Must have Tools for First-time Homeowners

Even though a home has received a clean bill of health from a home inspector doesn’t mean small repairs won’t be needed down the road. There are some basic tools that make sense for every first-time buyer to own….

While we all hope we never need one, no home should ever be without a plunger. A clogged sink or toilet is inconvenient but is usually quickly and easily remedied. Keeping two on hand will allow one to be used for the sink and one for the toilet.

How about a screwdriver? Even a beginner will feel comfortable and empowered when wielding a screwdriver to tighten cabinet handles or hinges, install a light switch cover or even crack open a paint can lid. A ten-piece set will include a variety of sizes, and can handle many jobs.

A tape measure is an inexpensive way to add versatility to a tool kit, at least 25 ft. should cover it. They can be used to measure furniture (to make sure it fits through the door), windows (to make sure the window coverings are wide enough) and floors (to make sure the rug fits in the entryway), among other uses.

A good hammer is one of the most important tools to keep in the toolbox. It can be used to drive and remove nails when hanging pictures and assembling furniture or to pry wood loose, if necessary. Hammers come in a variety of sizes, and a 16-ounce hammer is a good all-purpose choice.

None of the tools on the list will work if the lights are out, however, so a supply of work lights and flashlights will invariably come to the rescue. At least one all -purpose two-battery flashlight should be located in a kitchen, while a rechargeable work light can remain plugged in, so it is always ready if the power goes out. A 25 LED model is rated to deliver up to eight hours of light per charge.

There is nothing like a caulking gun to make a homeowner feel in control. A caulking gun is easy to operate and can be used to seal up cracks and gaps around tubs, showers, sinks and certain types of piping.

Sometimes a recalcitrant nut or bolt needs to be put in its place. A combination wrench set can come to the rescue, with a variety of sizes to accommodate the sizes of a multitude of nuts or bolts. Nuts and bolts are manufactured in standard and metric sizes, and because both varieties are widely used, having both sets of wrenches is ideal.

A slip-joint plier can be used to grab hold of a nail, a bolt, and much more. This type of plier is versatile because of the jaws, which feature both flat and curved areas for gripping many types of objects. The slip-joint allows the user to quickly adjust the jaw size to suit most tasks.

Only a level can be used to determine if something, such as a picture, appliance or a half, is correctly oriented. A traditional level or a laser level will help ensure that an object is perfectly horizontal or vertical.

Safety glasses or goggles should be used for all tasks that create airborne debris. They should also be worn when mixing chemicals or using certain power tools.

What is a great way to make sure the tools are easy to find? A tool box, of course. Keeping a scattering of tools in multiple drawers, closets and in the garage will mean plenty of time spent looking for them.

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