The biggest change in becoming a homeowner (besides the freedom of owning your own place) is that you can’t call the landlord anymore to do repairs for you. That’s why you need to make sure you have a well-stocked toolkit. These tools are all must-have tools for homeowners. Most repairs you can do with a few YouTube videos and these tools. In fact, I’ve fixed my dishwasher and refrigerator in the past week using just a couple of these tools.
Here is a list of the must-have tools for every homeowner should have in their home. This is going based on being a homeowner for 15 plus years and what I have actually used.
Screws come in all different shapes and sizes so it’s a good idea to have a set of them for what you will need. A good set of screwdrivers will last a homeowner for decades. Everything in your house is going to come down to needing some type of screwdriver (Philips head, flat head etc…). Having a good set of them means you are ready for any task, no matter what the
This screwdriver set is a great one. It has a variety of lengths which comes in handy in different spots, and it’s a great price right now. It’s also an Amazon Choice product.
If you prefer you can check out the best cordless drill we recommend here. A cordless drill makes everything go faster when you are doing small repairs. From hanging pictures to hanging kitchen cabinets, to outdoor projects using a cordless drill will save you a lot of time and effort. Personally, I like the Dewalt cordless drill brand name, but Hilti is also a great name brand when it comes to drills, they just cost more.
Not all hammers are created equally. They range in weight and sizes and can serve different purposes. So don’t be intimidated.
For most of your around the home uses a basic hammer like the one below will do you just fine. Depending on what you plan to do you may need a claw hammer or a curved claw hammer which can help pull nails out faster than a regular hammer. This one is perfect for a first time homeowner and will handle most if not all of the diy projects you take on.
From centering a picture in a wall to figuring out how big of a couch you can fit into your living room, a tape measure is indispensable.
They come in a range of quality. You can get a decent one for under $10 and it’s 100% worth it. Nothing is more frustrating than a tape measure that stops recoiling on it’s own, or too flimsy to do what you want it to do when you are measuring something on your own and have no one to hold the other side.
This one is a solid one and at 30 feet should work for most indoor and outdoor tasks.
It’s incredible how often I use our level. Usually, it’s for making sure the pictures are straight, But there are more and more times I use it (like when the washing machine is rocking, it’s usually because it’s not level).
Levels come in all sizes, personally, I have a 2 foot one, for the most part, it serves our purposes well. This one is an Amazon’s Choice product and very highly rated. Check out the price here. If you want the next level (sorry bad pun) you can always upgrade to this laser level.
Small Socket Set
Anything that doesn’t require a screwdriver will mean that you need a socket set at some point. From bike repairs to taking the arms off a treadmill so you can fit it through the door, you are going to need a set of these. Check out the great price here.
This one should cover everything you need and it’s an Amazon Basics, 201 pieces you should have all your bases covered with this socket set.
These are a pretty easy thing to find, and they are used more than you would think. From stripping wires to making cuts and using them on multiple types of metal (copper, brass, aluminum etc..).
These wire cutters should be an essential in your toolkit.
Some times you will have stripped screws that need to be unscrewed and a set of pliers is the perfect thing. This affordable set of pliers covers every kind of plier you might need (needle nose pliers, groove joint etc…). From plumbing to any odd job these are perfect for grabbing and twisting whatever might come up.
Drywall Anchors and Screws and Assortment of Screws and Nails
While a lot of things will come with screws, it’s always a good idea to have some screws on hand for hanging pictures and other useful things.
It may be best when you are hanging something to find a stud, but rarely is it in the spot you want it. This is where drywall hangers are a lifesaver.
These will be able to support your picture or anything that you are wanting to hang when you can’t find a stud.
Congratulations you own a house. Now you will likely need to use one of these for fixing that leaky faucet (seriously it’s pretty easy, just YouTube how to get started).
These are a nice thing to have when your taps start leaking, often they just get a little loose and need tightening. That’s where a wrench comes in handy. You may need specialized ones eventually like when your hot water tank is leaking, low hot water pressure, or you find your furnace is leaking water. But for now, this one will serve its purpose and it’s an Amazons’ Choice product.
While we are working on things in the bathroom, a plunger is a must. Personally I have used the basic one and it is useless. The problem being that it doesn’t form a complete seal around the hole in the toilet and by not doing so means a lot more work and effort.
When I upgraded to this plunger, everything got easier. It covers any size hole and unplugs our drains in seconds. Spend the extra couple of dollars and get a good plunger, you will be grateful you did. If you don’t like this one you can check out the best toilet plungers here.
Another tool that is super useful when you are trying to hang pictures or a flat screen tv is a stud finder. Being able to locate a stud when you want to install something is incredibly helpful and it makes the installation so much more sturdy. There are plenty of stud finders to choose from but we went this this one because it works with metal studs too which is nice when you have a foam block basement.
You will likely need this from day one, when you are having to cut open your moving boxes. It’s a good idea to have one of these on hand from the start. Plus they are super useful for everything around the house. Don’t go using a steak knife (we did and broke the tip off several of our Cangshan steak knives). Get a proper utility knife from the start. Check the price of this classic Stanley utility knife here.
Hex Key Wrench Set
Because the ones you get from Ikea just aren’t long enough to give you any torque. Buy a good set of these keys and you will be so happy you did the next time you need to use them. From tightening Ikea furniture (we’ve all been there) after you move it, to taking off a tap in the bathroom, hex keys are a must have tool for all homeowners.
This set is both inch and metric because you never know where things are made and what you will need.
If you start to use the power tools, you are almost always going to need an extension cord because the cords they come with are pretty short. This one is great because it lights up so you can tell if you are working with a live plug or not. This indoor/outdoor extension cord has nearly a perfect rating.
As someone who hates heights I almost didn’t want to own a ladder, the problem with them (besides the fact that you leave the ground) is that most of them are these huge things that are a pain to store. Luckily I found a solution and it’s been totally worth it.
This all-in-one ladder is the answer to your ladder problem and solves many storage issues at the same time. It can be a step ladder, telescopic ladder and neatly stores into a small area as you can see.
Doing yard work inevitably means you will need a saw, whether you want to prune trees or do something a little more larger scale it’s up to you what you will need for this.
Personally I use a hand saw for most of my wood cutting (read: yard maintenance). If I was going to take on a project I would get a powered saw of some type depending on the work. Over time you will want to add more and more power tools to cut down on the length of time, but for now get what suits your budget.
With all these tools you are going to need somewhere to keep them. This tool box is a great way to house all of your screwdrivers, pliers and other tools for when you need them.
I’m the sad owner of several caulking guns. I say sad because I made the mistake of going cheap the first couple of times. After I realized the benefit of buying a heavier duty one (we aren’t talking a huge price difference maybe $10 to $15 extra). This made all the difference.
This one is a decent one and should last you a good long time. I still have the good one for the rare times I need it. Check out this caulking gun here.
All in One Tool Kit
Personally, this is what I did in my first house. 148 Pieces is a great way to start and for under $100 it’s an investment worth making.
This set can easily handle most of your household quick fixes. When you need something else you just buy it as you go.
That’s one of the big things I found in my house. If i didn’t have the tool that worked on what I was doing I could go and buy the one I needed. This was easier than buying everything at once. Personally I went the cheapest route and ended up having to upgrade everything in the first year. Just a friendly heads up that you get what you pay for with tools.
The expression “it’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye” can also apply to home improvement projects. You can change the look of your house so much in a quick amount of time, but you want to make sure that you are taking the proper safety precautions. These safety glasses will protect your eyes and are an Amazon Choice product.
Final thoughts on tools for homeowners
Your tool collection will continue to evolve over time. By starting with this list of tools you will have a good base to grow from and add to them as the projects you tackle as a homeowner grow. Even if you aren’t that handy you will need to have these basics around. Enjoy!