By Ali Sahabi of Optimum Group, LLC
President, Building Industry Association (BIA) Baldy View Chapter
The holidays are on their way and whether you are a homeowner or a homebuyer or will be shopping for one, remember that homeownership means being a do-it-yourself home improvement specialist. Being able to address home maintenance and improvement issues means having the right tools so the holiday season is the perfect time of year to equip yourself or any homebuyers or home shoppers you know with gifts that are far more practical than a fruitcake.
From inexpensive stocking stuffers to state-of-the-art professional-level products, flashlights are essential tools for homeowners. They come in a wide variety of styles and price ranges. Likewise, hammers are as essential as flashlights. Start with a claw hammer for driving and pulling nails and a rubber mallet (also known as a soft-faced hammer) to strike wood-handled chisels or to tap into place soft materials that would be marred by a metal hammer face.
Other often overlooked essential are screwdrivers – both slot-head and Phillips head screwdrivers in different sizes. Paintbrushes ranging from one- to four inches wide and made of synthetic material or animal hair are always great gifts. Remember, for latex paint, don’t use natural-bristle brushes. The brush’s packaging indicates what paint works best with it.
Other great gift ideas are adjustable wrenches, sets of crescent wrenches or general-use wrenches to turn any type of hex or square nut or bolt or objects with flat surfaces. For homeowners, plumbing wrenches are essential because they are used to turn objects with round surfaces, such as pipes.
Consider giving either a quality pair of pliers. Pliers range from the standard household variety to several specialty types such as needle-nose or long-nose pliers that have thin, tapered jaws for reaching into tight spots or to hold and bend wire.
Living here in the Baldy View Region, dealing with wind is always an issue and that means owning saws. For the yard or general woodwork, get saws with various-sized teeth (specific numbers of teeth per inch designated by ‘points’). The higher the number of points means the finer the cutting. An eight - point size saw is a good choice for general crosscut work.
Plastic safety goggles are another often-overlooked but very important gift idea. With front and covered sides large enough to fit over regular eyeglasses, safety goggles are an important addition to any toolbox to protect your eyes when working around the house.
Utility Knifes are known as trimming or carpet knifes and are used for cutting soft materials such as carpet, drywall, tape and string and putty knives with their narrow blades and squared-off ends are great for applying glazing compound or for small scraping or spackling jobs.
Most of the above gifts are essentials for home maintenance. However, if you will be looking at more complicated home improvement projects, one essential will be a good hand-held or power drill. Get a variety of drill bits to drill precision holes. With a power drill, you can also grind, sand, polish and accomplish other jobs with the correct accessories.
Another reason tools are great gift ideas is because you will do most of your shopping at your local hardware or home improvement center – but you can also visit garage sales and swap meets which can be great places to purchase hand tools.
Here in the Baldy View Region, homes have always been built to the highest standards of design, technology, materials and workmanship and that means homeowners will always want to be prepared to improve or protect their investments – so gifts that support homebuying or homeownership better are gifts that keep on giving for a lifetime.
The BIA Baldy View Chapter seeks to advance the opportunity to attain the American Dream of home ownership. For additional information on homebuying, home improvements or the benefits of homeownership, go to www.biabuild.com on the web.