As a homeowner on a budget, I had to learn how to handle a lot of problems on my own. If it weren’t for YouTube tutorials and my trusty pink tool bag (yes, it’s pink), I’d still have a leaky faucet, clogged shower drain and broken garbage disposal. With some basic knowledge and a few tools, you too will be ready to remedy your first disaster. Whether your water heater goes out or the screens start falling out of your windows, here are the essential tools to help you take care of everything on your own:
Flashlight and Magnet
When was the last time you were taking something apart and you lost the screws somewhere in the great unknown? A flashlight and a long magnet would help you get back on track.
The Basic Hammer
A basic hammer is a necessity. Think about the chores that require one, such as hanging pictures and fixing little things around the house, and all the specialty jobs you may need one for, such as installing landscaping lights or home security systems. Keep it in an easily accessible spot, like the entry closet or the kitchen junk drawer.
The Right Screwdrivers
According to home-improvement professionals at Houzz, every homeowner needs two types of screwdrivers: a flat-head and a Phillips. The Phillips has the star-shaped tip and is used for a variety of projects and quick fixes. A flat-head screwdriver only fits in single-slot screws, which are typically used on the faceplates for electrical, cable and telephone outlets.
Measuring Made Easy
A heavy-duty tape measure pays for itself quickly, especially if you like to move furniture around or scour your local thrift store for DIY furniture-makeover projects. If you’ve ever brought a new piece home only to find out it won’t fit through the door or isn’t proportionate to the space, a tape measure will be your new best friend.
On the Level
Although your friend or significant other may tell you they can “eyeball” where you should hang that beautiful new painting, don’t do it. You can easily use your handy measuring tape and a small level to make sure your art is hung correctly and doesn’t look like you live in a home full of giants.
All-Purpose Utility Knife
If you are looking for a razor-sharp cut, an all-purpose utility knife can do the trick every time, suggests home improvement experts at Gizmodo. Just be careful, if you are used to cutting things with dull scissors from the junk drawer, a good utility knife could take a finger off.
If you’ve ever tried to pull out a small nail using your bathroom tweezers, now is the time to buy the adult version: durable pliers. They can also be used to reach behind the dryer for a lost sock or to pinch the wires together on your child’s hamster cage after an escape.
Versatile Crescent Wrench
If you’ve never used a crescent wrench, you don’t know what you’re missing. Using one to loosen that bolt will make you feel like a true handyman.
Finally, no home should be without a ladder, power drill and a heavy-duty extension cord. With these items, you’ll be prepared to take on any DIY project.