Whether hanging a photo or fixing a leaky kitchen pipe, there are certain tools homeowners need to get a job done.
Jerry Petrucci, of Menallen Township, retired building construction instructor for Fayette County Career and Technical Institute, recommended several for homeowners who want to start a tool kit.
“These are the basics. If you have them, you can take care of a lot of problems,’’ he said.
Hammer: Hammers can drive and extract nails, useful for many jobs.
“For a homeowner, you probably want a curved-claw hammer. A curved claw makes it easier to remove nails.’’
Screwdrivers: Buy a Philips screwdriver with a cross in the middle and a flat-blade screwdriver to handle different types of screws.
“You can get a screwdriver with two sizes of flat blades and two sizes of Philips. They’re interchangeable so you have one screwdriver with four different heads.’’
Screwdrivers can be used to assemble furniture, replace electrical outlets and open compartments to replace batteries.
Drill: Homeowners may prefer a battery-powered drill.
“You can put a screwdriver bit into it and that could replace the hand-held screwdriver. It can have any number of drill bits to drill holes for many purposes.’’
Level: A level 6 inches to 2 feet is recommended for a homeowner.
“A small level is good for hanging a picture or making sure something is straight on a wall.’’
Tape measure: Find out the size of a table to purchase tablecloths, windows for curtains or the length of a room for a carpet.
“I’d say a 25-foot tape measure is good for just about anything around the house.’’
Wrenches: An adjustable wrench and a Channellock wrench are recommended.
Petrucci noted an adjustable wrench can be used with a screwdriver to hold a nut and “Under the sink on the drain pipes, there are fittings where a Channellock can be used to grip it.’’
Clamps: “There are all kinds of clamps to give you an extra hand. Different clamps can hold something in place if you’re putting nails in or gluing it.’’
Pliers: “That’s just about as basic as you can get for gripping anything you can’t hold with your fingers.’’
Saws: A handsaw can be used for cutting wood and a hacksaw for pipe.
“If you have a hacksaw, you can cut copper pipe or plastic pipe — any type of plumbing.’’
Knife: “It’s sometimes called box cutters or a carpenter’s knife. The blade is retractable. It’s pretty good to have to cut boxes or just about anything. The blades are changeable,’’ said Petrucci, noting homeowners may also want to purchase shears.
Drywall knife: “You might want a 4-inch, drywall knife. That’s a flat blade with a handle for making repairs. Drywall can be easy to damage, like when you’re moving furniture. If you put a dent in it, you can fix it with drywall mud that you can buy in small cans.’’
Files: “You can file rough edges on metal and they can actually be used on wood. There’s a lot of types.’’
Calking gun: “Caulk is used in many places around the house, like the bathroom. Anytime a crack appears in a corner or ceiling, it’s easy to fix with caulk and you need a caulking gun.’’
Tool pouch: “You wear it around your waist and you can carry your tools with you.’’
Flashlight: “A nice type that a lot of people like to use is attached to a head band so the light is on your forehead, and it leaves your hands free to work.’’
Be willing to add to your supply.
Petrucci commented, “It seems like every time you need to do something, there’s another tool you need. You just add to the box, and then you’ll need a bigger tool box.’’
Petrucci also advised those new to tackling home repairs can check YouTube for tutorials, adding, “It seems like anything you want to know is on them.’’