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Must Have Tools Every Homeowner Should Have

Nothing beats the feeling a first-time homeowner has when they unlock the front door and step into their new home for the very first time. Thoughts of what furniture or drapes to buy or whether to keep the carpet or lay down some fresh hardwood floors are sure to swirl like a tornado. However, before tearing down any drywall, there’s a few basic tools every homeowner needs to make sure they have in their toolbox in order to be prepared for all the small projects nobody really thinks of. From fixing that squeaky door to hanging a picture frame, by picking up these basic tools, every homeowner will be ready to tackle any small project in no time.

Hammer and Nails (Screws Too!)

While most first-time homeowners have the hammer, most usually forget to pick up the variety of different sized nails they’ll need to tackle any number of small projects around the house. But with so many varieties and sizes of nails, it can get a little confusing finding out exactly what you need. For any homeowner though, there’s 4 basic varieties that should always be found in their toolbox:

  1. Common Round Head Nail: Common nails are used in basic construction projects like carpentry and framing, and come in a variety of lengths.
  2. Finishing Nails/Brads: Finishing nails are thin with a small barrel-shaped head that can be driven past the surface of the wood. This leaves an almost unnoticeable mark that can be easily patched for projects like installing base molding. Brads are a smaller version of finishing nails that are perfect for cabinetry work.
  3. Casing Nail: Casing nails are like finishing nails, but a bit larger. The increased size increases its holding power. This is great for any window molding.
  4. Roofing Nail: Roofing nails are used for general roof repair projects like attaching shingles and installing roofing felt.

Screws are important as well, especially for hanging pictures, shelving and hardware. Depending on where you are hanging items, you may need molly screws, which helps with screwing into drywall.

Luckily for first time homeowners, many home renovation stores carry variety boxes of these must-have nails and more.

Paint like a Pro

Painting projects can be burdensome without the right tools. Homeowners can save plenty of time by being prepared with everything they need in order to take on any painting project big or small. The most obvious tool is a paint brush for simple touch ups or small projects like painting a trellis or some molding. For bigger projects like repainting an entire room, keeping a roller and paint tray handy is important to get the job done quickly. Painter’s tape makes any first time DIYer look like a pro by keeping any paint job neat and tidy. Make sure you have drop cloths to protect floors and furniture and the right cleaning supplies on hand. As an example, you may need mineral spirits or turpentine to clean oil based paints.

Combining these three tools can make painting a bedroom or living room simple and easy.


It can be a hassle when a light bulb burns out, especially in a room that gets little or no sunlight. What’s worse is when there’s no replacement bulb to be found in the home, making a trip to the hardware store an unplanned addition to the day’s schedule. Making sure to keep a small stock of light bulbs can make short work of this easy project, but it’s not enough to just keep replacement bulbs for the bathroom on hand. Different lamps and sockets may require different wattage bulbs, while track lighting may need an LED replacement bulb. Picking up a few replacements of each will keep any homeowner prepared in case of a sudden burnout.

The Great Outdoors

While first time homeowners are trying to make the inside of their dream home look just right, nature starts to take its toll on the outside. Growing grass, weeds popping up, plants that need watering and more make it necessary to have the proper tools on hand to keep the home’s curb appeal. While equipment like a lawn mower and weed whacker will keep any yard looking nice and neat, other tools like a watering can or a sprayer for weed killers and fertilizers will help keep it looking lush and green.

But greenery in spring and summer aren’t a homeowner’s only concern when it comes to outdoor care and maintenance. Winter brings a blanket of snow and ice every year, especially in our area of Pennsylvania. This makes having a snow shovel and rock salt handy a must for any homeowner in order to clear a path out of the home, clear of any hazardous ice.

Here is a list of some of the other basic items you should have when moving into a new home:

  1. Ladders – At least a 6 foot ladder or longer for harder to reach places, like gutters. A small step stool should help with many small projects and is much easier to carry around.
  2. Spackle and blade – You’re bound to get dings and dents in your walls, especially after a move. Spackle will help touch up blemishes.
  3. Basic tools – Screw drivers, pliers, hammers and wrenches are a necessity to hanging up pictures and solving minor issues.
  4. Tape measure –  Tape measures are necessary for centering your wall decor and working on projects.
  5. Power tools – Tools that drill, cut and sand can always help speed up projects with less grunt work.
  6. Glues – Crazy glue, wood glue and standard glues always come in handy around the home.
  7. Tapes – Duct tape, electrical tape and painter’s tape are some examples.
  8. Lubricants – Canned lubricant like WD-40 can help with a squeaky door or stubborn window. Liquid wrench can help with rusty or over-tightened bolts should you need to take anything apart.
  9. Outdoor tools – Trowels, shovels, rakes, trimmers, loppers and other standard gardening tools will make life a lot easier when working in your garden.
  10. Outdoor power tools – Weed whackers, leaf blowers, chain saws and hedge trimmers make quick work of seasonal cleanups.
  11. Safety gear – Ear plugs, gloves and eye protection are always very important. A good hat won’t hurt for sun protection.

Home ownership requires a lot of work that many first-time buyers are unaware of, prompting a lot of back and forth trips to the hardware store to get everything they need when projects arise. It’s one of the unforeseen expenses in a home purchase that should be considered when buying a home. Any experienced homeowner can help new owners along the way by getting any number of necessary tools as a housewarming gift. Not only will it help them with any project they may come across, but it will also help them save some money along the way. For more information, contact a Class-Harlan Real Estate agent today!

Disclaimer: Class-Harlan Real Estate suggests that anyone considering home improvement or repair should do so at the level of experience and ability they are comfortable with. If one does not know how to repair something or does not have the appropriate training, either for the repair itself or the tools used to make such a repair, it is highly suggested that you seek professional help. Class-Harlan Real Estate does not encourage or condone any activity that may cause injury or damage.