15 Tools Every Homeowner Should Own Guide (By Guest Blogger, Mike Knapczyk of Chicago Metro Home Inspections)

There’s nothing more satisfying than solving a problem on your own, especially when it comes to repairs around the house. Doing it yourself not only provides you with a sense of accomplishment and builds your self-esteem, but it also can help you save a lot of money compared to hiring a contractor — so you can focus on other important financial matters for your family. However, it takes more than the willingness to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty to be a true do-it-yourselfer. You also have to make sure you have the right tools for the job.

Although some household repair projects may require specialized tools, many of the most common household DIY projects can be accomplished with a set of basic tools. That’s why it’s in the best interests of any homeowner to keep a rudimentary toolbox around the house to handle any projects that might pop up. There are 15 tools that every homeowner should have on hand in case of emergency. Some are obvious, but others might be ones that homeowners wouldn’t know they would need until they actually need them.

For example, it’s common knowledge that you need a hammer for driving nails, screwdrivers for driving screws, and a set of combination wrenches and adjustable wrenches for handling nuts and bolts. Not everyone would think of a torpedo level as a necessary tool, but it’s essential for ensuring a shelf or picture is hung on the wall correctly. Slip-joint pliers are useful for gripping worn-down bolts or other hard-to-hold objects. Caulking guns are indispensable for sealing cracks and joints, and duct tape will help hold objects together until you can find a permanent solution. Wire cutters will come in handy if you need to do any minor electrical work around the house; while a hacksaw can handle cutting through copper pipes for a plumbing project. No matter what type of project you’re taking on, safety goggles and a respirator or breathing mask will help protect you. Finally, a flashlight is a crucial item to keep in any toolbox because most household problems happen in the dark.

Review the following list of 15 tools every homeowner should have and make sure your toolbox is ready for the next DIY project in your house.

Author bio: Mike Knapczyk is Owner and Operator of Chicago Metro Home Inspections, and provides home inspection services to the Chicagoland and Cook County areas. Knapczyk is involved in every aspect of the business and has much experience in the home inspection industry.

15 Tools Every Homeowner Should Own Guide from Chicago Metro Home Inspections

Manspeak, Volume 2: Heroism

Subconsciously I view handymen and auto mechanics as super heroes. Because the only thing I can build is a Lego house and the only vehicle I can fix is a Lego car. While I’m not a “slow learner”, I don’t learn new skills quickly. It takes daily practice for at least several weeks before I master something new. So to see a man who gets daily exposure to these expected masculine events, I can’t help but have admiration.

Any laugh track infused sitcom that features a typical “dad figure” has had at least once episode where there is a need for home repair and the man of the house rises to the occasion (against the advice of others in the household, namely the wife). Of course, the man botches the job for the comedy highlight of the episode: On Who’s the Boss, Tony “fixed” the toilet upstairs but smashed a hole in the floor which he fell into, causing only his butt to be visible from the living room ceiling by his family below. On Perfect Strangers, Larry “fixed” the shower but it caused the shower head to shoot water across to the other side of the bathroom and blasted Balki in the face, who decides to just stand there with his mouth open and drink the water instead of move out of the way. And as for Home Improvement, “man hilariously attempts home repairs” was the theme of every entire episode.

The fact that under-qualified men continue to try to fix things when they don’t really know how to, is a universal issue. Why? Because it is a man’s job to fix things. It is literally the way men were wired. A woman says to a man, “Our garbage disposal isn’t working right. I think we should call someone to come fix it.” The man hears this: “You’re a man, capable of figuring out how to fix this, but instead, I’m going to call another man to get the job done because he’s more qualified than you”. Shrinkage follows at just the thought of another man walking in the door with his tools.

A man walks around with this hidden fear that he will not be successful in life. In all ways big and small. If he can’t successfully make the evidently simple home repair, he fears he may be seen as insufficient, incapable, and useless. When he longs to be the hero. And hiring someone else to do the job makes him feel unnecessary. May seem a little over the top, but being a man, I recognize the tendency of thinking in terms in worst case scenarios about this stuff.

This also explains the all too familiar (yet somehow not cliché because it’s so true) story of the man who won’t stop to ask for directions. It’s a man’s job to explore and find his own way if he’s lost. A major sense of accomplishment if he can do it. And just for the record, he’s not lost. He’s either taking the scenic route or the short cut (depending on how much time is delayed).

One of my proudest accomplishments regarding home improvement was when I turned down an aggressive salesman who knocked on the door one sunny Saturday morning. If I signed a year-long contract right then since his company was already in the neighborhood, his company would regularly spray my house for bugs for the low, low yearly fee of $545. He inspired me to immediately drive to Lowe’s and purchase a 5 gallon sprayer for $11. Needless to say, I now consider myself a professional bug killer.

Last week as I was getting ready for bed I heard my wife scream loudly from the stairs. My initial thought is that someone broke into the house. I ran over to the stairs to find the intruder to be a wolf spider. A very large scary spider that appeared quite afraid to end up lost and confused at the top of the stairs. I took on the form of the 1984 no nonsense straight-faced Bill Murray, racing downstairs to transform the vacuum cleaner into a proton pack with which I sucked up the monster with great force, feeling the vibration of the thump as it was crushed to death by my weapon. I was a hero. An ego trip shortly followed.

All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography:

Blog- www.photojoeblog.com

Website- www.joehendricks.com

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