10 Essential Tools for Homeowners – Small Investments, Big Fixes

March 16th, 2022  / Author: Zachariah Peterson
Resource Library

What if we told you that you can often unclog a sink in about 20 minutes with just a screwdriver and some wire if a plunger doesn’t get the job done? And you don’t need to be handy or knowledgeable either. All you need is an internet connection for instructions and some essential tools for homeowners.

It may seem simpler to call over a plumber or a friend to help you fix something. But at the end of the day, you can’t be calling a friend over every time you need something repaired, and something always needs fixing when you are a homeowner. You can call a professional, but that, well, costs money.

Just give it a try yourself. You won’t be able to fix everything, but you’ll be surprised at how many things you can fix if you put your mind to it and have the proper tools. On that note, here are 10 essential tools for homeowners that you should always have in your house.

1. Basic Tools for Home Repair – the Claw Hammer

A claw hammer should always be included in your starter tool kit. Obviously, you drive nails with it. But you can also take out nails with a claw hammer. And every time you need a little more force to make something click together or get separated, you use a hammer.

And here’s a tip if you’re afraid of damaging something – put a piece of soft wood between the surface you plan to hit and the hammer. The wood will transfer the power so you’ll get the job done, but it will prevent any dents in the underlying surface.

2. A Screwdrivers Set

Want to tighten a cabinet door? You need a screwdriver. Need to install a new hinge? You need a screwdriver. Want to change your light switch? You need a screwdriver. Looking to… you get the point. Screwdrivers are must-have tools for new homeowners.

As a side note, while screwdrivers are some of the most commonly used and best tools for home repair, you don’t need to start out with a full set. But make sure you at least get both a common-sized flat-head and Phillips (cross-head) screwdriver.

3. A 25-foot Tape Measure

Eyeballing things can cause you unnecessary headaches. And why eyeball when you can get a tape measure for practically nothing? Getting a new armchair and you’re not sure if it can fit through the door? That’s why you have the tape measure. Hanging up a new picture and you want to align it perfectly? Once again, you have the tape measure.

Tape measures come in different lengths and you can essentially get the one you think you need, but the 25-foot one will cover most everything. In short, tape measures of any length are essential tools for homeowners, so don’t forget to get them.

4. Wrenches

Your faucet will start leaking at some point, it’s 100% guaranteed. So you get a wrench and tighten it. It really is that simple. You’ll need a wrench for most plumbing fixes and when you’re building something. However, wrenches come in many different sizes and while you could get specialized ones, it’s perfectly fine to start with an adjustable wrench – it gets the job done.

5. A Set of Pliers

Pliers are some of the best tools because they can be used for just about anything. You can use them to pull out nails, get a good grip on what it is you need to hold, slice wires, or even use them as a makeshift hammer when you don’t have one on hand. Simply put, pliers are essential tools for homeowners.

6. A Plunger

Drains will get clogged, as sure as the Sun will come up in the east. Whether it’s due to hair (which is the most common cause), skin flakes, or soap scum is irrelevant. Hence, people invented the plunger. So a plunger is definitely one of the tools every homeowner needs.

However, don’t get the cheapest one. The plunger will only work if it can form a tight seal around the drain you’re trying to unplug and the cheapest ones often don’t do a good job. Spend a few extra bucks to get a good plunger – you’ll be happy you did.

7. A Utility Knife

Your home tool set should always include a utility knife. From opening boxes to shaving wood, you’ll need one of these. Why can’t you use a regular kitchen knife? For one, utility knives are more practical and used for finesse. Plus, there’s a good chance you’ll break the tip of your kitchen knife when you use it for household repairs.

Whether you get a folding or retracting model is up to you. But we’d recommend you get one with an ergonomic handle because you’ll be using it a lot.

8. Duct Tape

Yes, fixing things with duct tape isn’t the most… visually pleasing solution. But it works. You can’t talk about essential tools for homeowners without mentioning duct tape. Duct tape allows for cheap and easy fixes for many small things that are chipped or broken and it will do a fine job until you get around to fixing it properly. So always have duct tape in your house.

9. Flashlight

After you’ve spent 10 minutes searching for a screw that rolled behind a cabinet by feel, you’ll know why you need a flashlight. Your phone’s flashlight can do the job? In most cases, yes, but when you’re fixing something, no. A flashlight is more maneuverable and practical when you need both hands to do something or fit into tight spots. And it’s not like basic flashlights are expensive.

10. A Toolbox

Once you’ve got all the essential tools for homeowners, you need a container for them. And a toolbox is much better than a cardboard box or keeping the tools in the drawer. You can keep your tools for home repair neatly organized and carry them wherever you need to go.

Upgrading Your Home Repair Tool Kit

We’ve covered essential tools for homeowners, but you can always consider upgrading your basic home repair tool kit. So here are 5 additional tools that are worth having.

Step Ladder

Look, you can reach most places by climbing on top of a chair, table, or counter. But you could get injured just as easily. A dedicated step ladder can be a literal lifesaver when you need to reach high-up places, so it’s well worth getting one.

Two women on a step ladder

Multi-Bit Screwdriver

Screws come in many dimensions and shapes. The best option is to have a professional screwdriver kit for everything. But that can be a bit expensive. A multi-bit screwdriver is the middle ground between a professional kit and just having a flat-head and Phillips screwdrivers, so it’s worth considering getting one.


Want the Ikea table you are building to be nice and level? Does the picture seem a bit to the side? Get a level and do it properly. You can get high-accuracy laser levels, but they’re on the expensive side and you don’t really need them unless you are doing big construction projects. A regular, cheap level will do in most cases.

Caulking Gun

For some reason, people often don’t have a caulking gun, but it’s one of the most common tools you need for home repairs. You’ll use it anytime you need to fill a crack - be it around your sink, bathtub, window, or door. While you can squeeze silicone by hand, you’ll never get nice straight lines and it will ultimately look off.


Finally, your basic tool kit should include a handsaw if you have a yard. From pruning to trimming lumber, a handsaw is the way to go. When you get to doing big projects or if you have a lot of firewood to cut, a power saw is the better option. But for small household maintenance, a handsaw is enough.

Tired of Making Repairs?

If the repairs your home needs become too overwhelming and you’re thinking of selling, contact SleeveUp Homes. We will buy your house in its current condition – no repairs necessary – and pay top dollar. Plus, you don’t need to hold open houses or worry about working with realtors.

We’ll buy the house directly from you, so you don’t need to prep it for sale nor pay the realtor commission, and we’ll take care of the closing costs. But there’s no reason to rush things – request a no-obligation cash offer to see how much you can get and call us back once you make up your mind.



If you want to sell fast and are worried about how long the traditional process takes, and the commission and fees involved, consider working with SleeveUp Homes.