Whether you’re a new homeowner or a seasoned professional, you probably already know that things around the house are bound to break and need fixing. Fortunately, the best tools for many common household repairs aren’t complicated to use (or very expensive to get). Here’s a list of gadgets that might come in handy the next time you need to complete a project, plus some expert advice from carpenter, general contractor, TV host, and Mr. Cooper customer Jeff Devlin on how to use them at home.
A necessity for your home tool kit for projects ranging from furniture assembly to hanging artwork, a hammer is at the top of our list of tools for its versatility. And there actually is a method to effective hammering: Hold the hammer closer to its head when you’re starting a nail and closer to its end when you need more force. The head of a hammer is generally made of steel, but you’ll have some options when it comes to choosing the handle. Opt for non-conductive fiberglass if you’re doing electrical work, and consider wood if you’re looking for a lightweight hammer with less vibration.
2. Cheater Tape Measure
Another home tool kit necessity is the tape measure, and a reimagined version of the classic—the cheater tape measure—made our list of tools because it makes measuring stuff even easier. This nifty tool is among the best tools out there because it includes easy-to-read fraction markings, so you’ll know exactly where to mark 1/16th of an inch. Pick up a cheater tape measure with a built-in pencil sharpener and erasable notepad so you’ll be able to jot down measurements while you work.
3. Ratcheting Screwdriver
Your home tool kit wouldn’t be complete without a screwdriver, so why not consolidate and invest in one screwdriver that can be adjusted to fit any screw? A ratcheting screwdriver (like this 15-in-One model) stores different sized bits in its chamber and allows for easy swapping of bits while also keeping your toolbox organized.
4. Safety Glasses
While it’s tempting to grab the cheapest eye protection option as you build your home tool kit, consider the risks of an injury versus the cost of springing for eyewear that meets the standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Seeking out certified, high-quality eye protection like these safety glasses can help ensure both durability and adequate protection against construction hazards—like debris, chemicals, heat, or dust.
5. Mr. Cooper With Home Intelligence
If you’re a Mr. Cooper customer, another essential component of your home tool kit is the Mr. Cooper With Home Intelligence app. It includes a powerful set of tools like Home Snapshot, which displays your home’s estimated value; Neighborhood Insights, which estimates the value of other homes in your area; and Talk To An Expert, which connects you to a real Mr. Cooper loan professional so that you can get answers to your home loan-related questions as they arise.