Handy

Home improvement tools you should add to your arsenal

When it comes to home improvement, repair and maintenance there are plenty of go-to tools and gadgets we constantly rely on. The humble hammer and sturdy screwdriver are both commonly seen in the hands of DIY’ers, but there are plenty of lesser known devices that people could be using to make these jobs much easier for them.

The following tools are useful for all kinds of projects and are sure to be appreciated by those who use them. Let’s take a look at the best home improvement tools people should be adding to their toolboxes.

Voltage tester

A non-contact voltage tester is a great tool for newcomers to home improvement as it lets you know if power outlets are safe to disassemble. It allows you to check if an electric current is still running through the outlet so you can safely unscrew the outer plate.

It also works with light fixtures and the cords on appliances.

Laser level

There’s nothing quite so precise as laser accuracy, and a laser level give you just that. Unlike a spirit or bubble level, this one emits a laser that helps keep everything horizontal when you’re working with shelving and windows.

It can also produce a vertical beam which is very useful for plumbing jobs.

Pull saw

The pull saw is like a miniature, one handed version of a saw that cuts on the pull back. It produces sharp and easy slices and are perfect for any kind of wood that needs clean cutting.

Paint sprayer

Pain sprayers are exactly what they sound like. They save time by allowing you to spray paint an entire gallon within 9 minutes of use.

While not ideal for every kind of painting job, a paint sprayer is great for painting doors and furniture as well as being uses to ally sealants.

Stud finder

Before you point smugly in the mirror, we’re talking about wall studs. A stud finder detects metal behind the wall and helps you to avoid hammering nails into studs by accident.

Telescoping mirror

This tool allows you to check behind places you can get your head around normally.

Headlamp

How many times have you been stuck needing more light while halfway through a job and with your hands full? Kiss those worries goodbye with a headlamp that easily lets you see what you’re doing no matter what the job is.

Easy ways to spruce up your home

Sometimes we aren’t always looking for a major renovation, sometimes we just want something a little different to break up the monotony of the homes we get used to. Whether it’s a bit of decoration or something designed to make life more convenient, there are plenty of little home improvements you can carry out without much effort.

Let’s take a look at some of the most basic and easy ways to spruce up your home.

Add some vegetation

You’d be surprised by how few plants some people have around their homes and how much just a few of them can transform a space. If you have a space that’s feeling drab or stuffy, add a plant to break up the artificiality of the space.

The plant doesn’t even need to be real, just the aesthetic of it is enough to make the area feel healthier to be in and more pleasant overall. The next best step is to go wild and start an entire front garden that will be the envy of your neighbours.

Add some area rugs

Area rugs are great because they allow you to take advantage of the massive design real estate you have on the floor without covering the entire surface like a carpet. Area rugs come in all manner of shapes, sizes and patterns so you can get really creative here.

Improve your lighting

Nobody likes to live in a drab and gloomy home and some of us don’t even realise how much darkness we tolerate in our interiors. Adding some stylish lamps in strategic places can really bring up the vibe of a space and improve the mood of everyone in it.

Invest in art

There’s not many better ways to accent your home than by accessorizing with art. Whether you prefer sculptures, paintings or something else, there’s always room for some artistic expression.

Don’t go overboard; otherwise your house may end up looking like a knick-knack store. Expensive art might not be a smart option if you have young children that are liable to break or damage it.

Apply a fresh coat of paint

While this might not be the easiest option depending on where you do it, re-painting can be one of the most powerful ways to update a space. A new colour install reinvigorates the room and gives it a new lease on life.

DIY skills that tradies know by heart

Good DIY isn’t all about having the skills but about knowing the tips and tricks that tradies use routinely to make their jobs faster and easier. Follow these tips and you too will enjoy better results in half the time.

Make marks for sawing

Make sure you always cut on the correct side of the timber with this trick. Simply draw on a measurement mark and draw a second one angled away from the wood you wish to keep.

Loosening a stuck screw

If you encounter a screw that refuses to budge, grab a screwdriver and a hammer. Stick the screwdriver in the screw as if you were removing it and then tap the screwdriver with the hammer.

This will remove and paint or rust that’s sticking to the screw and will make it easier to remove.

Don’t use a drill for small screws

When you’re installing small screws for hinges and small latches, trade the power drill for the humble screwdriver. The screwdriver will allow you to be more precise, save power, make less noise and it won’t strip the screw’s head.

Handsawing gunslinger

If you want more control while using your handsaw, hold the handle like a gun using your index finger extended out. This finger allows to you aim your sawing so you can be more accurate.

Wear the right safety equipment

Less of a secret and more common sense, always wear the proper safety equipment no matter what job you are doing. Don’t work alone on a ladder if you don’t think it’s safe and always make sure you take every safety step seriously.

Saw with your thumbs up

In order to help keep the handsaw from wobbling around when you start a cut, use the thumb of your free hand as a guide. Slowly shift your hand away from the saw as the cutting rhythm picks up.

Keep your tools sharp

Sharper tools mean a quicker job with better results. Make sure you give your handsaw a replacement blade every now and then as they can dull very quickly.

The blades of a power saw can be resharpened professionally but it’s good to have a spare on hand.

Drilling into tiles

Simply put a piece of tape on the tiles where the drill is going to be used as it will keep the drill bit from moving across the tiles as it digs into them. Make sure to use a masonry drill bit and that the drill is turned off from its hammer setting.

Home improvements that usually aren’t worth the investment

When people think of reselling their home, they do whatever they can to increase the value of the property in the eyes of realtors and potential buyers. For some people this might mean a few small upgrades here and there, for others it means major renovations to the effect of building an entirely new home.

Increasing the value of your home is a strategic decision that needs to be based in reality. There are several home improvement projects that seem like winders on paper but are actually just huge pits for you to barrel money into.

Let’s take a look at the biggest home improvement projects that just aren’t worth it.

Pools

Let’s get this one out of way, there’s a lot of misinformation about the value adding effect of pools and its one of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to add value to their property. Many people will see a return but it won’t be enough to offset the cost of installing the pool in the first place.

Pools are great for some kinds of buyer and a big concern for others. For example, people with young children will see a pool as a safety hazard; others may see a pool as a big piece of maintenance that they would rather not pay extra for.

In some areas it gets very cold for a great deal of the year, making the pool useless. If you live in a region that only has warm sun for a few weeks a year, there’s no point including a pool.

This explains why the majority of people who add pools for the purpose of resale value end up losing money. This is because they automatically thought a pool would add value without considering other factors.

Room conversions

Turning an entire room into a walk-in closet may sound good to you, but think about what buyers are looking for. Every bedroom is precious and adds significantly to a home’s value, so sacrificing one for the sake of an unnecessary indulgence is far more likely to hurt you re-sale value.

Overly personalised renovations

It goes without saying that creating something personalised to you is harder to resell to someone who isn’t you. Even if you think you’ve created the perfect unicorn themed child’s room, all you have done is limit the potential buyers to those who will tolerate it.

Overcapitalising

Spending too much money on upgrades, even if they’re warranted, can backfire. If your home is a mansion-like anomaly in a middle-income neighbourhood, you’ll turn off every kind of buyer.

Why Should You Hire a Handyman?

Hiring a handyman may sometimes feel like a hassle, having to find a suitable choice for their service needs and trusting someone else to do the job. However, it’s a process worth going through that will be beneficial not only in the short to medium term but also in the long run.

It is important to hire a handyman not just for the tangible benefit of actually having the job finished but it needs to be done without life getting in the way. It is the benefits that will eventually be realized on a personal level that conclude why you should be hiring a professional.

It saves money

Whilst people are able to change a tap or re-paint the spare bedroom themselves, it is often the case that they won’t do as good a job. If the job isn’t done right the first time, it’s going to need to be done again sooner rather than later and that’s going to cost more dollars.

The last thing anyone wants to happen is for the tap the break and flood their kitchen. A skilled professional will get the job done right the first time reducing the risk of more work down the track.

It’s going to take longer than expected

Fixing the toilet, for example is going to take a lot longer than expected. Yes, everyday people might be able to fix it themselves, but it’s not like fixing a toilet or painting the spare bedroom is a common household chore – it’s going to take a while, especially if it’s their first time.

When you hire a handyman who is experienced in many areas, they are able to get the job done in a timely manner and will ensure that it is done correctly.

Things can happen

Illness and injury can occur at any time without a moment’s notice. Someone might even have to go on a last minute business trip that means they can’t complete that task for another two weeks. The last thing that anyone wants to happen is to fall sick over a weekend when they were planning to fix that leak in the roof only for it to pour down the next week.

The point is, things happen that are out of people’s control, dragging out the time until that broken tap or loose door hinge is fixed. Whereas, a trained professional should be more than happy to work around the hours that suit you best.

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It’s hot and humid

It’s no secret that handyman gets very hot and humid for the majority of the year, so who wants to be working on the roof cleaning the gutter as the sweat drips down their face? Hiring a handyman will allow those in the house to take advantage of the hot weather and get down to the beach or spend time with friends and family.

Life is busy

It’s often difficult to find the time for the important things in life such as family and friends outside of what is becoming a work-orientated world. It can be difficult to find time during the week to complete repairs and any time that is left to relax on weekends is spent at children’s activities or family lunches.

No one wants to have more stress about another job that needs to get done hanging over their head. Hiring a local professional is a great way to remove that stress and have the guarantee that the required repairs are done in a timely manner.

Next time, they will know who to call

Even though it may be difficult to find them in the first place, once a handyman has been hired for the first time, they can be hired for subsequent jobs too. Getting the job done quickly eliminates the hassle in calling someone to fix that leak in your roof or clean out the gutters and as trust is built they will be able to come in when no one is home, further adding to the benefits and eliminating the hassle.

Having the right tools at hand

A handyman is going to have the correct tools for whatever the required job is and will know how to use them. Doing it without a trained professional, on the other hand, may end up being more expensive and produce a worse result. The right tools, such as different paintbrushes to ensure that the corners are even, can be expensive, especially for something that may only be used once.

Ultimately, hiring a handyman is going to save a lot of time, money and effort in the long run. No longer will people’s busy live be interrupted or have endure the heat just to complete a small task. Eradicating the risk of further damage will also save money and reduce stress levels knowing that everything at home is in a good, stable condition.