Thursday, April 24, 2014

Basic Tools for Your Old House

We've only been in our crazy old house for about 9 months, but now that we are closing the door on our final major renovation (I promise to share some pictures here soon!), I thought it would be fun to show you a few of the little things that have been life savers for us while doing house-related projects.

These are all relatively inexpensive tools that we've turned to again and again in the last year. I originally just wanted to write about my pry bar (top left) because it truly is my favorite cheap tool that has countless uses, but I thought that would be a boring post. I'll just give you a few sentences instead! I bought two of these when we were removing the carpeting upstairs, and it's great for that, but it's also incredible for removing nails from tight spots that the back of a hammer doesn't fit in, scraping mysterious gunk off of stuff, opening boxes - it's just the handiest thing to have around. $10 you won't regret spending!

This mainly applies if you have a dusty old house like mine, but I picked up a big package of respirators that we've used for painting, carpet removal, cutting the flooring, etc. I love my caulking gun because I believe there are very few household issues that can't be solved with a bit (or a bundle!) of caulk. I've used this to fill in gaps on windows and trim, when we installed our new counter top in the bathroom, to seal tile gaps in the tub, and on and on. When you buy the gun, go ahead and buy a kitchen and bath caulk and an adhesive caulk (only a few dollars each). This kind of goes with the poly foam caulk, which we've used to fill in larger gaps in windows and trim (and then covered up with white adhesive caulk after - I have no idea if this is the right thing to do, but it seems to do the trick!).

If you have a lot of painting in your future, go ahead and buy a big batch of foam rollers, the ceiling extender, the wood putty (if you have beat-up/new trim to paint), a few nice angled brushes, and a packet of artists brushes for touch-ups. I find that if I have all the supplies on hand, I'm much more likely to dive in and get a project done, so this is really just to save you from procrastinating.

We also bought a few basic saws that have come in very handy - a hack saw, a cross saw, and a coping saw, as well as sanding blocks in different grits and a pocket plane (great for getting new doors to fit in our wonky, off-kilter house!).

What are your must haves for home-ownership? I'm sure I'm missing some really helpful items!

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