Whether you’re hanging wall art or working on the plumbing, you’ll need to have a fully stocked toolbox to make your house into a home. These five tools make a great starter set for yourself and anyone you know who’s transitioning from apartment life to DIY homeownership. Find a small toolbox that suits the owner’s personality to store them in, add some screws, nuts and bolts, and you’ve got the perfect housewarming gift for yourself or a friend.
The hammer is the star quarterback of your toolbox. He gets all the glory, and he deserves it. You’ll need a hammer to hang shelves, assemble your IKEA furniture, break objects and hit large metal things to make them work again. Hammers are also particularly useful for their abilities to remove nails for any DIY do-overs. Don’t be afraid to experiment with what hitting something with a piece of hard metal can do—you may find yourself using your hammer as an ice pick, blade straightener, hole digger and more.
2. Tape Measure
Eventually, you’ll buy your own furniture. You’ll need to know how large this furniture can be, or you’ll end up with regrets, wasted money and an overstuffed couch that sits catty-corner in your home since it won’t fit against the wall. Measure before you buy anything, including microwaves, televisions, curtains, chairs, art or even toilets. And then, measure again. You can’t expand your walls, but you can buy furniture that will fit into them.
Home fixes don’t happen without screwdrivers. They’re the workhorses of your toolbox. They can fix gadgets and appliances; open toys and assemble them; and help on a variety of DIY projects. Screwdrivers come in flat and Phillips head shapes. It’s ideal to have a variety of both, but a medium-sized flat head screwdriver can get you by in a lot of situations.
Once you get past the fact it sounds like a driving service for Mr. Peanut, you can easily find value in a set of nutdrivers. These handy tools tighten and loosen nuts, which you’ll most commonly find on plumbing, vehicles and heavy-duty fasteners. You won’t use a nutdriver as often as some of these other tools, but you’ll be grateful to have it when you do need it. They exert the same amount of force as a wrench, but they require far less torque.
5. Spirit Level
A level is another tool you don’t think of until you really need it. New-fashioned levels come with laser sights and are generally a good choice if you’re only going to be hanging things. However, a good spirit level (the kind with the bubble) can help you tell when floors or furniture aren’t sitting evenly. Thanks to its ruler, it can also help you make exact nail marks when you’re hanging things.
Home projects aren’t always easy when you have the right tools, but they’re nearly impossible without them. Give yourself a head start on home ownership by having these five tools within reach from the beginning.