Must-have tools for renters
More people are renting their homes these days due to soaring house prices and the size of deposits required to secure mortgages.
If you’re a renter, you may think there’s little work for you to do on the property as it’s all the landlord’s responsibility.
But, as you’ve probably already discovered, there are dozens of small jobs you will need to do for yourself – many requiring tools!
From hanging pictures to securing a loose towel rail, putting up curtains to oiling a squeaky door hinge, those little jobs keep cropping up. A basic set of tools will make keeping on top of them a lot easier.
Here’s Wonkee Donkee’s guide to the top tools for tenants - the total cost of the tools including VAT is £98.35 (£81.96 excluding VAT):
|So many items are held together with or adjusted by screws that an existence without a screwdriver is hard to imagine. A few people seem to get by without buying one – but only because they borrow someone else’s. One screwdriver probably isn’t enough – at a minimum, you’ll need a flat-bladed and a star-shaped (Phillips) one, or a screwdriver set with changeable bits that includes both types, and maybe a few more, too.|
|There are so many situations in which a sharp tap with a hammer is required. A hammer can help with picture hanging, pinning the backs on self-assembly wardrobes and cupboards, and a myriad of other jobs. But don’t get carried away – hammers can make nasty dents if not used sensibly.|
Maybe you want a shelf to fit an alcove, or need to estimate how much wallpaper you need for a room (if your rental agreement permits you to decorate). To arrive at sizes and quantities, you need a measuring device. With one of these measures, you’ve got it taped – it’s quick and convenient for most types of measuring.
The shelves looked straight when you put them up. But when you stood back, they turned out to be listing to starboard – or was that port? You could claim DIY artist’s licence, but a level would have ensured the accuracy you really crave. Avoid trouble with a bubble.
Have you noticed how many things in the home are held together with bolts that have hexagonal sockets? Beds, tables, chairs, storage units – sooner or later you’ll need to tighten or undo something. Get ahead of the game with a set of Allen, or hexagon, keys.
Nuts and bolts hold our world together. If something needs adjusting or replacing on your bike or your roller skates, or on certain appliances, a spanner that fits is essential. An adjustable spanner, although it has some limitations, fits most normal nuts and bolts. Buy two and you can hold the bolt head still while you undo the nut, or vice versa.
Making holes in walls, or any other part of your rented home, is not a guaranteed way of impressing the landlord. But if it’s OK for you to hang pictures, put up a bathroom cabinet and do other jobs that require drilling, then go for it! You might get a free set of bits thrown in with the drill – and, if it’s a drill driver, it doubles as a screwdriver, so you might be able to take item 1 off the list.
|WONKEE'S TIP: Check your tenancy agreement before you start drilling – some agreements forbid you making holes in the walls.|
|Okay, we cheated here - oil’s not a tool. But a can of light oil (normal nozzle or aerosol) should quickly silence that squeaking hinge or unstiffen a reluctant door lock. It's also great for lubricating some tools that have moving parts.|
|It's in the bag! Or rather that's where your tools should be when you're not using them. A bag keeps them in one place so they're easy to find, and it and protects them from possible damage. And when you move on to a new rental or your own property, a bag makes it easier to take your tools with you.|
WONKEE'S PARTING TIP FOR TOOL BUYERS:
Once tool-less neighbours get to know you’ve got a set of tools, be careful who you lend them to. You may never get them back! Best to advise people to get their own – from Wonkee Donkee, of course!