Must-Have Toolkit for the DIYer and Savvy Homeowner
The rising popularity of HGTV and DIY projects has homeowners everywhere searching for ways to save money on their home improvements.
While we don't advocate that just anyone tackle home remodels - especially without construction knowledge or experience - we can all agree there are loads of basic home maintenance and DIY projects that are great for personalizing a space!
If you are planning to start DIY projects, a home remodel, or maybe you just purchased your own home and want to be prepared for the many responsibilities of home ownership, you will need to have the right tools in your toolbox.
Ryan and I sat down and distilled a list the must-have tools for every DIYer and savvy homeowner.
We explored our reasoning behind each item we recommend and included our thoughts below to clarify what you may use the items for, and why that tool is a necessity.
Here is the list we came up with. We hope it will help you be prepared for whatever you choose to take on.
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If you're planning to tackle a home remodel you will need to know the international building code in order to complete the work correctly and pass inspections. This book will be your reference for things like: the distance required around a toilet, when handrails are required, tread and riser requirements, insulation requirements, the correct spacing for studs and more. You can also get a 2018 International Building Code Quick-Card for an easy reference to keep on hand while doing work.
This is going to be your go-to tool. For everything from hanging pictures to installing light fixtures or hanging cabinets, a cordless drill and drill bit set are an absolute must-have for every homeowner.
From DIY projects to major home remodels, there isn't a single project you will do where you won't need this bit and nut driver set. Installing door handles, bathroom accessories, window treatments, and more home maintenance will all require the use of these sets as well. You won't need a full set of screwdrivers with this multi-bit set, which also saves space and makes your life a little more organized.
A wrench set will be important for car maintenance and even more so for plumbing. Removing or installing a toilet, installing new faucets, changing your brakes or doing a basic oil change will all require the use of wrenches to get the job done.
Framing, cutting plywood, siding, and other home maintenance and remodeling projects will require the use of a circular saw. DIYers will appreciate the ease of cutting wood and other materials for projects like building shelving or other furniture pieces, cutting shiplap for walls, or creating concrete forms.
Remember, safety first! Protecting your eyes is extremely important when doing home remodeling or DIY projects. It only takes a fraction of a second for something to happen. It's never worth the risk. Use safety glasses!
A miter saw is of utmost importance for anyone planning to tackle trim work, furniture building, cabinet building, siding, or exterior trim. The precision of miter cuts can show the difference between a handyman and a professional. This saw is the tool that can make a huge difference in the look of finishes in your home.
A hammer might seem like a no-brainer for a toolkit, and in many ways it is. However, the specifics of the type of hammer do matter if you want ease of use and effectiveness. A good hammer should be a larger size, and can be used for anything from hanging a picture to framing a wall. This hammer can do a wide variety of tasks and give the best results.
Patching drywall, finishing wood pieces, and even painting projects all require the use of a sanding sponge. Angled sanding sponges have more flexibility in their use as they can get into corners and tight spaces more easily.
Every home needs a shop vac! They can clean up your biggest messes from home projects with ease. The rollers make it easy to move around and clean indoors or outdoors - just about anywhere you might need it - and emptying the canister is a snap.
These putty knives get used constantly. They're effective for drywall taping, filling holes in walls, scraping paint, cleaning tools, and a myriad of other tasks that happen throughout the course of a home remodel and everyday living in our homes.
Drop cloths aren't just for painting! They are great for putting down to protect floors when you're doing a messy project, on stairs or other carpeted areas you may need to walk through during a project and you don't want to/can't remove your shoes for safety reasons. Also good to use on furniture, vehicles, and other equipment to protect it during home remodels or other DIY ventures.
Painter's tape is awesome. It is great for clean likes when paint but there are many great uses! Since it is made to not damage finished surfaces, it's great for using to mark out flooring space when planning a project and needing a visual or even for temporarily labeling.
Related: How to Build a Mudroom Bench
A sawzall is a great tool for around the house. It can be used for automotive maintenance to exterior remodels, even DIY projects. It is useful for demolition work around the house, roofing, plumbing, and a variety of other home remodeling activities.
Without a doubt, if you do home remodeling, home maintenance or DIY projects, you will need wall anchors. A set will provide options for a variety of different situations, drywall, masonry, and even hollow core doors.
Many people don't even realize how often they will need allen wrenches until they don't have them available. Allen screws are common in furniture, equipment, and cars. They are small and easy to store which makes them an easy addition to any DIY or homeowners tool set.
People don't have to be perfectionists to need levels. Levels are important for framing, cabinet installation, hanging pictures, installing wall tile, door installs, and just about anything else that you want to make sure ends up square.
Flashlights and work lights get used constantly. Working on automotive projects, looking in tight spaces, or going in the attic often require additional light to get the job done. Having a set of lights available will make your life easier in more ways than you can imagine.
Home remodeler, DIYer and everyday person, you all need to have a working fire extinguisher in your home. If you are actively tinkering with things that may cause a fire, that necessity is multiplied many times over.
This cool tool will help you test and diagnose faulty electrical systems in your home and automobile. Test fuses, outlets, batteries and other electrical components to keep your home running smoothly.
A portable compressor and nailer will be a lifesaver for any DIYer or savvy homeowner. The compressor is great for a variety of tasks like filling tires, and the addition of the nailer means this combination will tackle whatever projects you have planned!
We hope our toolkit helps you be prepared for the projects you have on your list and the ones you never know you would have to take on!