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What tools do I need as a new homeowner?


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#1 of 121 DaveF

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Posted October 22 2004 - 06:38 AM

I need suggestions for what tools are critical to have for a new homeowner. I've bought a new house (moving in next week) and tomorrow is my tool-shopping day. Since I'm not a tool guy and haven't done much home repair over the years of living in apartments, I'm not sure what I need.

It's a new house so I don't expect any fix-it work. But I will install ceiling fans, a garage door, a mailbox, window treatments, and hang pictures.

So what tools are must-haves? I don't have a strict budget, but I hope to spend less than $250 (pre-tax). I'm leaning towards Sears, given their Craftsman reputation, but I've got a 10% Lowes coupon and I hear that Home Depot also has a nice "new house" discount. I'd like to buy all my tools at one store for simplicity.

Thanks for your help!

#2 of 121 Jeff Gatie

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Posted October 22 2004 - 07:01 AM

Get a cordless drill, at least a 12 volt, preferably more. I've had good luck with my Craftsman (good price), but if you want top of the line, get a DeWalt. This is mandatory for any homeowner, even if you just use it for screws. Imagine hanging 15 windows worth of curtains and manually screwing in the hardware and you get my drift (DO NOT nail hardware for window treatments. Pre-drill and screw only!).

Get a decent set of sockets, metric and standard. Craftsman are good and they replace anything if broken.

Get a circular saw if you intend to do any carpentry. Again, I have a Craftsman that was my father's and is over 30 years old.

Get a set of screwdrivers, mini to huge.

A giftset type set of Vice-grips - these are a godsend.

Get a big chan-l-lock wrench (adjustable wrench). This is usefull for any plumbing repairs, like unscrewing a trap. Get the biggest or next to biggest.

This (minus the circular saw) will probably kill the $250. The thing is, once the Christmans season rolls around, you will probably get massive sales at Sears on this stuff. I got my drill at Christmas 2 years ago - 16V Craftsman with set of quick change bits and floodlight for $90, it was $149 list (minus the bits).

Oh yeah, get a quality hammer. I find the framing hammer (straight claw) is the one I use the most.

#3 of 121 Jay Taylor

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Posted October 22 2004 - 07:06 AM

Personally I like the Craftsman tool sets. You save a lot by getting the sets and the Craftsman tools have a lifetime warranty. I also like how they sponsor the home rebuilding projects on the TV show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

Do you have experience in changing a garage door? If not, I would recommend leaving that project for the pros. You can just about break any bone or lose any body part installing the door springs!

P.S. There’s no such thing as critical tools for a guy. They’re all critical. We will die without them. We must strive to own every tool ever invented or we will cease to exist! Posted Image
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#4 of 121 Jeff Gatie

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Posted October 22 2004 - 07:11 AM

Oh yeah, one more thing. If you intend to do anything like install hardwood floors, get a chop-saw or mini-table saw. I installed two huge rooms of hardwood floors and could not do it with just a circular saw.

By the way, hardwood floors are not hard to install, just tedious and they increase home value immediately.

#5 of 121 DaveF

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Posted October 22 2004 - 07:13 AM

Quote:
Do you have experience in changing a garage door
Oops! I meant, garage door opener. The brain and the fingers don't always communicate so well.

Thanks for the ideas. I'll have to think more carefully about my urgent needs versus my near-term needs. Perhaps I can hold off until the Holidays for some big-ticket items and catch better prices.

#6 of 121 Jeff Gatie

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Posted October 22 2004 - 07:18 AM

Quote:
Perhaps I can hold off until the Holidays for some big-ticket items and catch better prices.


Get the drill now, you'll probably need it and if it goes on sale you can ask them to honor it for 30 days. Probably the socket set too. The other stuff is easily picked up during the holidays as giftsets. A 3 pack of this, 12 pack of that, etc., usually under $20 a giftset.

#7 of 121 John Alvarez

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Posted October 22 2004 - 07:44 AM

A ladder.

#8 of 121 Philip_T

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Posted October 22 2004 - 07:52 AM

Yes, the cordless drill is a must. I picked up a Dewalt myself and have found it getting the most use of all my tools. You should be able to pick one up for under a $100. A small step ladder can come in handy as well. Vice-grips, screwdrivers, hammer, putty knife, socket set, stud finder, tape measure, small level, hacksaw and wire cutters are some other useful tools.

You may want to get some hanging hooks and shelving for the garage/basement areas.

For outdoor tools, lawnmower, weedeater, bow saw, fertilizer spreader, clippers, broom, rake & shovel. Good luck staying under $250. Oh yeah, don't forget the metric crescent wrench. Posted Image

#9 of 121 Dave Poehlman

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Posted October 22 2004 - 08:05 AM

A plunger!

#10 of 121 Philip_T

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Posted October 22 2004 - 08:09 AM

Thought of a couple more.
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#11 of 121 Jeff Gatie

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Posted October 22 2004 - 08:19 AM

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Oh yeah, don't forget the metric crescent wrench.


That's rotten! Posted Image

#12 of 121 Daren Welsh

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Posted October 22 2004 - 08:35 AM

You're definitely going to need a kegerator and a nacho cheese gun.
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#13 of 121 DaveF

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Posted October 22 2004 - 08:44 AM

Quote:
Good luck staying under $250
Ok, that was far too optimistic. :b

Quote:
don't forget the metric crescent wrench
I'm an engineer. I could only wish for everything to be in metric. Posted Image

Quote:
nacho cheese gun
Does Taco Bell sell those to individuals now?

Quote:
For outdoor tools
I'll worry about that stuff when winter is over, sometime next August...

Thanks for the great suggestions. Any more? I'll go through this and make a list tonight.

#14 of 121 DonRoeber

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Posted October 22 2004 - 08:50 AM

A level. Don't need to go crazy, you'll just want something to make sure that any shelves you put up aren't going to dump their contents when you're not looking.

I also recommend some sort of saw. I recently purchased a reciprocating saw for a project, and it's amazingly useful.

That's the best thing about owning a home. I'm able to convince my wife that this $50 project requires me to go buy this new $100 toy. I mean tool. Tool. Yup. I never said toy. Look over there.
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#15 of 121 Leila Dougan

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Posted October 22 2004 - 09:07 AM

I dunno, I tend to think that you should just "wing it". I mean, you'll want a few basic things like a set of screwdrivers, a hammer, some screws, nails, a cordless drill is nice too. Oh, and a ladder.

Everything else, I think, you can just get when you need it. Plus, it allows you to have people buy them for you (Christmas present? You can buy me this saw). Unless you're on a fixed bugdet with zero extra money, I wouldn't go crazy buying all this stuff right now. That's my theory, anyway, and it's worked well for me in the 7 months I've been living in my first house (about 7 years old).

#16 of 121 Philip_T

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Posted October 22 2004 - 09:10 AM

I'll worry about that stuff when winter is over, sometime next August...


Hmmm, maybe a snow shovel then. Depending on where your located of course.

#17 of 121 Jason Kirkpatri

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Posted October 22 2004 - 09:54 AM

Not tools but get a stash of extra lightbulbs and candles. Add some scissors to your list, tape measure, razor blade knife (are they called exacto's?) and a nice tool chest to put it all in.

Jason

#18 of 121 Henry Gale

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Posted October 22 2004 - 10:02 AM

When you can, get a second drill. Perhaps one with a cord and one without. So many projects involve pilot holes and then a screw. It's great not to have to keep changing bits.
Years ago I picked up a couple of 5lb boxes of drywall screws. 1 and a half and 3 inch. I've still got them, but I use them all the time and don't have to look for them when I need them. They're great for so many different projects.
Find a place for this stuff, the kitchen drawer is not gonna do it.

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#19 of 121 Tim Hoover

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Posted October 22 2004 - 10:03 AM

I second Don's recommendation of a reciprocating saw. I have a Sawzall and just love the thing. It's useful for all kinds of stuff, even things you would never think of. I had a large limb come down in the backyard a few days ago, and being without a chainsaw, I just used the Sawzall to cut the damn thing up...

FYI, only Craftsman hand tools have a lifetime warranty. Their power tools usually carry a one-year warranty...
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#20 of 121 Scott Merryfield

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Posted October 22 2004 - 10:59 AM

Quote:
A plunger!

Some pipe wrenches and a drain snake are very useful, too.

Also, every home owner should have a wet/dry vacuum.


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