Becoming a homeowner is a milestone that many aspire to, however owning a property comes with a few additional responsibilities, like home maintenance. Why is maintaining a home so important? “For two reasons,” says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, “the first reason is to protect the value of the home, and the second reason is to ensure that the occupants of the home remain safe. Staying on top of things with minor fixes will help you to avoid big problems further down the line.”
He adds that while home maintenance is a necessary element of owning property, it does not have to cost the homeowner a lot of money, especially if they have a reasonable amount of know-how and some basic but vital tools around the house. “There are some tools that are an absolute necessity in every household. Tools that will assist homeowners in taking care of general, basic maintenance jobs that might be required of them,” says Goslett.
Here is a list of some very helpful tools that should be kept in the home:
Whether tightening a loose fixture, removing a light covering, assembling a new piece of furniture or replacing a light bulb – new homeowners will soon find out that there are very few maintenance tasks that don’t require a screwdriver. At some stage, every homeowner will need to use a screwdriver, making it an essential household tool. Ideally, homeowners should have an array of different sizes of both flathead and Philips-head screwdrivers. While a reasonably inexpensive tool, it will soon be regarded as a must-have item that the homeowner can't do without.
Another staple in a homeowner’s maintenance arsenal is the hammer. A good hammer will come in handy when hanging picture frames or photos. When considering purchasing a hammer, the best and most versatile option is one with a claw head and anti-vibration rubber grip.
A spirit or wall level
It is far easier to hang a shelf or artwork on a level plane with a spirit level as a guide. While an experienced eye will be able to hang items fairly well, a wall level takes the guesswork out of the job and ensures that the piece of art or shelf is perfectly even on the first try.
A utility knife
Also known as a Stanley knife or box cutter, a utility knife is great for moving home and opening well taped-up boxes. Most utility knives will have a retractable blade so that they can be stored or carried safely.
A putty knife is another excellent knife to have in the house, as it is the ideal tool for replacing a broken window pane – an absolute necessity for families with small boys.
Often homeowners need to know how big a certain area in the home is before they purchase an appliance or item of furniture. Having an accurate way to measure the space will save a lot of frustration. A measuring tape is an ideal tool to make sure that homeowners don’t purchase an item that doesn’t fit in the intended space.
Measuring tapes come in various lengths from three metres upwards. While a 3-metre tape is perfect for most jobs around the home, a 5-metre or 8-metre measuring tape will allow homeowners to measure larger spaces in a shorter time.
Whether it's dealing with a power cut or trying to find something that has fallen into a dark space, a durable, good-quality flashlight, as well as extra batteries, is a must for every household. If not finding your way around the house during load shedding, a flashlight is also extremely handy when working on repairs in tighter and darker areas around the home. While more expensive from the outset, hybrid flashlights that use solar power or are rechargeable will save the homeowner on batteries over the long term.
An adjustable wrench and pliers
Owning an adjustable wrench means being able to tackle several maintenance jobs with only one tool. Pliers are also a must-have for every homeowner – the best option is a pair that has serrated jaws offering a better grip.
Lastly, a homeowner will require somewhere to keep the tools, such as an easy-to-carry toolbox. Keeping all the most-commonly-used tools in one place makes them easier to find and store.
Goslett concludes by saying that being prepared and owning the right tools, will make any maintenance job far easier to handle.