The best tools to have for diy projects depend entirely on what those projects are. Perhaps you plan to renovate your home, build a new garage, take a road trip, start a new craft, or spend time gardening. All of these activities require their own tools, some of which are quite specialized and might not even fit in your toolbox. Fortunately, you can decide just what you need and often learn how to use it thanks to online tutorials. As they say, you can learn how to do anything on YouTube!
If you’re not quite ready to dive into those projects, are unsure what the projects will be, or want to know if it’s better to hire a professional, the overview of some of the most common tools for summer DIY projects below can help. Because so many summer projects take in three main places–on the road, inside the home, and outside on the property–this guide is split into sections for each before wrapping up with some helpful tips for cleanup tools. Here we will cover some of the best tools to have for diy projects.
Tools for Road Trips
There’s something so idyllic about loading the family up in a camper or RV if you enjoy seeing the sights but not sleeping directly beneath the stars. The vehicle itself is important and can be quite costly. However, savvy shoppers consider all their options, including repairable salvage RVs for sale. Sometimes used is the best option if you can find a good deal and the repairs are affordable or even easy enough to do yourself if you have an interest in things with engines. If so, then you may already own the wrenches, screwdrivers, and jumper cables required for many repairs. In fact, fixing up a pre-owned RV could be this summer’s project if you can leave the road trip and camping to next summer!
Campers are a great option that can be more affordable and require less storage space. Some road trippers prefer that they can leave campers parked for a quick trip to the grocery store for supplies. Sometimes it’s just not worth it to pull a camper into a crowded parking lot. Plus, pulling a camper behind a pickup allows for extra storage for accessories that make your RV your home away from home. Things such as outdoor furniture, a grill, and sports equipment don’t always fit easily into your camper or RV.
On top of that, recreational vehicles must be road-safe. Functional brakes are required for certain vehicles in every state; however, the specific laws vary–usually by weight. Check out your local laws to see if you’ll need to purchase electric brake controllers for trailers to use with your RV, tow trailer, or camper. Of course, those controllers are useful when hauling yard waste, trash, or furniture, too, all of which you might want to move during your summer projects. For those who want peace of mind, RV backup cameras can’t be beaten. Finally, add a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, road flares, and cones just in case, and you have some of the best tools to have for diy projects
Other RV tools include portable EMP shields and EMS systems that protect your RV from the electrical damage caused by solar flares and even lightning strikes. You can deck out your RV with awning kits, Wi-Fi boosters, and power generators if you want to camp in luxury. Plus, solar panels let you enjoy your adventure while being environmentally conscientious. Finally, remember the roof vent cover that allows you to keep the vent open even when it’s raining. Many RV owners consider it a must-have.
Once your vehicle is ready to hit the road, all you need to do is pack your family, bags, and potentially pets to make lasting memories while keeping your family safe–as long as you don’t forget the snacks for the trip or RV storage once summer ends.
Preparing for Household Construction
Household projects, including repairs or renovations, make perfect summer projects if more people are at home to pitch in. Those long days also let you accomplish more with your time and hopefully finish construction sooner. The list of best tools to have for diy projects is expansive, so it’s best to research the specific project to determine what you must buy and how much it costs. For instance, building a new garage or building on your property might require a wooden truss and additional machinery and hands to raise and install it. Of course, not every project is that labor-intensive!
Regardless, every home construction project has its own safety concerns, especially when going the DIY route. While there are video tutorials for many projects you can do yourself to save money, it’s easy to overlook the safest practices if you’re not experienced in these areas or too busy mentally remaking your home after checking out some local kitchen cabinet sales or picking up paint swatches.
Skulls and ideas are easily injured without the proper safety provisions, and even a small cut could become a nasty infection. It’s just as important to protect lungs and hearing with masks and earmuffs, too. When it comes to the job itself, cutting corners can be dangerous or even deadly. This is never more true than when working with electricity. That’s why the first tool anyone needs is a circuit tester to verify that the power is off before proceeding with any wiring. It lets you safely install light fixtures, switches, outlets, and so much more. Don’t overlook ladders, a common source of injury when people attempt to carry large loads. It’s often best to leave the heavy lifting to the machines.
The basic tools–hammer, extension cord, ladder, speed square, masking tape, pliers, screwdriver, putty knife, and level, to name just a few–will get you far. After that, consider if you pipe and cable finders or stud sensors (the ladder is useful for just hanging wall art). For projects that require demolition, a Sawzall, sledgehammer, and crowbar are the tools of the trade. Saws and sanders make up the most common power tools; although, you may not always need them.
Knowing when to call in a professional, even if they only tackle the most difficult or dangerous part of your project, helps remedy this issue. Plus, the pros are more familiar with local laws regarding permits and how some tasks must be done to be safe and legal. You might be able to cobble together the plumbing for a basement bathroom once you figure out how to use a pipe cutter, but are you sure it will pass inspection if you ever sell your home? Anyone can splice together some wires, but do you know when you need to use explosion-proof wire seals? Setting aside a little money for a professional can save a lot of hassle in the long run.
Stock Up for Your Outside Projects
Whether you enjoy the sun on your skin as you pull weeds or working on your car with the garage door open, summer is the best time to tackle all those projects on your to-do list without the need for electric heaters. Yard and gardening projects range in scope from planting in existing flower beds to completely redoing landscaping. But even those so-called smaller projects can take more time, money, and effort than anticipated. If you’ve ever had to make two or three trips to the store to purchase supplies or even make an exchange for the right item, you know how quickly time slips by. Who knew that picking out a heavy duty hose clamp for their sprinkler could be such a pain?
However, the best tools to have for diy projects make the job easier, and that doesn’t just mean a robotic lawnmower, smart security camera, or electronic watering controller–although those are all options for tech-savvy homeowners! A tool storage caddy on wheels is fairly low-tech, but a great way to transport long-handled and small hand tools alike. Models with 5-gallon buckets can carry dirt or rocks or store debris for removal later. A similar product known as a garden scoot includes a storage bin and shelf beneath the seat from which you can tend to your favorite plants. Wheels are the cherry on top, making it portable to boot.
Even the standard wheelbarrow has been upgraded to a multi-use tool that also functions as a dolly, leaf bag, and hoist for heavy potted plants! If storage space is at a premium, look no further than a collapsible ‘wheelbarrow’ made from fabric that is compact when folded but durable enough to haul small loads of dirt or other materials. Did you see an advertisement for wood chips for sale that you just couldn’t pass up? You’ll need a way to transport them!
Some people cannot justify the price or storage space for specialized tools. Fortunately, many can be rented once you’ve covered basics such as gloves, shovels, rakes, and pruning shears. The local hardware store is the most obvious place to check out when you need a tool or machine only occasionally–or just once. However, some areas have hardware exchanges, and the local library may even loan out some equipment for much less or even free. Blowers, chainsaws, post-hole diggers, trimmers, seeders, tillers, and even stump grinders can be rented to make the job easier. Plus, the experts can show you how to use them safely!
Tools for Cleaning It All Up
When that project is complete, you probably want to stand back and admire your handiwork, even if you didn’t do it all yourself. You should absolutely enjoy the new backyard fire pit, garage, or home theater. You deserve it! However, there might be some last-minute things that require some cleanup. A sturdy push-broom and shop vac comes in handy all year round, not just for tidying up after summer projects.
Planning ahead makes the job even easier. Lay down tarps or plastic to catch debris or protect your home and furniture from paint. When the project is done, remove and dispose of it. You may even be able to reuse the tarp! They work well for moving fresh dirt and offer protection to your unfinished projects from the elements, too. The experts recommend fully sealing up closets with masking tape to prevent having to wash all your clothes. Purchase an air purifier to remove dust from the air while you work, not after. It’s better for your lungs and means you won’t have to dust twice a day for a month! Opening the windows is another great way to deal with dust and air out fumes from paint or other chemicals. Then, it’s simply a matter of cleaning surfaces.
Depending on how much yard waste you have, you may want to take it to the local landfill or yard waste center. Here’s where a trailer and brake system might be handy! However, composting is another option if your project doesn’t produce too much waste, and you can use it for a healthier lawn and garden in the future. You can even add refuse from produce, coffee grounds, or newspapers to your compost pile.
While you can purchase composting systems, you don’t need to. You can play leaves and other refuse on any blank area in your yard as long as you keep it covered and moist to help the process along. However, a simple container made from pallets, chicken wire, or a plastic trash can with some ventilation holes will also do the job on the cheap.
With both your DIY project and cleanup complete, you can take time to relax after a job well done. Of course, if you’re like many people, you’ve got more than one project on your to-do list and may even have plans that will keep you busy next summer–or through the winter! But once you acquire the best tools to have for diy projects, your future projects will be that much easier. Some quality tools can last you decades, even long enough to pass down to your kids for their summer projects (and you might have the knowledge to pass down to them, too)!