Do-It-Yourself Repairs

You will also need to buy some basic, good quality tools. Things every homeowner should have are listed below.

SCREWDRIVERS: including standard (straight-edged) and Phillips (cross-head) in various sizes: tools used to insert screws into various surfaces
CLAW HAMMER: a type of hammer used to insert and pull out nails in wood or wall surfaces
PLIERS, including slip joint and vise grip: tools used to cut and shape wires and to grip things firmly
CRESCENT (ADJUSTABLE) WRENCH: tool used to loosen and tighten nuts and bolts and in plumbing jobs, like fitting faucets
HAND SAW: tool for general cutting purposes on paneling and lumber
ASSORTED NAILS: brads, screws, bolts, nuts, and washers
TAPE MEASURE: flexible tape marked in inches and feet, used for marking and measuring
FLASHLIGHT with batteries (stored outside of flashlight): good for power outages and electrical work that requires you to turn off a circuit
PUTTY KNIFE: flat, metal-bladed knife used to spread wood filler or spackle compound into holes and cracks
UTILITY KNIFE: versatile tool used to cut floor tile, trim wallpaper, score lines and open heavy cardboard boxes
CAULKING GUN: metal or plastic holder that dispenses caulk or adhesive from a cartridge
PLUNGER: rubber suction cup on a wooden stick used to force out clogs in plumbing lines
HANDHELD POWER DRILL: electric or cordless tool used to install screws into wood and metal with changeable bits (the part of the drill that makes the hole) for different drilling surfaces and screw sizes
CARPENTER LEVEL: a tool that determines whether a surface is level; it is useful for installing shelves and hanging pictures
LADDERS: including extension and step: step ladders are free-standing and good for indoor and outdoor work; extension ladders, which are usually leaned against the side of your house, are for high outdoor work, such as gutter cleaning or repairing a roof
SANDPAPER in varying grades: rough paper used for smoothing various wood and wall surfaces
These tools should work for most simple projects and learning by doing is fine for many jobs. You may want or need to purchase specialized tools for larger or more involved projects. Consider getting professional help for structural, electrical, or major plumbing renovations.