My neighbor and I have an interesting arrangement when it comes to tools: he buys them and I use them. Seriously, assembling a full contingent of exterior home maintenance tools may not be something you have in mind, but they’re useful items suitable for handling a variety of home chores. Some items, such as a flat bar may not even be on your list of must-have tools for the home — although such a tool is useful for roof repairs, which explains why you don’t have one.
Let’s take a look at the tools you’ll need for the home’s exterior and how you might put each one to good work:
Carpenter’s level — Sometimes referenced as a spirit level, this handy device can help you determine if your new gutters are plumb. Useful inside too with balancing a clothing dryer, hanging shelving or making sure that hallway portrait is positioned just right.
Caulk gun — The best way to apply caulk to any seam or opening is with a caulk gun. Look for one that is “drip-free” and unless you’re a professional handyman the cordless adhesive dispenser is likely overkill.
Combination square — If you work with metal, stone or wood, then a combination square is right for you. Useful for measuring angles, this tool is often used when working with carpentry as in putting up those pretty flower boxes your wife wants on the front of the home.
Hack saw — Whether you need to cut wood or metal, a hacksaw is also useful for cutting PVC piping. As in the above ground drainage pipe from your pool to your sewer line.
Hammer — It goes without saying that a hammer is useful for many different projects. On the roof, you can whack protruding shingle nails back in place. On your shed, a hammer or a mallet can can keep your sliding door aligned with one gentle tap.
Hammer stapler — Do any roof work and a hammer stapler is useful for installing house wrap and roofing underlayment. You may not need this tool except for when you put on a new roof, so borrow or rent a hammer stapler when one is needed.
Hand saw — A circular saw is ideal of handling most carpentry jobs, but the hand saw is perfect for smaller jobs and outside work. A crosscut handsaw can cut a tree limb or if you’re cutting a door jamb. Rafters and outside stairs, rigid foam and timbers are also candidates for hand saw precision cuts.
Locking pliers — You might already own a pair of locking pliers, useful to handle an assortment of interior projects around the kitchen, the laundry room and in your work room. They’re also very handy for outdoor activity centers and play sets, as well as for fixing a sagging gutter or to fix an entrance door.
Putty knife — Loose paint is best removed with the care of a putty knife. Of course, if your home has brick, aluminum, metal or vinyl siding then you won’t be using a putty knife on it. Still, look around the frame of your entrance doors and you’ll likely see exposed wood with paint that will one day chip and need to be scraped away.
Ratchet wrench — Sheds, garages and other storage buildings are where a ratchet wrench can come in handy. You’ll also use such a wrench for something else that you keep outside: your car. The next time your car battery needs replacing, you’ll be looking for this tool.
Rivet gun — Also known as a pneumatic hammer, a rivet gun drives rivets. Homeowners with home with metal siding can certainly benefit from this useful tool, as can anyone that owns a metal shed.
Siding zip tool — Are you tired of your home’s current siding? A siding zip tool is what you need to quickly remove aluminum or vinyl siding and to install new siding. Very useful if your siding works loose after a wicked wind storm and requires securing back in place.
Tape measure — Anything that needs to be measured including gutters, downspouts, front and side doors, stairs, windows and siding requires an accurate measurement. Opt for a stainless steel tape measure of at least 16-feet or much longer if you need to accurately measure the width and breadth of your home.
Tin snips — If you work with sheet metal, then tin snips can come in handy as you make straight, round or curved cuts. Where is this tool particularly needed and useful? For working with the flashing on your roof. Also a needed tool when working with air-conditioning and heating duct work.
Wire brush — If it is flaky or rusty, a wire brush can come in handy for preparing a surface for repainting. Gutters, down spouts, wrought iron railings, a mail box and exterior furniture are among the surfaces that can benefit from a wire brush. Use in conjunction with sandpiper to get the job done.
Assembling tools that you’ll use on the outside of your home can be a wise investment. And if your neighbor comes to borrow what have you, make sure that your name is painted or chiseled in prominent place to remind him that the tool does, in fact, belong to you.