November 5, 2014
New Homes Today Your Brand New Home, and the Ideal Toolkit.

So you have moved into your new home.  We certainly hope you are at the very beginning of a long stretch of time where you have no problems with your home.  But there are the inevitable alterations, customizations, and maintenance issues that you want to be ready to deal with.  You are going to want to hang some art on the wall, or hang some curtains.  Or you might make a little dent in the drywall while moving furniture around.  You will want a little toolkit at the ready to make all these things easier, and help maintain your home.

For hanging anything on the wall, I recommend your toolkit include the following:

  • stud finder
  • plugs to hang items into drywall
  • cordless drill with drill bits
  • some better quality screwdrivers, for a good quality multi-headed screwdriver.
  • small level (there are some good level apps on iPhones and androids)
  •  tape measure
  • hammer

Lots of people mount things on walls by simply turning a screw or tapping a nail into the drywall, and hanging the picture onto it.  Bad idea.  Your picture will hang fine for a while, but eventually the weight of it will pull the nail or screw downward, creating a larger hole in the drywall, and eventually your picture will fall to the floor.

If you’re hanging something that it is relatively light, I suggest using the brightly colored plastic cones.  Drill a small hole into the drywall, tap the cone into the hole with the hammer, and make sure the screw goes into the cone.

If you’re hanging something that is a little bit heavier, there are more robust systems that open up behind the drywall, and tightens the hanging mechanism onto both sides of the drywall.  Any hardware store will have a selection of these.

And for heavier items, use the stud finder to find a wooden stud, and you can simply nail or drill right into the stud.

Use the tape measure and the level to make sure the items are plumb and level.

For those little dents and nicks on the drywall and trim, your toolkit should include a container of ready mixed plaster filler, along with a putty knife. You can fill the dent with the plaster, and give it a light sanding once it is dry.

Regarding screwdrivers, it’s possible to buy cheap screwdriver sets or multi-headed screwdrivers, but the quality the metal is very poor, and they will often turn to butter when attempting to screw in something that requires a little bit more torque.  You are really better off spending the extra money, and buying a good set of screwdrivers, ideally with the magnetized ends.  This will hold the screws on to the end of the screwdriver.

Other items that should be in every new homeowner’s toolkit include:

  • a good knife.  I suggest the Olaf retractable
  • a good set of clippers for cutting wire or metal
  • a selection of screws and nails of various sizes
  • masking tape and, of course, duct tape
  • all purpose glue
  • small hand saw
  • a square
  • pencils
  • work gloves, safety glasses, and a simple first aid kit

Along with the other items mentioned in this blog, which are summarized here:

  • tape measure (get one with a wide tape)
  • small level
  • hammer
  • screwdrivers
  • cordless drill with bits and screwdriver head bits
  • stud finder
  • ready mixed plaster
  • putty knife
  • sandpaper

Next on the list:  enjoy your new home!