Who You Gonna Call?

You’ve become your own landlord.

You can’t complain about the clogged drain to someone else and you can’t ask to have someone take care of the termites. They’re called exterminators BTW, and now YOU’RE paying out of pocket for it…sigh. With the many joys of home ownership come the many challenges of learning to adult.

Bro, you know a guy?

You’re friends, family and coworkers may become an invaluable resource when it comes to getting things fixed. Many people “have a guy” or “know a guy” or “has an uncle in ‘construction.'” Take advantage of these trusted avenues. And who knows, sometimes referrals come with a small discount.

Gear Up

By now, you’re probably aware of all the additional small expenses and acquisitions that come with home ownership. A wise investment to make is suiting yourself up with some quality and reliable tools. Some of these will last you many years, even decades, and you’ll be glad to have them around for quick or emergency fixes, and for more ambitious projects.

There are a few things to consider when building up your war-chest. Do you plan to fix as much as possible yourself in the hopes of saving money and having the satisfaction of concurring projects, or do you plan to contract most of the projects out? Obviously, we all can’t do everything but with the little bit of know-how, patience and a bunch of YouTube videos, you would be surprised what you’re capable of. Most importantly, know your experience and comfort limit with approaching home repairs. Certain projects are best left to true professionals, if nothing else, for safety reasons. 

If you’re planning to contract a lot of jobs..

..we would suggest getting familiar with Yelp. It is a great resource for sourcing professionals locally while getting to see actual client reviews (the good, the bad, and the downright ugly!) Don’t be afraid to ask your real-estate agent if they have any recommended contacts and obviously ask friends and family. 

If you are already pretty handy with tools and are ready to take on some fixer-upper challenges, here or some suggestions of what types of tools you can consider.

First and foremost, it is probably a good idea to have a basic set up of good hand tools. Here are some suggested items to get you started.

  1. Simple Toolbox or Tool-bag to keep everything organized
  2. Hammer
  3. Wood Handsaw
  4. Metal Handsaw
  5. Basic assorted wood chisels
  6. Assorted Length & Width Screwdrivers with magnetic Tips
  7. Level
  8. Tape Measure
  9. Carpenter’s Square or some sort of Right Angle
  10. 3 piece Vise Grip Set
  11. Assorted Plier Set (w/ Needle Nose, Cutting, Channellock)
  12. Tool Belt (to keep you from having to run back and forth from the tool box)

Once you’ve got a good set of basic hand tools, it’s time to consider power tools. Most of the work done with power tools can be done by hand however if you’re working alone, these will help you get the job done a bit less struggle and save you time in the long haul.

Here are some suggested power tools to flesh out your war chest.

  1. A good quality battery-operated Drill
  2. A good quality battery-operated Impact Drill for setting deep construction screws for framing, decking, etc.
  3. Assorted Quality Drill Bit and Screw Bit Sets
  4. Circular Saw
  5. Jigsaw
  6. Chop Saw or Miter Saw if you’re planning on replacing crown molding, framing or anything that requires precise angled cuts.
  7. Sawsaw – This is like the machete of the toolbox. You never know when you’re going to need it but when you do you’ll be glad you had one.
  8. Brad Nailer or Finishing Nailer (not necessary but extremely helpful when building furniture, installing crown molding, installing bead-board, etc.)

You don’t need to buy every single tool at the hardware store, but learn about the projects that you would like to tackle, watch as many videos as you can and take note of the tools you may need. Once you have a better idea of all the tools think you will need, see if you can find a combo kit, offered by most major tool manufacturers, that works for you. They come in various arrangements and price ranges and will save you a bit of money and make your life a little easier. 

Eric HardWorth

Eric is a young “30-something” Creative Director living in Los Angeles, California. He’s a self proclaimed handyman who’s built more then and apartments-worth of stuff that hasn’t fallen apart yet. When not fixing / building / painting / sanding / hanging / wiring something in his newly purchased Inglewood home, Eric is probably working on his 70’s era motorcycle while wishing he were riding it.

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HardWorth.com is based on opinion and experiences. We encourage our readers to consult professionals for financial, legal, and home improvement advice.


A young couple’s experience
buying a first home & learning how to adult.