Learning Basic Home Repair and Maintenance with Essential Tools for Homeowners
It is helpful for homeowners to have the capacity to do some of their home maintenance without having to hire out a professional every time something needs to be done. That is why purchasing some basic tools, having a household tools list and having home maintenance guides can be a big help.
Often little problems in a home can be costly to repair if they are left unattended. What may seem to be a small problem when first discovered can become significantly problematic and expensive to repair if left unattended.
Home buyers don’t usually get a basic maintenance and repair manual when they buy their home. However, there are some home maintenance tips and must have tools for homeowners that can help homeowners better care for the financial investment of their home for years to come. This includes a few power tools every homeowner should have.
Home and Yard Must Have Tools for Homeowners
The first step is to make sure the home is equipped with some basic tools after the purchase is complete. Investing in some basic tools for inside and outside maintenance and repair of the home is vital for long-term care. Homeowners who have the proper tools readily available for maintenance and repairs are better able to keep their home’s mechanical and structural systems in good working order. (Related: 7 Costs of Home Ownership Beyond the Mortgage)
Understanding What Tools Are Used For
The following is a basic list of top tools and repairs that are common in a home. These are considered the top priority tools that should be invested in to help maintain a home and handle basic maintenance issues that may arise.
In each of these categories, the tools listed can play a key role in home maintenance and repairs. Additionally, many of these tools can be used for multiple things that need repairs. Learning more about the basic tools and the power tools every homeowner should have in this list and how to use them is a recommended homeownership skill. This is especially true for the use of any motorized or electrical tool. Learning to do basic repairs and utilize these tools can save a homeowner thousands of dollars or more a year.
Home Plumbing Tools
• Plumbing Snake
• Spare Seals for Sinks and Bathtub Fixtures
• Emergency Pipe Sealant
• Caulking Gun
When it comes to plumbing tools, one of the most important and often used tools is the plumbing snake. Clogged drains are one of the most common calls plumbers get. But in many cases, a simple snake can get the clog out. This is especially true for bathtub clogs which are often caused by hair build up. Homeowners that have purchased their own high-quality plumbing snake can save themselves hundreds of dollars. Home use of a plumbing snake helps homeowners to avoid the need the help of emergency plumbing services to fix a clogged bathtub or sink drain.
Leaks are another common plumbing problem. Leaks that are left unattended around plumbing fixtures may not be as problematic. However, if the caulking and sealants around a tub or sink are not kept up, water can seep into the walls. Water leaks should always be tended to quickly. Failure to do so can cause wood rot and mold to grow which is a health hazard. Caulking is an easy and inexpensive repair that almost anyone can do. Any other major plumbing leaks should be tended to by a licensed plumber to ensure it is properly repaired.
• Outlet Tester
• Electrical Power Strips
• GFCI Outlet and Switch Replacements
• Wire Cutter
When it comes to electrical tools, all of these are important. If the home is older, homeowners should have all their outlets in the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room and outside area converted into GFCI Outlets. These outlets are especially critical in protecting against electrocution from water. The work of having outlets converted and replaced should be done by a licensed professional electrician. However, having spare outlet plates in case of outlet plate damage is a good idea.
As far as electronics go, all home electronics should be placed on properly rated power strips. This will protect the home against power surge electrical fires. It will also protect all electronic equipment in the event of a power surge. Power surges can occur for a variety of reasons. Electrical storms and blown transformers are the two biggest reasons.
An outlet tester is also an essential electrical home tool and is easy to use. If an outlet seems to be not working right, the outlet tester can tell if the outlet has faulty wiring. Any outlet that is not working has sparks or has intermittent power can be a sign of bigger problems and should never be used. Home electrical fires account for 51,000 home fires a year. If a problem is detected or an outlet is not working, a licensed electrician should be the only one to repair it.
Interior Home Care Tools
• Staple Gun
• Complete Set of Screwdrivers
• Complete Set of Nails and Screws
• Cordless Drill
• Full Paint Brush Set
• Skill Saw
• Wood, Carpet and Tile Glue
• Vice Grip
• First-Aid Kit
When it comes to general interior home tools, there are a wide variety of tools that are considered important and necessary. A cordless drill is often one of the most used tools in a home. From the simple installation of shelving to repairing wood frames and replacing doors and locks, a cordless drill is considered an essential tool.
It is also important to have a complete screwdriver set. While the drill will come with many screwdriver bits, sometimes the need for a simple screwdriver for drawer, light switch and handle repairs is more practical than using a cordless electric drill.
Sometimes the best tools are the most basic ones. In most homes, wood, carpet and tile glue comes in handy quite often. Basic repairs of smaller wood pieces, gluing of a piece of carpet that has pulled away or gluing a loose tile are minor repairs that can be completed by almost any homeowner. Not having the glues available can make them fall by the wayside giving way to the potential for slips and falls, water seepage and other unnecessary problems.
Another generic home essential is a workbench. Many home repairs need to be handled by removing the item and fixing it. A workbench or tool bench even if it is a small one can be an essential home tool. Fixing and repairing wood pieces, spindles, cupboard doors and more can usually only be done properly using a workbench area to complete the task. Workbenches can easily be placed in garages, basements and tool sheds. (Related: Top Home Design Trends of 2019)
While it may seem like an unusual tool, a first-aid kit should be considered a vital home tool. Especially for people who do some of their own handyman repairs. It is not unusual for a person to get cuts and scrapes that puncture the flesh while doing home and yard work. Having the proper first aid supplies such as bandages and disinfectant is very important.
Exterior Home Tools
• Wood Planer
• Roof Rake
• Power Washer
• Reciprocating Saw
• Small Bag of Concrete Mix
• Insect Repellant
The exterior of a home often has a wide variety of repairs that need to be kept up with. While many homeowners prioritize the interior of a home, it is vital that the exterior of a home be kept up with as well. Many people fail to understand that the exterior of the home protects the structure and frame of the home. Proper maintenance around the exterior of a home is essential for egress safety.
One of the most important exterior home tools is a ladder. Since so many repairs can arise from places that are out of reach for most people, a ladder becomes a critical home tool. However, it is important to make sure that the ladder is a solid one that has good stabilizers at the base. Home ladders are often used on concrete, grass and even mulch. Because of this, it is important that the ladder base is suitable for all surfaces. It should be noted that when using a ladder at home, it is important to have another adult around. This helps to ensure the ladder stays stable while in use to prevent falls.
Roof rakes are another critical exterior home tool. Since many leaves, pine needles and debris can get built up on roofs, having a way to get them removed is essential. While some people consider roof rakes only for snow, roof rakes can come with a variety of accessories. One of the most common accessories for a leaf rake is a leaf brush. This is a brush that can help remove debris from rooftops. This can be especially helpful after a storm when limbs, branches, leaves and pine needles can accumulate excessively on rooftops. This tool can easily help remove these items. If left, leaves and pine needles can create mildew on roofs and prematurely damage roof tiles that later require replacement.
Power washers are also considered an important exterior home maintenance tool. Washing away mildew and mold growth on homes, eaves, and roofs can only be properly done with a power washer. While power washing a whole roof should only be done by a professional to ensure the integrity of the roof tiles stays intact, using it at a low-level spray setting can help remove mold growth without the risk of damaging tiles.
Insect repellant should also be considered vital to have around a home. This is essential for anyone who is doing exterior work on a home or is working in landscaping. Since bees and spiders can readily nest in many areas around the exterior of a home, having an insect repellant should be considered a necessity. Getting caught off guard with a nest of bees can be a health emergency. Before doing any work around the eaves or roofline of a home, they should be inspected. A good pair of binoculars works well at detecting nests from afar. If a non-honey bees’ nest is discovered, then it should be sprayed after dark or before dawn. This is when the bees are in the nest and do not travel.
Exterior Landscape Tools
• Manual Pruner
• Weed Whacker
• Lawn Mower
• Electric Pruner
• Leaf Blower
• Hedge Trimmers
• Garden Hose
• Snake Bite Kit
When it comes to landscaping tools, there are a wide variety of tools that can be essential. One of the most obvious essential tools is a lawnmower. However, having both an electric and manual pruner can be an essential landscaping tool. Limbs and branches can easily break and snap in storms. If left unattended, they can become projectiles in bad weather causing home damage and physical harm. Manual pruners are good for smaller branches, and the electric pruner can be good for branches that are out of reach and are a little hardy.
Another really important tool for a home is a composter. This is a tool that is not just considered an essential tool for gardeners but is an essential tool for all people who care about preserving the environment. Weed clippings, lawn mowing clippings, and leaves can be put into a composter. Once they are broken down to a basic level, they can be great for adding back nutrients to the land. It can be especially important for gardens as a safe way to feed the soil without any harmful or synthetic ingredients.
While having a snake bite kit may seem like a non-necessary home tool, in California it can be a real concern. Especially for people who live in more suburban or rural areas. The risk of encountering a snake in these areas is always a possibility. Being prepared for such an injury while working out in the yard is important. Anyone who is doing yard work should always ensure that someone else is around. It is also wise to carry a cell phone. In the event of a snake bite, having access to call 911 is important. The sooner medical help is given, the better the outcome will be for the victim of any snake bite.
Whether you’re a first-time homeowner or a seasoned veteran, having a fully stocked tool kit is an essential part of keeping after your dominion. You’re the first line of defense when it comes to keeping your home in order. The more you’re able to tackle yourself, the less money you’ll need to spend on contractors.