Becoming a homeowner is a rite of passage for many Americans. It's a source of pride, an investment and a sign of success. Unfortunately, one of the first difficulties new homeowners or investors encounter is that homeownership goes hand in hand with repairs and home improvement projects. Calling professionals to continually care for routine problems can quickly become expensive.Most homeowners will find that building a personal tool collection and learning how to do basic repairs and home improvements can go a long way toward saving money as well as helping to increase the value of the home. Becoming a DIYer is a cheaper way to get the job done, and therefore get more return on your investment. Here are some tips for building a useful tool kit.A HammerA hammer is an essential first tool to buy. It's always a good idea to buy tools that serve more than one purpose when possible, so make sure you get a claw hammer. A claw hammer will need no special maintenance and can be used for nails, basic demolition or simply tapping pieces into place. The claw side can be used to pry nails back out of the wood when needed.A WrenchWrenches offer the ability to tighten and loosen nuts and bolts. Without one, it can be virtually impossible accomplish the job. There are a variety of types of wrenches, but if you have to get only one, go for an adjustable or open-ended model. These two options have the widest variety of uses. Metal wrenches can rust, so be on the lookout for water exposure.Tape MeasureFor any home improvement project, a measuring tape is necessary for accuracy. It's easy and straightforward to use, and most people will be able to get by with just a basic 16-foot model. It can be used to place furniture, measure baseboards, center paintings, put up crown molding and any number of other jobs. To protect the tape measure, be sure to retract the tape after each use.Utility KnifeA utility knife is a versatile tool that will come in handy quickly. These types of knives can be used for everything from separating drywall to opening packages to cutting tape. If you're going to be doing numerous projects, it may be worth investing in a better quality knife with a few spare blades, as they can dull or snap with excessive use. Obvious caution needs to be exerted when it comes to using and storing the knife to make sure it's used safely.A Cordless DrillDrills are important for any project that requires screws. It makes the projects go much faster and more efficiently. A cordless drill is more useful than a corded one, which will require an outlet and often an extension cord. For projects such as installing drywall, this will be a hassle. Batteries on cordless drills last for quite a while and are easy to recharge. Many will even come with two battery packs so one can charge while the other's in use. To keep the drill working properly, don't force anything while using it and be careful not to drop the tool, especially from tall heights.A ToolboxUsing tools is an important part of homeownership, but they'll do little good if left to become damaged or disorganized by sitting in a garage or basement. Tool boxes are extremely useful for keeping tools in order and protected in between projects.Taking care of basic repairs around the home can save homeowners money through preventing the need for repairmen. Those interested in the investment aspects of owning a home will find the prospect of being able to complete basic home improvement projects intriguing. Keeping a set of tools on hand and organized will streamline the projects to make them easier to complete.
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