The right tools make DIY home repairs easy


Even if you don’t consider yourself handy, when you buy a home, you quickly learn why having your own tools is important. With no landlord or property manager to harangue when things go bust, homeowners are on their own to make minor repairs. And in order to handle all the little things that can go wrong around your home, you need to invest in some basic tools.

As you assemble your toolkit, take a look around your home for cues. For example, you may notice that most of the screws in your home’s hardware are compatible with a Phillips screwdriver. Get a general idea of what you need, and then decide what tools you need right away, and which ones you can buy later.

Becoming competent at home repairs

Making repairs in the home isn’t terribly difficult, but it does require some practice. It’s a worthwhile investment to buy a do-it-yourself guide to basic home repairs, if you truly feel lost about basic maintenance tasks you need to take care of, or how to repair common problems.

It might feel like an unnecessary expense, but buying tools and performing repairs yourself is less expensive than paying someone else to do the work. Good tools are also built to last for years, allowing for repeated use. Some basic tools that you can buy right off the bat include:

  • Pliers
  • Hammer
  • Measuring tape
  • Box cutter

You may eventually want to invest in a multi-piece wrench set, but to start, you should be able to get by with a simple crescent wrench and a pipe wrench, for light plumbing jobs.

In addition to tools, you’ll likely need a number of supplementary supplies. These include:

  • Teflon tape
  • Wood glue
  • Assorted screws
  • Assorted nails
  • Assorted washers
  • Duct tape
  • WD-40

Finding ways to consolidate

Toolmakers offer a number of devices that combine two or more tools into one compact product. These are usually much cheaper than buying all of those pieces separately. A few of these devices are:

  • Pocket precision screwdrivers offering a number of replaceable bits (instead of buying multiple screwdrivers)
  • Power tools that are compatible with a number of different attachments
  • A Leatherman tool or Swiss army knife, for quick access to multiple tools

Tip: Try cheaper power tools first

Power tools are a great investment, and they make most jobs easier. But power tools also come at a higher cost, and it’s hard to tell how useful they will actually be for your various tasks. For that reason, it’s wise to start out with inexpensive power tools, so you can decide if you use them enough to invest in a better make or model. You might start out with an electric screwdriver, for example, and decide to upgrade to a cordless drill.

The bottom line with tools is that you get what you pay for, so it makes sense to buy quality tools that will last. Start with the basics and upgrade your toolbox over time, based on which tools you use the most. Why hire a handyman when you can fix it yourself?