Essential Tools for the Homeowner

Real Estate

Essential Tools for the Homeowner

Buying a house is a bigger investment than most people realize, and not because of hidden costs or fees. It’s because of all the things you need to buy that you never knew you needed until you bought a house. Things like garbage cans. Step ladders. Brooms. A tool kit.

You’re probably going to need tools if you’re going to live in a house, even if you have no intention of remodeling or do-it-yourself projects, even if your only project house-wise is to dial the phone to call in a repairman. If you’ve never purchased tools before, how do you know what to buy? What follows is a list of tools you probably should have in your tool kit for all the things that come up that you never knew you needed tools for.

A word to the wise: avoid cheap tools. Spend the extra money for well-made tools and they will probably last as long or longer than you own your home. Also stay away from the infomercial 150-in-one multi-purpose tools. If one component gets damaged, the entire unit is useless.

Allen wrench – used to turn screws with hexagonal sockets

Ball-end Allen wrenches – particularly useful because the wrench doesn’t have to be perfectly

perpendicular to the screw so can be used in tight and odd spaces

Box wrench – surrounds the nut or bolt for better leverage, used for plumbing and car repairs

Brads, nails, bolts, screws and spikes, various sizes

Channel-lock pliers (water pump pliers) – plumbing, appliance repair

Cordless drill/screwdriver – good for hanging shelves, furniture kit assembly, driving

screws, sheetrock

Curved claw hammer – driving and removing nails, picture hanging, building projects

Digging spade – gardening

Duct tape – temporary repairs

Extendable-handle rake – leaf raking and gardening

Glue gun – small fabric tear repair, furniture repair, picture matting, hobby projects

Lag screws – for mounting large pictures or other large objects like wall vanities

or heavy shelves

Level (2-inch with aluminum housing) – mounting shelves and pictures

Locking long-nose pliers – vise-grips for gripping screws with head broken off

Lopper – trimming tree branches and bushes

Magnetic tack hammer – laying carpet or furniture upholstery work

Needle-nose pliers – for small-object gripping

Open-end wrench – appliance repair, plumbing, general nut and bolt turning

Pipe wrenches – plumbing

Portable tool box – emphasis on the word “portable”

Pruning shears – gardening

Pry bar – opening crates, disassembling walls for remodeling projects

Pump water vacuum (wet/dry vac) – floods or spills

Saw – for cutting wood, a 16"-24" utility hand saw is all you need

Screwdrivers, Phillips and flathead – available in sets of four or six different

drive configurations

Socket wrench with a ratchet handle – plumbing and car repairs

Torx screwdrivers – in the shape of a star and fit into specialized screw holes

Sheet metal screws – small furniture repairs, shelving

Sledge hammer – breaking rock for landscaping

Spray lubricant – freeing up nuts and bolts, lubricating door hinges and metal window slides

Staple gun – upholstery, putting up insulation, hobby projects

Strap wrench – turning round, smooth objects with no leverage points

Tape measure – purchase a 25'x1" in a durable case

Trowel – concrete work, forming edges and smoothing

Utility knife with a retractable blade – general cutting

Wire cutters – electrical work, trimming utility wire

Work flashlight