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The Home Inspector's Blog

New Homeowner?



New Homeowner?
   
There are a few very useful tools homeowners should have on hand . . .

   
Tape Measure: $4
Tape Measure: $4
Measuring house projects requires a tape measure, not a ruler or a yardstick. Be sure to get a good quality, easy-lockining 3/4" wide, 16ft. long tape measure
Caulking Gun: $15
Caulking Gun: $15
Caulking is the process of sealing up cracks and gaps in various structures and certain types of piping. Caulk should be applied only to areas that are clean and dry.
Screwdriver Set: $20
Screwdriver Set: $20
It's best to have four screwdrivers in your set -- a small and large version of the Flat-head and Phillips-head screwdrivers. Electronic screwdrivers are handy, but they're no substitute for the manual screwdrivers which can reach into more places and are less likely to cause damage.

Duct Tape: $3
Duct Tape: $3
This tape is extremely strong, water resistant and sticky and is used for many household purposes.
Claw Hammer: $10
Claw Hammer: $10
A good hammer is one of the most important tools you can own.
Use it to drive and remove nails and to pry wood. While it comes in all sizes, a 16 oz hammer is the best all-purpose choice.
9-inch Torpedo Level: $9
9-inch Torpedo Level: $9
Only a level can be used to determine if something, such as a shelf, appliance or picture, is correctly oriented. The torpedo-style level is unique because it not only shows when an object is perfectly horizontal or vertical, but it also has a gauge that shows when an object is at a 45-degree angle.

Flashlight: $5
Flashlight: $5
None of the tools on this list are of any use if you cannot visually inspect the situation. A traditional two-battery flashlight is usually sufficient.
Plunger: $10
Plunger: $10
A clogged sink or toilet is one of the most disturbing problems that you'll face. With a plunger on hand, you can resolve issues relatively quickly. It is best to have 2 plungers - one for the sink, another for the toilet.
Slip Joint Pliers: $5
Slip Joint Pliers: $5
Use slip-joint pliers to grab hold of a nail, a nut, a bolt and much more. These types of pliers are more versatile because of the jaws, which can be opened larger at the joint, have both flat and curved areas for gripping many types of objects.

Electrical Tester: $11
Electrical Tester: $11
Also called a 'voltage tester', this tool tests for the presence of live AC voltage - great for testing circuits before beginning any electrical work, or testing faulty outlets for the presence of power. Remember to test it in known working outlets before you use it to be sure it is still working.

Needle-Nose Pliers: $8
Needle-Nose Pliers: $8
These are both gripping and cutting pliers used by electricians to bend,
reposition and cut electrical wires. They are especially useful for reaching into cavities when cables or wires are not reachable or stuck.
Electrical Stud Finder: $10
Electrical Stud Finder: $10
Incredibly helpful when searching for the studs behind your walls to support shelves or other fixtures. This tool measures the density of the material the sensor is over, i.e. drywall is thin and low density whereas wood studs are solid and more dense.
Adjustable Wrench: $10
Adjustable Wrench: $10
This tool has a move-able jaw that adapts the tool to different size projects.