When you own your home, things are going to break and, unless you want to spend your money on visits from a neighborhood handyman, you’re going to need to fix them yourself. Luckily, you don’t need an arsenal of tools to handle most home maintenance fixes. These six tools will cover most of your basic projects.

  1. Cordless drill. A cordless drill is a must-have for installing cabinets, drawer pulls, hinges, picture frames, shelves and hooks, and more. Whether it’s for do-it-yourself projects or repairs, you’ll use your cordless drill just about every month.  Helpful tip:  purchase one with a light that comes on when you engage the trigger.  You’ll thank me when you’re trying to screw something into a dark corner under a sink! We’ve had good luck with DeWalt.
  2. Drain cleaners. Shower and bathroom sink drains are susceptible to clogs because of the daily buildup of hair and whisker clippings. You can use chemical clog removers like Drano, but they’re expensive, they can harm the plumbing and the environment, and the lingering chemical scent is unpleasant. Instead, buy some plastic drain cleaners (like the Drain Weasel) that can reach into the drain to pull out the clog of hair and gunk. You can purchase them on Amazon or at a local hardware store for a low price.
  3. Shop-vac. No matter how careful you are, spills and accidents will happen and there are some tasks that just can’t be handled with paper towels or a standard vacuum, like pet messes or broken glass. And, when your AC quits in the middle of the weekend in the dead of summer you’ll be glad that you have that wet-vac to suck out anything that’s clogging the system!
  4. Loppers. Even the minimum amount of care for your landscaping will require some loppers to remove damaged branches, vines, thick weeds, and any other unruly plants in your yard.  Plus, they look really funny when you hold them up like rabbit ears behind your unsuspecting husband’s head when someone is taking his picture. Get one with extra leverage handles so that you can clip branches without killing yourself.
  5. Flashlight. You’re going to want something a little more powerful than your iPhone flashlight when you’re in the crawlspace! A small LED torch can pump out a lot of light quite efficiently.
  6. Finally, invest in a good ladder.  You’re going to need it to change light bulbs, trim trees away from the house, put up Christmas decorations, etc.  We like the Little Giant because it works as many different ladders in one.  It’s a bit of an investment, but I’ve had mine for years and it was worth every penny to have one ladder for all of the different heights of ladders I would have needed if I’d purchased them separately.

One last piece of advice: If something does go wrong and you find that you need to hire a handyman, check with friends and neighbors to see who they’ve used and who they trust. Or, feel free to call your Realtor – we have connections!