19 April 2022

Essential tools for DIY home renovations

Danielle Redford
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More and more people are choosing DIY home renovations to save money and increase the value of their homes. The number of home renovation shows on TV is probably another major reason why the trend has become so popular.

Having the right tools is crucial for renovating your home successfully; otherwise, you’re making your work more time-consuming and difficult than it needs to be.

This article explains the top 10 tools you’ll likely need for any home renovation project.

1. Tape measure

Planning is the crucial first step in any home renovation task, and it’s where a good tape measure is likely to come in very handy. Make sure you invest in a good quality tape measure that’s hardy, firm, and won’t retract. You’ll use it a lot, regardless of the renovation work you’re doing.

You can get a good quality tape measure for less than $50 with plenty of change.

2. Nail gun

If you’re going to be doing a lot of nailing, don’t do it the time-consuming, old-fashioned way with a hammer. Use a nail gun instead. There are many benefits, including doing the work faster, more accurately and more powerfully.

One squeeze of a trigger is all it takes to drive a nail where you want it to go when you’re using a nail gun. You also won’t need to carry nails around with you after you’ve loaded them into your gun.

Nail guns range in price from less than $100 to more than $1,000. As with anything, you get the quality that you pay for. Hiring one is a worthwhile option if you won’t need a nail gun long-term. You can hire a good quality nail gun for around $200 for a week, and you’ll be glad you did.

3. Cordless drill

A cordless drill is extremely handy to have whether you’re doing a major home renovation or not. Cordless drills are portable tools that you can take anywhere, and good quality drills can keep their charge for hours.

Look for a light cordless drill with a long battery life and a quick charging time. Ideally, it should have a light you can use as well when you’re in dark spots. Make sure it’s easy to change speeds and drill in reverse to have maximum functionality.

Cordless drills range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand, depending on their features. A mid-range drill should help you do most DIY home renovation projects.

Once you get your drill, make sure you invest in high-quality drill bits to use with it.

4. Ladder

A strong, flexible ladder can be invaluable during renovation work, especially when you need to reach high spaces for long periods (like when you’re painting a ceiling). Choose a sturdy ladder that can extend as high as you need it to.

Decent ladders start from a couple of hundred dollars and go up from there based on their size and quality.

5. Sledgehammer

If your renovation work involves any demolition tasks like knocking out existing walls, then a sledgehammer is the tool you want. Make sure you buy one that you can lift fairly easily, especially if you’re going to be swinging it a lot.

A good quality sledgehammer will probably set you back a couple of hundred dollars. If you are only using it temporarily, you can hire one for far less.

6. Jigsaw

A jigsaw is an extremely flexible cutting tool that will enable you to cut wood, metal and other materials, depending on the type of blade you use and its power. It can also let you cut at a variety of angles, as well as cut curves if you need it to.

Ideally, look for a jigsaw that has a laser guide to show you where to cut to ensure your accuracy, as well as a light.

A decent jigsaw will cost you a couple of hundred dollars. Again, you can hire one far cheaper.

7. Laser level

Laser levels emit straight beams to help you ensure that you line things up so that they’re level or straight on surfaces like walls and floors. Nothing looks more unprofessional on a DIY home renovation job than when things are crooked. A laser level will help you to avoid that problem.

You can buy a quality laser level for around $200.

8. Longnose pliers

Longnose pliers (also called needle-nose pliers) are handy tools that are great for holding wires or other objects in place, as well as cutting. You can pick up a good pair for under $50.

9. Comfortable tool belt

A comfortable tool belt will allow you to carry around everything you need while keeping your hands free when you need to. You won’t ever have to look around or wonder where you left things like small items like tape measures, pliers or screwdrivers. They’ll always be with you instead.

10. PPE

Personal protective equipment (PPE) also isn’t a tool to help you get your renovation work done, but it’s crucial because it can help you to get it done safely. PPE includes items like gloves, safety goggles, ear muffs, masks, hard hats and steel cap footwear.

Make sure you use appropriate PPE for any home renovation task that you do. The last thing you want is for you (or any of your family members) to get injured. It’s a safety investment that won’t cost you much at all to fully kit yourself out.

The bottom line

Buying or hiring good quality tools if you’re doing a DIY home renovation project is a ‘no brainer. They will save you a lot of time and a lot of hassle, and they also help to ensure you do a high-quality job.

Make sure you know how to use any tool properly before you start working with it. If you don’t, ask for professional advice or watch an online video demonstration.

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