As a property investor, you’ll have to deal with many do-it-yourself projects such as fixing faucets and replacing light bulbs. This means you’ll need to be familiar with a handful of handyman tools. While you don’t need to fill your garage with fancy equipment, it wouldn’t hurt to have a toolbox that has the basics.
In this article, we list the top eight tools that every landlord should learn how to use, as well as the tools that tenants should think about keeping in their garage.
Why Landlords Need to Learn How to Use Tools
If you’re self-managing your South Florida single-family home, you’ll likely have to deal with minor mishaps such as a leaking sink, clogged shower drain, and so on. Hiring a contractor can be costly, so it makes sense that you’d rather fix it on your own. Unfortunately, when you buy a home, that doesn’t transform you into Bob the Builder. Hence, if you want to avoid hitting your thumb with your hammer, you should learn how to use tools the right way.
If it’s too much of a hassle, you could always hire a property management company. It may be an additional expense, but it does mean you don’t have to spend your weekend fixing your tenant’s faucet.
Top 8 Tools That Property Owners Should Have
By learning how to use these basic tools, you can handle every type of home repair project. In the same way, your tenants can be ready for the regular upkeep that is expected of them.
Don’t know where to start? We’ve prepared a list of tools that everyone should have in their storage shed.
You should have screwdrivers of all shapes and sizes. Screwdrivers are multi-purpose tools that can be used to loosen and tighten almost anything, including smoke alarms, wall plates, and more. Ideally, you should purchase a set of screwdrivers as they contain all Phillips flat-head sizes. However, if that’s too “handyman” for you, a small and large Phillips flat-head screwdriver will do.
If you’re living in a compact space such as a condominium, you can save room in your drawer by buying a multi-bit screwdriver. This is a single screwdriver that has changeable heads.
#2 Tape Measure
If you’re planning on renting out a fully furnished apartment, prepare to do a lot of shopping. But before you drive to your nearest Home Depot, you need to take measurements of the walls, floors, and ceilings. That’s why it’s handy to have a tape measure that’s at least twenty-five feet long.
Tape measures are also useful if you’re replacing appliances in your unit. By accurately measuring out the available space, you can make sure that you order items that will actually fit.
Hammers are an absolute must-have in any home. However, with dozens of hammers out there, how do you decide which one to use? If you don’t have room for forty types of hammers, you can buy the basic curved claw. A curved claw hammer can drive nails into walls and remove them with ease.
A hammer is a powerful tool that you can use for a variety of home improvement projects, such as assembling furniture, hanging planters, and so on.
#4 Duct Tape
You know what they say — duct tape can deal with anything. This super-sticky tape patches up all sorts of household items, such as shattered mirrors, broken faucets, and more.
While duct tape is the King of Tapes, it’s important to remember that duct tape should be used for temporary fixes. You should still contact your property management company so that they can properly address the problem.
Pliers are the perfect multi-purpose gripping tool. There are plenty of pliers out there, but the most commonly used are the channel-lock pliers, needle-nose pliers, locking pliers (vise-grips), and lineman’s pliers. Here’s what each of them is designed to do:
- Channel-lock pliers are perfect for adjusting and gripping pipes and valves.
- Needle-nose pliers can squeeze into tight spaces.
- Locking pliers are great for gripping.
- Lineman’s pliers or electrician’s pliers are used for stripping wires.
Power saws are scary and not to mention dangerous. To avoid turning your life into a real-life horror film, stick with a handsaw instead. From trimming trees to cutting plastic pipes, a handsaw (or hacksaw) is a handy tool that you should have in your storage shed. If you’re a rental property owner, learning how to handle a handsaw can save you hundreds of dollars on repairs.
Be careful, though! There were approximately 30,000 saw-related injuries in 2005. That said, you might want your tenants to avoid handling a handsaw themselves. To be safe, ask your property management company to hire a contractor. Chances are, they have a network of vendors that offer a variety of services at an affordable rate.
What’s the point in having tools if you can’t find them in the dark? You will likely be fixing areas in poorly lit areas, such as in the attic or basement. To be able to see what needs to be repaired, you need light — and a lot of it. Flashlights are a must-have in any household as they also double as emergency lights in case of a power outage.
If possible, buy a rechargeable flashlight instead of a battery-operated flashlight. Rechargeable flashlights can provide eight hours of light on a single charge.
It’s a good idea to “gift” your tenants with a plunger when they move into your South Florida rental home. Instead of calling your property management company in the middle of the night to report that the toilet won’t flush, they can try to use the plunger to see how (and if) things go down — literally.
Plungers are incredibly easy to use, which means your tenants can figure it out regardless of their age. Even first-time student tenants can use it without having to Google a tutorial.
The Bottom Line
By keeping these basic tools in your toolbox or storage shed, you can be ready to handle repairs at your South Florida rental home. As you put together the perfect toolbox, remember that property management companies exist to take that burden off of your shoulders. Luxury Property Care has been helping South Florida property investors maintain their homes for decades. Call us today at (561) 944 – 2992 to schedule a meeting with our property managers, or fill out our contact form to learn more.