Have you made the move from renter to homeowner?
Before if you had a leak, or a breakage, your boiler packed in or you needed to put up a shelf you would just call your landlord. When you own your home, you call your granddad or sit anxiously in front of Google holding a screwdriver as the ceiling caves in. Buying a property often leaves you with an empty wallet and a LOT of DIY jobs. Most people will not have the extra money to pay professionals to come in. A simple repair can turn into frustrating disaster and can take all day if you do not have the right tools. You might have a hammer and some odd screws but it’s good to build up a ‘must have’ toolbox.
Many of the hand tools you will buy are bought loose which can result in them being damaged unless properly stored. For day to day use choose a high impact plastic tool box that is sturdy, has handles and a compartmentalized tray. Ensure you buy one big enough as tools are bulky and heavy. This set from FFX is useful as it comes with smaller box perfect for filling with screws and fittings.
General purpose nails and screws.
Steel nails come in all shapes and sizes and are perfect for putting up home accessories such as lightweight photo frames. I have a variety of long and small pins. Outdoors, use zinc-plated galvanised nails as they help to delay rusting. Raised-head screws have heads that sit above the surface, whilst others have heads that are flush with surfaces. Screws can have slotted or crossed heads – cross-headed screws being easier to drive with a power drill. Most screws won’t stay in internal and external walls without a wall plug, which you need for a heavy duty fixing, i.e. hanging mirrors. You may also want to think about buying wood glue as an alternative adhesive.
Extension cords have made life much easier for homeowners everywhere. You will no doubt need at least one of these, either for using power tools outside or for inside when plugs are just not quite close enough. Keep an eye on the upkeep of these to ensure the wires do not get damaged.
A ladder can come in really useful for all kinds of DIY tasks around the home, from step ladders for interior decorating to extension ladders for cleaning gutters or replacing roof tiles. They can be an expensive buy and are dependent on what storage you have available. Aluminium ladders are more lightweight to carry but are more likely to shift. For simply decorating, changing bulbs, trimming hedges etc for a multipurpose, a frame step ladders.
Most people will have one of these somewhere for all the times they planned to go camping but never did. Keep it somewhere you can easily find and invest in rechargeable batteries.
Buy a long handled claw hammer for banging nails in and ripping them out, a pack of different sized allen keys, get a couple of retractable, lockable tape measures, plyers, a wrench set and screwdriver set with both Philips heat and flathead tips for jobs such as changing light switch plates. Also think about what you will need for the garden; broom, gloves, spade etc.
Invest in a multipurpose, rechargeable battery powered, cordless drill that can buy used on multiple projects and tasks. They don’t have to cost the earth and make sure you store in a secure, dry place. If you are anything like me you will go through a few drill bits in your time so have extras!
Let’s face it the likelihood you will paint or gloss in your home is HIGH. Invest in different sized brushes, rollers and refills. Synthetic bristle brushes are suitable for all paints, but are preferred for water-based, as natural bristles can absorb water, affecting the composition of the paint. Avoid cheaper paints or you will likely have to do multiple coats and keep a stash of masking tape under the cupboard. Make sure you also keep old bed sheets!
You can borrow tools temporarily off kindly neighbours with a cup of sugar or check out local tips for cheap paint where it is often left half full and perfectly usable. For better quality, reliable purchases it is advisable to buy from a reputable shop that supplies specialist items. FFX sells a wide range of products and is a leading retailer of tools and accessories. Buying online minimise hassle and with free delivery, product reviews, competitive price and different brands to compare on a page rather than stand in a shop looking confused.
Whether you’re adding an extension, updating the kitchen or bathroom, or even just adding a new coat of paint, investing in improving your property can add significantly to its value when you come to sell.
What were your first project as a home buyer and what tools did you need or found that you were missing?