by Phillip B. Burum, Executive Vice President, Diversified Pacific,
President, Building Industry Association (BIA) Baldy View Chapter
The holiday season is on its way and, for many during this season, home shopping goes on the backburner. However, for homebuyers who are ready to greet the New Year from the front porch of their newly acquired slice of the American Dream, here are some holiday gift suggestions for the friends and family of those dedicated few. Here in 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 greatest of all investments. Gifts that can support that effort will be more appreciated than you can imagine.
The beginning of any home improvement toolbox must be hammers. They come in a variety of styles and uses. Start with a claw hammer for driving and pulling nails and a rubber mallet that can be used to strike wood-handled chisels or to tap into place soft materials that would be marred by a metal hammer face. Likewise, a good selection of slot-head and Phillips head screwdrivers in different sizes are always important.
Paintbrushes of varying sizes and made from different materials are a great gift idea. Consider a good adjustable wrench, a set of crescent wrenches or general-use wrenches to turn any type of hex or square nut or bolt or objects with flat surfaces.
Pliers are likewise an essential part of a toolbox. Consider purchasing your friend a variety that includes plain pliers, needle-nose, or long-nose pliers that have thin, tapered jaws for reaching into tight spots or to hold and bend wire.
For the yard or general do-it-yourself (DIY) woodworking, there is no shortage of options for quality and useful saws with various-sized teeth and cutting functions. For beginners, an eight-point size skill saw is a good choice for general crosscut work. Remember, safety goggles with covered sides large enough to fit over regular eyeglasses are an important addition to any toolbox and offer crucial protection for your eyes.
For maintaining the inside of the home, a utility knife known as trimming knife or carpet knife for cutting soft materials such as carpet, drywall, tape and string is also an essential. A putty knife is a great addition to the toolbox for those that are true DIY enthusiasts.
For more complicated home improvement projects, one essential will be a good hand- or power drill. Get a variety of drill bits to drill precision holes. Look for a power drill that can also grind, sand, polish, and accomplish other jobs with accessories.
Remember, the single most essential tool for homeowners is a flashlight. They come in a wide variety of styles and price ranges. Keep some for in the home and others in the garage and always stock up on fresh batteries.
When you shop for or request tools as gifts, remember that garage sales and swap meets can be great places to purchase hand tools.
Lastly, if you are a prospective homebuyer and have not yet located your dream home or are still gathering funds together for a down payment, the holiday season is a great time for parents, family members and friends to give gifts of cash. In our region, especially with the inordinately low FHA lending limits, even first-time homebuyers must provide down payments in the tens of thousands of dollars. Your family and friends can help you overcome that obstacle if they know it would be more appreciated than a new set of pots and pans or a new outdoor grill. Every penny counts when you are scraping together down payment proceeds so don’t be afraid to let your loved ones know how important obtaining the American Dream is to you. If you will be giving or requesting gifts of cash for a downpayment fund, remember to sign or ask for ‘gift letter’ indicating that both parties consider the donation a gift.
The BIA Baldy View Chapter seeks to advance the opportunity to attain the American Dream of home ownership. For additional information on the benefits of homeownership, go to www.biabuild.com on the web.