I’m just about to purchase my first home and want to be able to make minor repairs on my own. I don’t want to spend a fortune on tools. Can you recommend which ones I should invest in?
Congratulations on your home purchase. No matter what the age of the house, there will always be something which needs to be done, and if you want to do as much as possible, tools will be a requirement.
One of the first things I suggest you purchase is a book for home repairs. Home Depot has one, Lowes has one, and I know bookstores have a wide variety. These books are invaluable in gathering information either for repairs or for project planning. They will usually cover all of the basics, plus give you information on larger items which you probably will get a professional repair person for. I would suggest getting one which has ample illustrations, as these can be extremely helpful. You’ll learn how to fix a toilet, replace an electrical switch, and so many other things!
In getting yourself equipped with tools, I would make a couple of suggestions. You could go and spend a lot on a tool chest filled with hundreds of pieces, but I would pass on this: start with a few simple tools such as a small hammer , a good set of screw drivers, an adjustable wrench (perhaps a smaller one and a larger one), pliers, a drill, a tape measure, putty knife, safety glasses, and a utility knife. You may want to get an inexpensive tool box as well.
A couple of other things to think about are a step ladder, drop cloth, duct tape, a paint brush, extension cord, a pair of work gloves, as well as a flashlight (at least one).
When purchasing tools, you can get the cheapest or the most expensive. My philosophy is if you’re not sure how much you’re going to be using the tool, then don’t start with the most expensive. Spend less and if you find you’re using the tool all the time, you can then look to replace it, and at that point you’ll have a better idea of what you want. I could go on and on about tools that you might want, but I think it best to start with the basics and add on as you go.
If you have some large projects in mind, you don’t necessarily need to buy the expensive tools to get started. Many hardware stores rent tools which you might need, such as a circular saw, tile saw, hammer drill, table saw, and pneumatic nail guns and compressors. You will save a lot of money renting these items if you don’t think you’ll ever use them again. And, you’ll have less clutter in your garage or workbench area.