If you believe everything you see on TV and the internet, you might think no home is complete without a tricked-out workshop. Sure, there are some intrepid DIYers out there whose homes look like something out of Norm Abram's New Yankee Workshop. For the rest of us, though, the closest thing to a home workshop is a kitchen junk drawer jammed with a few hand tools.
The sweet spot is somewhere in the middle - a well-organized tool bag (or cabinet, if you're lucky) with all the essentials to keep your home in good working order. What should the collection include? We put that question to the pros at HomeAdvisor. Here are seven must-haves:
1. Tape measure
What for? You only need to have one living room sofa not fit through the front door to realize the value of a good tape measure. Besides furnishings and large appliances, use it to measure room sizes for paint and carpet purchases, or windows for curtains, blinds and other coverings.
Buying tip: A 25-foot tape is plenty long for basic household measurements; look for one with a thumb-operated blade lock, handy when measuring longer distances.
2. Cordless drill
What for? The one power tool on our list, a cordless drill will help you zip through a variety of tasks, from hanging shelves to assembling furniture.
Buying tip: A general-use drill with a 12-volt battery will deliver plenty of power for most household tasks, and it will cost hundreds less than the heavy-duty, 24-volt models designed for professionals.
3. Screwdriver set
What for? Even with a cordless drill, you'll still need screwdrivers on hand to occasionally tighten cabinet pulls, outlet covers and the like, or to pry the lid off a paint can.