You’ve closed on your house and are about to move into your own version of the American Dream. Congratulations! And while you may be obsessing about moving logistics, furniture and any touchups the house may need, there’s one area new homeowners shouldn’t overlook – the garage.
It may seem like an afterthought with first-time homeowners, who have so much going on around them. “Who has time to think about tools?” you might be thinking. But the well-equipped homeowner takes the time now to save time down the road. Below, we’ll speak with some experts to help you craft that list of tools to keep you in DIY or “yardening” mode from the moment you move in and years down the road.
Establish the Essentials
Whether you keep a list in your head or on paper, there are tools that should be part of any basic setup. With these tools in your lineup, you can then take time to explore more specialized equipment. In the meantime, though, make sure you have these items:
- Power drill and drill bits
- Screwdrivers (both Phillips and flat head)
- Pliers (needle nose and channel lock)
- Socket wrench set
- Wall anchors
- Stud sensor
- Work gloves
You know, the basics. With a solid set of tools to handle routine maintenance and repair tasks, you’ll be able to tighten anything that’s loose, mount framed artwork to the wall and find your way through the dark (in the event that you blow a fuse or two). The list above is helpful for most repair jobs around the home’s interior. Stepping outside opens up a different landscape of tool needs.
If you maintain your own property, you’ll need these tools:
- Lawn mower
- Leaf and lawn bags (if your area offers curbside recycling)
- Garden hose
- Snow shovel, snow thrower or snow blower
- De-icing materials for the sidewalk, stairs and driveway
Bryan Clayton is the CEO of Nashville-based GreenPal, a company he describes as “the Uber of lawn care.” His suggestion for first-time homeowners is to avoid overlooking the significance of specialized tools and equipment. For Clayton, every home or garage needs a lawn edger.
“Most first-time homeowners know they need a lawnmower but don’t realize that they need an edger as well,” he said. “You’ll need one to keep your sidewalks, driveways and beds with nice, clean, well-defined edges.”
Clayton estimates that a good unit costs around $150, and they come in both electric and gasoline-powered models.
Don’t Overlook the Silent Threat
It bears mentioning that every home needs a smoke detector and functioning fire extinguisher. In addition to those, there’s a device many homeowners might walk right past at the hardware store: a radon detector.
Radon is an odorless cancer-causing radioactive gas. It cannot be seen, smelled or tasted. Radon’s damaging effects have been illustrated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as well as the Office of the Surgeon General.
Airfoil Group is a public relations and marketing firm with offices in New York City, Silicon Valley and Metro Detroit. Airfoil represents Corentium, a company composed of scientists and engineers committed to solving radon exposure problems. Oyvind Birkenes is Corentium’s CEO.
Birkenes says radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer (after smoking) and has also been linked to blood cancer in women.
“When left undetected in a home over time, it can cause serious health concerns,” he said. “More than 21,000 people die due to radon every year in the U.S. alone, which is more than from home fires and drunken driving combined.”
Radon detector prices range considerably, from $40 – $350. Corentium’s Home 223 radon detector is a top seller on Amazon.com and is considered one of the best on the market.
Once first-time homeowners have their basic tool kits stocked, they can move on to more specific equipment, which can include power saws (miter, circular and reciprocating), drain snakes, leaf blowers, work benches and tool storage units.
From small stuff like hammers and nails to big-ticket items like lawn mowers and power tools, your first-time homeowner tool kit is ready to go. If you have suggestions on the type of equipment first-time homeowners could use, please leave them in the comments below.
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