There’s nothing like the feeling of owning your own home, provided that your ownership experience came without a complicated adjustable rate mortgage and with a nice sizeable down payment to off-set your monthly payments. With that said, what does the first time homeowner truly need to run his or her own property/house? And by run I mean basic maintenance and upkeep tasks (I see too many of my close friends paying other people to do stuff they should be capable of handling themselves, provided the end product is done with skill).
Let’s start with some basic equipment that can help with general maintenance; in my view, it’s best to live in your new home for 1-2 years before making any major changes (unless of course you have an extreme circumstance):
- Basic Step Ladder (Werner 8 Foot Fiberglass from Lowes) for reaching lower levels of your exterior (for cleaning windows for example or touching up a loose cedar shake).
- Alumni Extension (Werner 24 Foot from Lowes) Ladder for getting to higher spots. Extension ladders are nice for cleaning gutters and getting on your roof, if needed.
- Wet/Dry Vacuum for cleaning up saw dust or any messy project (can also pick up water in an emergency but I’ve never used the vacuum for this purpose)
- Basic tool kit: hammer, screwdrivers, pliers, wrench, tape (electric, masking, duck), 2-3 high quality flashlights, hack saw, wood saw, chisel, scraper, utility knife, industrial staple gun.
- Basic electrical tools: 18V cordless drill, circular saw (Rigid is good value/performance brand), reciprocating saw (My Milwaukee is a beast and I use it more often then I thought!), random orbital sander (Ryobi – another little beast that is a go to tool), and 2-3 extension cords.
- Basic lawn and garden tools: rake (metal and plastic), shovel (spade and flat head), hand prunes, extension hand saw/pruner (for cutting low branches), high quality push broom, pick ax, wheelbarrow.
- Good quality Mulching Lawn Mower which if properly maintained (spark plug, oil, sharpening, filter, etc.) can last a good 15-20 years.
- 5-10 gallon pressurized hand sprayer for applying stains, lawn care chemicals, etc..
Finally, if you’re lucky enough to have a high quality hardware store located in town (not just a Home Depot or Lowes), get to know the owner and you’ll be surprised how much you can learn from him/her, plus they will always get you what you need without a long wait or an attitude (even if it’s a little more expensive then the big box stores).
Note: The views expressed herein are solely my own and should not be attributed to my employer in any way. This site is not maintained utilizing my employer’s resources or on company time.