct tape is a household “must-have”. (Remember the TV hit “Home Improvement” and Tim’s obsession with duct tape?) It’s great because it tears easily without scissors, is strong and extra-sticky!
11. Utility Knife
A good utility knife comes in handy for opening corrugated boxes from on-line shipments, or large items that you buy at the home improvement or department store.
12. Putty Knife
A putty knife is essential for spreading spackling when repairing a nail hole, of course, but it also comes in handy as a scraper in a pinch.
None of the tools in this list is of any use if you can’t see what it is you’re trying to fix. A good, two-battery flashlight will let you assess the situation and repair it with the aid of an assistant (to hold the flashlight while you work!).
14. Torpedo Level
Get a nice sturdy metal one — preferably 4′ in length — which you’ll use for hanging shelves, artwork, mirrors, curtain hardware and much more.
15. Safety Gear
Staying safe while doing home repairs or home improvement projects should be a top priority. You’ll need a pair of safety glasses/goggles, a package of dust masks, and some heavy gloves to protect hands from slivers, cuts, burns and chemicals.
16. Caulking Gun
You’ll find many uses for a caulking gun, especially in the fall when you’re sealing off drafts around doors and windows, or when
17. Wire Cutters
Wire cutters are pliers designed to cut wires and small nails. Get a heavy-duty pair of “end cutters”, and you’ll be able to cut not only wire, but small nails as well.
18. Collection of Assorted Hardware
Obviously, your hammer and screwdrivers won’t be of much use without a collection of hardware! You’ll need an assortment of nails — finishing, , and screws for starters.
19. Stud Finder
You may think you know where a stud is when you decide to hang a piece of artwork, a mirror, etc., but without the aid of a stud finder, there’s a good chance you’ll “miss the mark” and end up with a hole in your drywall and more guesswork ahead.
20. Toolbox or Tool Organizer Bucket
Obviously, you’ll need a place to store all of your household tools so that they’re easy to locate when you need them. A metal toolbox or tool bucket with an organizer insert are good for the basics, but as the years go by and you accumulate more advanced tools, you might want to invest in a metal tool chest with drawers that’s large enough to accommodate tools of all sizes and shapes.
You don’t have to get everything at once, but in order to stay on top of things and keep your household humming along and working well, it’s a good idea to start “building” your home tool kit as soon as you unpack and settle in to your new home!
And if you haven’t yet finalized the sale of your new home, make sure that you don’t until you’ve hired a good home inspection company to make sure that the home you’re considering isn’t hiding any secrets that could make it more expensive than it seems.
We’re North Ohio Property Inspection, and we inspect homes for prospective buyers in the Medina-Akron-Cleveland area, providing state-of-the-art inspections and clear, easy-to-understand inspection reports to help you make informed decisions. Contact us today to learn more!
North Ohio Property Inspection
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