As relatively new homeowners, my husband and I have spent quite a bit of time this past year thinking about tools. Many of us acquire the basics with our first rental situation—hammer, screwdrivers (Phillips & flat-head), pliers, wrench, duct tape, and measuring tape; along with maybe a couple other odds and ends as well. There are few things one can’t do with some combination of these, which is just as well since one usually isn’t allowed to modify a rental too much. New homeowners, though, are going to require an additional set to augment the basics. This is something to consider as we head into the gift-giving season.
Before we bought a house, I used to think the most important tools to give would be lawn care implements. These would be dirt or snow shovels, a rake, a hose, possibly a sprinkler, or hedge clippers. We were lucky that the previous owners of our house (who were downsizing to a condo) left us all of these, plus a lawnmower for good measure (we were really lucky). These are great, useful items and I’m so glad we have them. However, there are also a few tools that I didn’t automatically know we would need once we bought a house, which I love just as much if not more.
For one thing, I’m getting to know our caulking gun more and more. In a previous post, I put a picture of a messy yet functional caulking
job I had done on a window repair. As I go along, I am improving and learning tricks to do a neater job (like using painter’s tape to get cleaner caulk lines—a tip I learned from the website Young House Love). While the caulking gun is not my favorite tool, I have spent oodles of time with it and will continue to in the future. This is definitely one to keep in mind for gift giving.
Another great gift, and possibly my current favorite tool, is the 5-in-1. I have used this in nearly every house project I have attempted this year. Honestly, I’m not sure what the official 5 in the 5-in-1 are, but here are the 5 uses that I know of so far. The hole can be used for prying out nails. The pointed edge can be used for gouging out caulking or scraping out other substances from small channels. The long, flat edge can be used for scraping surfaces. The short flat edge can be used to open a paint can and the curved edge can be used to clean a paint roller. Plus, I’m fairly confident I spent less than $10 on this little gem—how great is that?
Finally, you can’t go wrong with safety equipment such as protective eye-wear masks, and gloves of both the rubber and gardening varieties. I am not a gardener, but I do have to spend time clipping things like grass and hedges; my hands are happier not to have blisters on them, so gloves are a big help. We have been removing old plaster and wallpaper from our walls and the masks are a must. Eye-wear is good for whenever there will be small particles floating in the air.
We know this is an incomplete list and there are many other tools needed for the upkeep of a house, such as the pry bar and drill, but hopefully this will help get the creative juices flowing as you search for that perfect something for a new homeowner.