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You found the house of your dreams, put in the offer, fought through the negotiations, endured the nerve wracking home inspections and appraisals, and finally got the keys to your brand new home. No more listening to the upstairs neighbors stomp their feet early in the morning, or fighting over parking. Also however, there is no longer a maintenance department when things break. You either call an expensive contractor, or handle things yourself. If you’re anything like me, you’ll procrastinate for 6 months, promise your wife you’ll handle it, rebuff her attempts to call a contractor, and finally decide to tackle the repair yourself. You’re going to need tools though. We got you through the inspection, and we’re here to help afterwards. Here are must have tools for the brand new home owner.
- A Ladder- Not all repairs are going to be easily in reach. From damaged shingles, to dirty gutters, and changing light fixtures. You are going to eventually need a ladder. Our company has 20 ladders, and I have owned probably a dozen more. As a homeowner, you want something that can be used for all the different jobs you might encounter, and there is only one ladder that can do it all. The little giant ladders can be flattened and extended for gutters, or roof repairs. It can also be used as an A-frame ladder for changing a light fixture. The 13 foot ladder should be sufficient for most jobs if you have a one floor rancher. I would opt for the 22 foot version if you have a 2 story home, and/or tall ceilings. There are cheaper versions, but the quality of Little Giant is unmatched. I have had one since I started my business 10 years ago, and it still won’t quit.
2. An Affordable Tool Kit – You could try to assemble your own kit of basic hand tools, but ain’t nobody got time for that. Craftsman has assembled this kit of wrenches, screw drivers, sockets, pliers, a hammer, a measuring tape and a few other essentials. There isn’t much you won’t be able to tackle with this kit. And, if you actually put your tools back when you’re done with them, which we all know you won’t, the Craftsman quality should last you for many years.
3. A Durable Caulk Gun – Home maintenance is crucial to preventing bigger issues down the road, and arguably, one of the most important home owner maintenance tasks, is caulking. Moisture is undoubtedly the enemies worst enemy, unless of course you count yourself. JK, but not really. From caulking outside around siding penetrations, to inside around the shower, caulk plays a huge roll in stopping hidden moisture damage. There are really cheap guns, but they suck. You’ll end up buying a new one every time you have some caulking to do. This one from Norman has the spout cutter, the seal puncture tool, and the durability to handle your new caulking obsession for a long time.
4. A Painters Multi Tool- Do not underestimate the simplicity of this tool. I am in love with mine. It’s probably one of the only tools that take care of as much as I should. It’s just so good to me, that I feel the need to treat it right. From spreading drywall compound over that hole you made in the wall, to removing and spreading caulk, scraping paint. and even cleaning paint rollers and setting nails. I keep this one in my tool bag no matter what job I am doing.
5. A Torpedo Level- Look, you’re going to be hanging stuff. Don’t be looking all janky when you have the housewarming party with crooked family photos. Get yourself a level.
6. A Stud Finder – Please refrain from placing this tool on your chest and proclaiming that it works – especially if you a cheap, or off brand one. I have three stud finders in my tool box. Two that never seemed to find anything, and one that I trust. You don’t want to hang a big screen TV, or a shelf, or anything really without a good stud finder. Zircon specializes in this area, and will save you a lot of time and headaches.
7. Vise Grips! AKA locking pliers – Vise grips are staple for me. From stripped bolt heads, to odd shaped hardware, doing jobs that require hands, or even in place of an adjustable wrench, this is my absolute favorite tool. Never get one pair. It’s not enough. You will just have to trust me.
8. A Cordless Drill – Ok, I am not going to lie. You don’t NEED a battery powered drill. You COULD get probably get by on screw drivers for most things. But this is absolutely worth it. I would pick a brand that that has multiple tools that run on the same battery. I personally have just about every 20v Dewalt tool. Dewalt is heavy duty and will last forever and take tons of abuse. Most homeowners don’t need that though. You don’t want to go to cheap either, or you’ll just end up buying a new one. I think craftsman is a nice middle of the line brand.