Image of a toolbox, image by Daren

The right tools for the job

What tools should I have at home for a bit of DIY? It may seem like an obvious answer but not everyone is keen on DIY and as such would not be sure of essentials when it comes to what tools to own.

Beginner

For the uninitiated then it’s probably worthwhile just investing in a pre-assembled toolbox that comes with everything in it: tape measure, screwdrivers, spanners, hacksaw etc. These are not expensive and for the odd bit of DIY perfectly adequate.

Safety glasses, dust masks and ear plugs as well as a decent pair of working gloves for heavy work and latex gloves for more delicate dirty work, a torch can also be included.

Have a go

For someone who doesn’t mind ‘having a go’ then you can add to the list some basic power tools: A decent multi speed drill is always useful and a selection of masonry, wood and metal drill bits. Rawl plugs (not raw plugs as they are incorrectly but commonly called) of varying sizes.

A cordless drill (great for flat pack assembly), some dust sheets, although not a tool they are essential to any tradesman of any level, you can buy multipacks of three dust sheets for under £20 which include a ‘runner’ - this is a long thin dust sheet for laying on stairs1 - a decent 3 foot spirit level, 5 step step-ladders, a crow bar and bolster, a club hammer.

Good to go

Finally - the keen DIYer, someone who is confident in their abilities and enjoys a home project.

Of course this will include all of the above but then we can add slightly more advanced power tools, a jigsaw, a circular saw, a chop saw, an electric plane and a small angle grinder. Various length spirit levels or even a laser level, a 5m tape measure and I would certainly recommend a collapsible workbench.

So as far as tools are concerned they are of course limitless, “the world is your lobster” as Del boy would say, this is all very well but you will of course need storage. Tool boxes, power tools and equipment are bulky items so think before you buy where you can keep it all. If it’s only a small job you could hire power tools for next to nothing, the same with ladders and step ups.

As always the best advice is to plan ahead, a basic tool kit is essential but beyond that if you are not sure simply write it down step by step, look at what tools you will need and when and take it from there.

It’s worth remembering that using Local Heroes is often cheaper than buying tools just for a one-off job – and to be sure you can get a free estimate straight away.

1 Dust sheets on stairs can be extremely hazardous, a runner dust sheet is easy to lay and to fold into the stairs. if you just throw a dust sheet down you will create a tripping or slipping hazard which on stairs could be fatal.