Looking at our renovation journey so far we have had a lot of conversations with family and friends about the projects we have already completed and the projects we have planned for the future.
One thing a few people have asked us is what kinds of tools we thought were necessary to start taking on a DIY renovation. Keep in mind we aren’t experts by any means and each project will have different requirements. The information in this post is based on our experience and what we found necessary in almost all of our projects so far.
5 DIY Renovation Tools
1. Claw Hammer
This is essential for a toolbox in general. It is a staple and if you don’t already own one should be one of the first tools you add to your collection of DIY renovation tools. It always comes in handy removing nails and when you need some leverage.
DIY Tip: Place a scrap piece of wood between your surface and hammer head if your surface is delicate and you don’t have a soft-faced hammer.
Such a simple looking tool but absolutely essential in any demolition phase of a DIY renovation project. Especially in an old house that has a lot of layers that are nailed down, boards that need to be pried off, plywood lifted up, and mortar scraped off.
DIY Tip: For heavier duty jobs upgrade to a wrecking bar.
This should be the first power tool you purchase. Go for something cordless, comfortable and with an adjustable clutch and speed to dial in the right setting for the job. Expand the versatility and effectiveness of your drill by picking up a good quality drill-bit set including wood, metal and masonry bits.
DIY Tip: Purchase a mixing drill bit to mix cans of paint, thinset or concrete.
4. Reciprocating Saw
Inevitably during a renovation you will have to cut through something. A reciprocating saw is the most versatile powered saw that you can use. It is not very precise but it can fit into odd places and cut through almost any material. We have found it an especially useful addition to our collection of DIY renovation tools when it came time to take down framing that had been firmly nailed into place by making a few well placed cuts through some nails.
5. Shop Vac
A job does not look finished until the job site is clean. A shop vac is a quick hassle-free way to pick up dirt, nails, saw-dust etc. Shop Vac’s go on sale a LOT at stores like Canadian Tire. Keep checking the weekly flyers and you can get a really great deal (think 40-60% off).
DIY Tip: Most Shop Vac’s can also be used as a blower.
While it is a good idea to look for cost saving options like renting tools or borrowing from friends and family, these five DIY renovation tools will see frequent enough use that it made sense for us to buy them. The hammer and drill we already had before buying the Row House so we only had to purchase the other three.
We took the time to check out flyers and try to find the best price. We ended up buying all three at Canadian Tire. For us this helped save 40-60% on the three items we had to buy. You should always follow the manufacturers instructions and follow the proper safety precautions when using power tools.
Where do you find the best deals on tools?
What other essential DIY renovation tool would you add to our list of five?