Home Improvement Tools and Equipment
Home Improvement Tools and Equipment
A basic is essential for home improvement work. At first the range of available tools can be bewildering but in reality much can be accomplished with just a few basic, good quality tools. As your skill and confidence grows you may find yourself wanting to purchase more specialized items. Money spent in this way is seldom wasted since good quality tools will last a lifetime.
A kit that includes the tools listed in this section will be sufficient to complete many of the projects featured in this website, and most other general maintenance tasks around the home. Always buy the best tools that you can afford and only add to the tool kit if you are certain the purchase will pay for itself in terms of time saved and ease of use.
- cordless drill/driver
- combination square
- pointing trowel
- plastic bucket
- tape measure
- carpenter’s pencil
- mini level
- side cutters
- nail punch
- claw hammer
- pipe, joist and cable detector
- combination pliers
- long-nosed pliers
- slot-head screwdrivers
- cross head screwdrivers
- insulated sleeves on the above 2 types of screwdrivers
- club hammer
- bolster chisel
- trimming knife
- sealant dispenser
For heavy-duty construction some specialist ‘builder’s’ tools will be needed. Try to buy the finest quality tools as these will last longer, be easier to use and give the best results. Most of these tools can be bought from a good tool shop or builder’s supply store — DIY stores may have a more limited range.
- laser level
- sliding bevel
- downward cutting jigsaw blade
- rout-a-bout and access hatch cutting attachment
- carpenter’s square
- floorboard jack
- vinyl roller
- plastering trowel
- chalk line
- knee kicker
- mitre square
A cordless drill/driver has become an essential part of any tool kit and other power tools are growing in popularity due to their time-saving capabilities and competitive pricing.
Try not to buy either the cheapest or the most heavy-duty professional tools, but instead aim for somewhere between the two. It is possible to buy drill attachments for sanding, sawing and numerous other tasks. However, these are usually inferior to stand alone tools and the time spent constantly changing attachments can be frustrating.
- electric sander
For isolated tasks that may require particularly heavy-duty equipment, or tools that are very expensive to buy, hiring is often the best option. This area has become a growing sector of the DIY market, and hire shops are increasingly catering for home repair enthusiasts as well as more traditional trade customers.
Hiring Specialist Equipment
Certain projects described in this website will require the use of specialist tools and equipment, which are often large and expensive. If the equipment is only needed for the occasional job or one specific task it can be uneconomic to purchase it outright. Hiring a piece of equipment for a week, a day or just a few hours is a viable alternative and the market now widely caters for this growing practice amongst DlYers. Knowing that you have access to an almost unlimited range of specialist equipment will allow you to plan far more ambitious projects.
When to Hire Home Improvement Tools
When planning any job, however large or small, thought should be given to which skills and tools will be needed. In many cases the projects shown in this website can be completed successfully with a basic set of household tools. As your skill levels increase with experience and confidence, you will be amazed at just what can be achieved without recourse to a vast armoury of tools, but at times this is
just not enough and a particular task will call for the aid of a specific piece of equipment. Just about any tool can be hired these days but it can be difficult for the amateur to know what is available and recognize when a piece of equipment is a candidate for hiring. Where larger pieces of machinery are shown then it is safe to assume that these can be hired. That said, if you will be using such equipment for an extended period of time, or on a frequent basis, you should consider buying, as there may come a time when the total cost of the hire will be greater than the price tag of the tool.
What to Tools to Hire
Equipment such as carpet cleaners are popular hire items, but there are plenty of others of which the average person may be unaware. Concrete mixers and floor sanders speed up the work magnificently, putting professional results within reach of the amateur. A small compressor and nail gun can be used to fix a large amount of floorboards down very quickly, whilst a powerfloat will give a smooth, glass-like finish to concrete and screeds.
At the Tool Hire Shop
Once the preserve of the professional builder, hire shops are increasingly catering for the DIY market, and many stores even offer a home-delivery service at little extra charge for tools too big or too bulky to transport yourself. Before you start using an unfamiliar machine for the first time, it is vital that you fully understand how it operates, so make sure you have this explained to you before leaving the shop. Do not be afraid to ask for a demonstration if you are at all unsure. Staff in hire shops are usually very knowledgeable so do not be afraid to ask for advice.
Often they will be able to suggest different methods for completing a task and direct you to tools that you might not know. Explain to them clearly what your project is, what tools you have already and what tools they would suggest you need to hire to complete the job. Many stores will have a catalogue, although do not expect this to explain how each piece of equipment works. It is more likely to give details of cost, minimum periods of hire and so forth.
In addition to the machine itself you may need to buy some consumables. In the case of a floor sander this will mean the sanding sheets. Often the shop will give you a selection of these and only charge you for those you actually use when you return the machine. The store should stock and offer you all the necessary safety gear, such as goggles, kneepads and ear defenders, although it is likely you will be obliged to purchase these.
Finding the nearest tool hire store ought to be as simple as looking in the yellow pages or your local phone book.