TGIF! Yikes, I just realized that it’s been over a month since my last post. It’s been a busy summer so far ’round these parts. My family came to visit from Ireland for a couple of weeks, we had Cian’s christening and Brian and I have been busy finally tackling lots of little bits around the house (painting ceilings, refinishing the floors, painting the exterior of the house!!). I’ll definitely get some before and after pictures to you soon!
While clearing out and organizing the garage the other day, I got to thinking. What have been the must-have tools in the first few years of my DIY journey? Brian and I have amassed quite the collection since we bought our home several years ago but what could we, as still relatively new DIYers, NOT live without?
We own quite a lot of tools but these are the ones we couldn’t live without. If you’ve caught the DIY bug or just want some tools for around the house, I think this selection will keep you pretty well equipped to handle most projects and issues that come up around the house.
- Tape measure – This is a no-brainer. Being a homeowner, nevermind a DIYer, requires measuring. Whether you’re cutting a piece of wood or figuring out whether that new couch will fit a tape measure is essential.
- Hammer – For banging in nails, pulling out nails or even distressing a piece of wood! If you already own a wooden hammer it will do the job nicely. However, if you’re in the market for a new hammer I suggest purchasing a fiber glass claw hammer. It will absorb the shock better than a traditional wooden one.
- Standard (spirit) level – Never hang a shelf or picture frame crooked again! Almost every project will require you to check for level. A standard level has a little bubble that aligns to let you know when it’s straight – whether vertical or horizontal. I like the 2 foot box beam levels but a small 12 or 6 inch level can be handy too!
- Cordless drill with various bits as well as screwdriver bits – Assembling IKEA furniture will be a breeze with one of these guys! You don’t need to spend a fortune, either. I got my Black & Decker one on sale for $50 and it’s probably the best money we’ve ever spent. A cordless drill is both a drill AND a power screwdriver. I even used mine when I was putting new drywall in the master bathroom.
- Miter box – If you plan on installing new trim or baseboards in your home then this is an absolute essential. Instead of shelling out a couple hundred dollars on power tools, this $10 miter box will give you perfect 45 degree angles every time. This was one of the first purchases and all of the trim and baseboards that we replaced were perfectly cut with it!
- Air compresser & brad nailer – When Brian and I decided to add Board & Batten to our dining room we knew it would take 10 times as long if we needed to hammer in a million nails. So instead, we purchased this pancake air compressor and brad nailer. Basically it’s a really frickin’ awesome nail gun and it’s perfect for installing any kind of trim, baseboard or wainscotting. Need to build a box? Use this and some wood glue and you’re all set!
- Putty knife – Spackling nail holes in a necessity. You will need a flexible putty knife to get it on smoothly.
- Palm sander – If you ever want to refinish furniture or heck, even your deck, then you will need a good palm (or orbital) sander. I purchased mine on Amazon for $35 and I’ve gotten a fair bit of use out of it. It was used extensively when I refinished the MCM dresser for the nursery.
- Utility knife – for general cutting and scoring of things. It’s just good to have!
- Staple gun – I’ve used my staple gun for several re-upholstery projects and even for attaching fabric to a canvas. Definitely a good item to own! Again, I picked mine up through Amazon and it was only $17.
Is there anything you would add to my list that you consider essential? Let me know in the comments! Have a great weekend!