8 Tools Every Homeowner Must Have

8 Tools Every Homeowner Must Have

The Tools That Every Home Needs Every homeowner has tools of some kind. However, there are a few tools that every homeowner should always have handy in case of emergency or simple maintenance.

Before buying a new home, and your new tools, buyers should always have an inspection performed on their new house by a licensed home inspector prior to closing. These recommended tools will do no good if there are undiscovered problems and issues with a home that has not been inspected. There are very common and usual issues on almost every home inspection.  

Even when these issues found during a home inspection are repaired, don't ever let anybody tell you that owning a home is not hard work.  Items and components in the home are constantly in need of maintenance or repair.  This is simply home ownership.

8 Essential Tools

  • A Ladder
  • An Outdoor Hose
  • A Screwdriver & Socket Set
  • HVAC Filters
  • Extra Sprinker Heads
  • Laser Level
  • A Wet/Dry Vac
  • A Water Main Key

As such, there are some tools and hardware we recommend that all homeowners should have in their "arsenal."  The following is an explanation of these necessary items:

A Ladder

Every homeowner will eventually need a ladder.  Most experts recommend at least an 8 to 10 foot ladder.  With popular building trends of today, recessed lights and expensive light fixtures tend to be on taller and vaulted ceilings.  Having a ladder that is eight to ten feet will allow you to change most bulbs.  In addition to a taller ladder, we also recommend purchasing a smaller ladder...something along the lines of what is commonly called a "step stool."  All big box, hardware retailers will carry both types of ladders.

The advantage of the large ladder is obviously height (as mentioned above), while the advantage of the smaller step stool will be portability.  It is much easier to "lug" and carry the smaller stool for easier jobs.  Consider purchasing both at the same time.  More than likely, you'll need both at some point and buying both at the same time will save you a trip.

An Outdoor Hose

All homeowners should purchase a garden hose for each outside hose nozzle that your home has.  Most Minneapolis area homes will have two to three hose bibs usually located on the exterior walls of the home, in or near flowerbeds.  The reason to buy a hose for each outside faucet is simple; because hoses can be a complete pain to drag from one nozzle to another.

When it comes to purchasing the hoses, consider overbuying; not necessarily overbuying as in expense but, rather, overbuying in the length of the hose.  You'll find it much better to have more hose than you need as opposed to too short of a hose.  Remember, some of your plants and shrubs might be way in the corner of the yard and it is a huge disappointment when you try and stretch that hose but it simply will not reach your plants due to it being too short.  Consider buying the 100' hose for each bib.  It'll cost a little extra for the added length but will be worth it to be able to reach all parts of your land.

Screwdrivers & Socket Set

All homeowners need at least a basic set of screwdrivers, an Allen Wrench set and a good socket set.  If you purchase all of these tools, there shouldn't be a screw or bolt you cannot loosen or tighten throughout your entire home.  99.9% of bolts and screws in a home can be turned with one of the tools mentioned above.  If you choose to only buy a basic set of screwdrivers and skip the Allen Wrenches and Socket set, you will need a tool you failed to purchase at some point.  It is Murphy's Law.

HVAC Filters

Most HVAC professionals recommend that the filter on your unit(s) be changed at least every few months to keep the unit running and cooling/heating as intended.  A dirty air filter will lesson the flow of air to your unit, cause it to work harder and cost you more money with the lessened efficiency of the unit.  *Special note - if you have pets who spend most of their time inside your home, you'll need to change the filter at least every month.  

When you first purchase your new Minnesota home, check to see the size of the filter.  Go to one of the big box stores and buy a pack of filters.  Most of the time, buying in bulk will save you money and will also let you have extra filters when it comes to changing the filters.  Having multiple filters at your house is more of a convenience thing, but worth it in our opinion.

Extra Sprinkler Heads

If you have an irrigation system at your home, heads will get damaged over time.  This is a certainty.  People, children and pets will step on the heads; cold weather like ice and snow can damage and crack the heads; hot summer temperatures will eventually dry out the plastic on the heads and crack the tops; mowers will chip the heads.  Whatever the cause(s), sprinkler heads will get damaged over time.

I'm sure you've seen broken sprinkler heads.  They are the ones shooting a large stream of water straight into the sky.  The good news?  Sprinkler heads are cheap.  We like Rainbird Sprinkler heads.  Rainbird is considered a great brand and they cost around $5 per head.  Keep the extras stored in your garage and check your irrigation system each spring for broken heads.

A Laser Level

So, you've moved into your new home and you're trying to hang all the family pictures and artwork - you will need the use of a level. Consider buying the newer laser levels. While they are a little more expensive, they are very, very accurate and most also shoot solid laser beams along the wall where you can hang multiple pictures all the same height.

A Wet/Dry Vac

Even if you are not a crafty person who makes many messes, you would be smart to invest in a good wet/dry vac. Wet/Dry vacs are generally much stronger and much more rugged than traditional vacuum cleaners.  Plus, they are made to vacuum water without damaging the components of the vacuum.  No normal, household vacuum is made to withstand water.

Why do you need one?  At some point, a toilet will either overflow or leak; plumbing on a faucet will leak; or, unfortunately, your house will have a larger leak where you will need something powerful to quickly expel water from the house. This sort of thing can happen anywhere, whether you live in Blaine real estate, or anywhere else. A good wet/dry vac is handy and we promise you'll love us at some point for making you purchase one. 

Water Main Key

An item that costs around $20 could very well save you thousands of dollars.  If you are unlucky enough to have a pipe burst and have water start flooding your home, having a key to the main water valve will at least minimize the damages. However, before buying a water main key, check to make sure you know where the water main shut-off is located and if a key is even necessary to shut off the water.

Owning one of these keys will allow you to open your main water valve and completely shut off all water to the home.  Yes, by shutting off the water, none of the sinks or tubs will operate, but you have at least lessened what could have been a major flood in your home. Spending $20 for this tool is the best "insurance policy" you'll ever purchase.

Having the tools mentioned above can be considered a "starter set."  No doubts you will add to your tool collection as time within your home or Minnesota condominium passes.


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