• Melanie Evans

Essential Tools Every (New) Waterloo Region Homeowner Needs


Even if you don’t consider yourself to be much of a DIY’er one of the first purchases you should make as a newly minted Waterloo Region homeowner is a new toolbox, and a selection of tools to go in it.


From hanging pictures to fixing that dripping faucet you had not realised even existed (until it had driven you nuts for a few nights) every homeowner has more reasons to break out a toolbox than they often bargain for, so it should be a good one.


That being said, you don’t need to spend a small fortune on heavy-duty tools and gadgets that you’ll quite possibly never use.


Here’s a look at the essential tools for new homeowners you should pick up at the local home store to ensure you’ll have the basics on hand whenever the need crops up. And even if you have owned your home for years, check this list to ensure you have all the basics on hand.


Screwdriver Set: This is the one set of tools that you might want to spend a little more on. Almost every little DIY or repair job around the home calls for a screwdriver, so it’s always a good idea to have more than a few on hand; four sizes of flat head and 4 sizes of Phillips is a reasonable rule of thumb. And if you don’t like having to put in too much effort, a powered screwdriver with interchangeable heads is a decent investment as well.


Hammer: A good, all-purpose hammer should feel balanced and comfortable in your hand, so it may be sensible to buy one for each member of the household who’s likely to be making use of one.


Utility Knife. These are always handy. You’ll want a utility knife for everything from breaking down moving, to scraping splattered paint off a window, to cutting rope, to precisely trimming wall-to-wall carpet.


Flashlight: It might not seem like a “tool”, but it’s certainly a homeowner essential. When the power goes out, you need a flashlight on hand to head to the breaker box and get things back up and running. Or at the very least, a flashlight is good for making shadow puppets on the walls and telling ghost stories. And make sure it has new batteries!


Note: Yes, your phone has a flashlight, and it's handy, but it should never be relied upon as your sole go to option, especially as there are some places you just don't want to risk taking your $1,000 phone, like crawlspaces and odd corners of attics and basements.


Measuring Tape – You’ll need to measure a lot of things while furnishing and setting up a new home. A sturdy, 30 ft retractable model should, however, be more than adequate for every task you need it for.


Brooms. A typical housewarming gift meant to ward off evil spirits from a new home, brooms come in all shapes and sizes. We’d go for an angled one for tight-corners indoors, a smaller whisk broom for little messes, and a heavy-duty one for the driveway.


Pliers – A simple pair of locking pliers will suffice for most household tasks, but if you want to tackle a few simple plumbing tasks yourself – remember that leaky faucet? – you should also invest in a pair of groove-joint pliers, as well as a set of needle-nose pliers for cutting wire.


Adjustable Wrench – Again, another must have for little plumbing jobs, but will come in handy for lots of other little fixes as well.


Power Drill – You don’t need to invest in a super-powered model, a 14- or 18-volt variable-speed reversing cordless drill should be perfect for use to accomplish almost all the tasks you’ll need it for.


Handsaw – A small saw with easily interchangeable blades is perfect for cutting pipes, wood trim, plastic of almost any kind and more. Just make sure to have plenty of new blades on hand, as they do tend to dull very quickly.


Screws, nails and picture hangers – You’ll be astonished by just how many of these you’ll need while turning your new house into a home, so a utility set featuring several different sizes of each is never going to be a bad buy.


Extension Cord. It’s good to have one or two indoor electrical extension cords on hand. Just remember, indoor cords don’t require extra insulation as they are typically used for things like computer equipment, TV’s, lamps, etc. If you think you’ll need an extension cord for outdoor projects, get one that’s specifically designed for outdoor use. It’ll have insulation to protect it from the elements.


Plunger. Not just handy for a bathroom emergency, a plunger can be helpful in the case of clearing clogs from showers and kitchen sinks and limiting costly damage from basement flooding.


Step Stool Get one. Because whether you’re hanging curtains, changing lightbulbs or replacing batteries in your smoke detector, you’re way too old to be standing on a chair.


Stud-finder Before installing your flat-screen TV on the wall, you’ll want a pro-tool to guide you. Easy-to-use stud-finders scan the wall and keep you from creating unnecessary holes or drilling where nails already exist, so you get the project right the first time.


Gloves and Goggles Get yourself a good pair of work gloves for dirty outside chores, like cleaning gutters and gardening. If you’re working with corrosive solutions or glass of any kind, get some eye-protecting goggles. Don’t forget ear protection if you’re using power tools like mowers and leaf blowers, and dust masks so you don’t breathe in all that stuff.


A Toolbox – Finally, you’ll need that toolbox to keep all of this stuff in. It should be roomy, have decent separators and compartments and, once purchased and filled, placed in a central location where it’s easy for everyone in the house – with the exception of small children – to access when needed. Every adult should also know where it's located, so that if some of its contents are needed quickly, you won't have to waste time tracking it down.


Getting ready to buy a Waterloo Region home, or sell the one you own? Let Team Pinto use our huge experience and expertise to help you. Contact the award-winning Team Pinto here, or book a free Zoom consultation to discuss your unique Waterloo Region real estate needs here.


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