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DIY projects can go from professional looking to a 3rd grader did that= real quick!

It’s not always about the DI Y-er and often times about the tools Y use to DI.

I was the worst offender at using inappropriate objects for tasks. Corkscrews to mix paint- box cutters to trim wood- name it and I’ve done it.

But to get legit results- it’s best to arm yourself from the beginning. It’s the little pre-game work that makes the project turn out right. So a small investment in the proper gear- makes DIY projects way more realistic and successful. The good news is you can start with just the essential 10 items. You will add as your skills set increases, and some work horses you will use again and again:- AND no- not a paid post or any sort of promotion. Just tried and true products that work - for what you are actually supposed to use them for!

DIY projects work better with better tools

1. Screwdriver

NOT just any old screwdriver, but a multi-bit screwdriver. Get the "auto-loader" kind that contains at least six different varieties of bit. You want one that fits both Phillips head and slot (commonly referred to as "not the Phillips one") head screws. With this one tool, you have a starter set of screwdrivers that will work for most jobs. Bonus-get the multi-bit that's magnetic and never lose a screw again.

2. Drill

There are so many different jobs around the home that will make you want a power drill...cordless power drill that is. Experts will tell you to get a good, refurbished brand rather than a cheap new one. DeWalt or Makita are reliable, and will last you many years. You will also need a variety of drill bits. But most come with some sort of pre-pack and most likely you will only have to replace one or two over the years! This tool alone will inspire you to take on DIY projects like a professional!~

3. Claw Hammer

Duh, yes, a hammer, THOR. There are obviously several types of hammers available. But for the basic hammer is the claw. Simple two uses, driving in and removing nails. I've used high heel shoes, paint cans, irons you name it- but let's get serious and just get a normal traditional real hammer. (gold loafers sold separately.)

4. Adjustable Wrench

Adjustable meaning you can use this for many uses- hence getting the most out of this tool and for the most projects- think putting together furniture to small plumbing jobs- yes, you are going to be doing plumbing jobs you will feel so accomplished! An adjustable wrench will fit a wide variety of nuts and bolts. Rules of size are basically, buy what is comfortable to use that's big enough to cover a large array of sizes, without being so big that it will be cumbersome on smaller nuts and bolts and breaks your arm every time you lift it. Anywhere from eight to 12 inches should get the job done with out your arm in a cast.

5. Retractable Tape Measure

I was deathly afraid of retractable tape measures, thinking they would slice up my fingers when they whip into retract mode. They don't. From the dollar store to Industrial grade manufacturers they all basically work the same. The most recognizable is the yellow and black ones from Stanley that have been making these for decades, and they are really durable. In particular, the PowerLock model is a great tape measure for using and non finger slicing. They're available in many different sizes which means and prices, but for the price difference, go for the 25'x1" model. The difference is in the size and length. No need to say more.

6. Needlenose Pliers (AKA Long Nose Pliers to get earrings out of sink drains)

Again, there are so many different types of pliers available on the market, all doing slightly different jobs. If you have ever made jewelry at camp, or bench wire for a craft wire flower project, you probably have already used these and like needle-nose pliers. These are great because they have more than one function like having a long reach (aforementioned sinks and washing machines) and the ability to twist small wires and objects. But as a the basic must have, these will serve you well.

7. Retractable Utility Knife

Just like the tape measure, I was petrified of losing a digit from a utility knife. Also, just like the tape measure, Stanley makes a great one. You will need a sharp knife for a countless array of DIY jobs, whether it's cutting wallpaper, wood veneer, or even breaking down an Amazon box! With a good retractable knife, you have safety as well as versatility, with a variety of different blades on the market available that do not make you think of horror movies.

8. Miter Saw or Saw Mill Kit

Speaking of fears, this is the least horror movie killer kinda saw there is - as it's stationary really- and not a stalk you in a forest saw. Why do you need this? Because it's awesome. This is what makes the great edges on moldings and can be used to make oversized frames. Hitachi, 10″ or 12″, sliding or not, can be used by beginners and it's not as expensive as you might think. Around $100 but do remember you need a stand.... that you can make yourself too. OR- a Nice little tool for quick use and small jobs. Like cutting and trimming in tight spots or the quick trims when you don't want to drag out big cutting tools. The adjustable depth is handy for cutting into drywall and old flooring without going so deep as to damage the wood sub-floor or beams and there is a nice vacuum componate as well for easier clean up.

9. Bubble Level

I am famous for eyeballing and then eye rolling my errors. For so many jobs around the house, you will need to make sure something is straight, even or level. Save yourself the agony of guessing. They come in various sizes, from as small as a few inches, all the way up to several feet. Make sure your level has three different bubbles inside, for vertical, horizontal, and 45 degrees. However, there are also APPS if you need a level on the go. The phone is not as good, but it's pretty reliable for being free, on your phone and in your pocket. Best for hanging artwork if it doesn't have to match a piece next to it.

10. Rechargeable Flashlight

At last, the much needed flashlight. When the lights go out, or the fuses blow, you'll need a flashlight instead of using your phone light....if it still has power! Basically, without a flashlight, you'll be groping around in the dark, and that's not safe at all. Now, regular flashlights are fine, but to be really legit....upgrade to a re-chargable one. You keep them plugged in, and are ready to go whenever something creepy happens. OR, you could dork out and use a headlamp. I found this is an easy way to be handsfree if you need to I don't know- screw in a lightbulb somewhere there's not light! I'm reusing mine from my hiking days.... see, not only practical- but I just got to humble brag I climbed Machu Picchu.

Have confidence and just jump in and try it! Or contact A.H.HOME and see how we can help you!

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