20 Tools Every Homeowner Must Have

If you adore tools or just have to stock a simple toolbox, here are the top 20 crucial items to receive your little project done. How many do you have?

Connected: 14 Power Tools for Your Home Shop

Philips screwdriver. A Philips or X-shape screwdriver is most likely one of the most frequent tools in almost any toolbox. If you have a have a handle that takes interchangeable tips, you can cover a wide assortment of screw types and dimensions.

Flathead screwdriver. A flathead or directly screwdriver is invaluable; most light switch plates utilize screws that are straight, for example. Having the right size flathead may make a difference, so begin with at least a set of three (small, medium and big ) to have the ability to handle most jobs.

Tape measure. Your tape measure is crucial for estimating material quantities, figuring out placement of items, and calculating floor plans and furniture dimensions. It is almost always a good idea to measure more than once to make certain you’ve got it right.

Level. Some folks are good at eyeballing whether something is level or not, but this tool takes all of the guesswork away. It takes only a slight mistake to create things look off-kilter.

Utility knife. From cutting paint round windows that are stuck closed into opening boxes, scoring drywall or even trimming the edges of carpeting, the applications are so many that you’ll be surprised how you ever got by without one.

Hammer. Pounding nails, pulling nails, crowbar activity, tapping items into place — it almost goes without stating why you will need hammer. A costly hammer is lightweight and long; its own leverage can help you once you take that wall down.

Putty knife. A putty knife is great for scratching dry glues and paints and for dispersing putty, paste and spackle. Possessing a 11/2-inch dimensions for scratching and a 5- or 6-inch one for spreading is helpful.

Nail collection. A nail place is utilized for hammering nail heads below the surface of the timber, so that you can then fill the hole with wood putty and sand itto create the nail vanish. This way the hammer never has to create an ugly dent in the surface you’re pounding.

Combination square. This multiuse tool may confirm 90- and – 45-degree angles for miter cuts, quantify depths and short distances, and also is great for scribing a direct line. It also has a vial to make certain that your job is level or plumb.

Pliers. The serrated jaws of pliers help with holding objects firmly, in addition to with pulling, pinching or bending metal.

Adjustable crescent wrench. There is a screw built into the mind of the wrench; turning it adjusts the size of the opening, so that it fits onto most any hexagonal nut. Turning a nut with pliers only strips the borders, making it harder and more difficult to get a good grip when tightening or loosening it.

Cable stripper. This wire stripper includes a blade for cutting cord to the proper length and several notches for scoring the insulation round wires of varying dimensions, which may then be pulled off. Wire needs to be exposed without the plastic coating to produce electrical connections.

Hex key application (or Allen key). Many screws, particularly bikes and assemble-it-yourself furniture for which a flush screw is essential, utilize hexagonal sockets. Multiple hex key dimensions can be purchased separately and the leverage on those is better, but a jackknife-style place like this provides all you need in 1 tool.

Power drill. Drilling suggests generating holes, along with a power drill is the ultimate luxury when tired hands have turned a lot of screws. It adapts not only to drill pieces to bore holes, but also to each kind of screw-head bit, making bigger projects go fast and with less muscle. Just be cautious to stop when the fastener is tight so that you do not strip the screw head. Don’t skimp on this instrument — you will appreciate having a good deal of power.

Electrical cable. A rocky, well-insulated indoor-outdoor power cable for high-amp tools can help you expand the limited cord of your tools to your job site — and it’s acceptable for yard work too.

C-clamp. This instrument may hold pieces of metal, wood, or plastic collectively once you want to paste, saw or file them. Use a thin shim between the clamp and the thing you’re working on this clamp doesn’t mar the surface.

Flashlight. Needed repairs may occur in dark, cramped spaces as well as when the power is out. Additionally, everyone loves to help by holding the flashlight for you. They do not work without batteriesso have extras on hand.

Ladder or step stool. Painting, reaching the lightbulb, shifting fittings, trimming the hedge, stringing lights, getting into the loft and a lot more activities require the aid of a ladder.

Broom and dustpan. When projects get messy, save your loved ones broom from harsh debris from having a committed set.

Music. Every job is made easier with music or talk radio. That is the reason why hardware stores sell radios, although these are more rugged, with rechargeable battery packs that may also be used on your cordless tools. More rocky means when you drop your hammer onto it, you simply pick it up and return to work.

More: 14 Power Tools for Your Home Shop

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Gorgeous Desert Hillside Home in Arizona

When building a house on a gorgeous desert hillside, you have some significant website planning and technology to think about. When designing a house nestled into the side of a rocky hill outside Phoenix, architects Jon Bernhard and Mike Wetzel of Swabuck Partners knew they had to bring in the engineers and the big trucks — large trucks filled with massive boulders. The boulders assured that the hillside was stable and kept its natural beauty, and they enhanced the way the house and its built landscape related to the spectacular surroundings.

The architects have been”guided by the owners’ appreciation for outdoor living as well as the qualities the native desert offers,” says Bernhard. Single-slope, computer-engineered roofs accompany the slope of the hillside. “The deep roof slopes fit and follow the mountain slope, and cantilevered terraces soften the home’s imprint on the property,” says Bernhard. “This light touch on the website is further symbolized with the usage of desert colors, textures and by blurring the line between the indigenous and the man-made by participating boulders and landscaping within the living spaces.” This included integrating water, which cascades down the hill and appears to continue upon the terrace and out beyond the entrance.

All the interior spaces take full advantage of the natural lighting and surrounding views, and it’s hard to understand where the insides end and the outside begins. Both inside and outside, spaces range from towering and receptive to small and intimate.

Since this house transitions so easily from front to rear, side to side, and inside and outside, it’s only fitting that we will be hopping from outside to inside and back out again along this tour.

at a Glance
Who lives here: A family of five
Location: Outside of Phoenix, Arizona
Size: 19,000 square feet; on about 5 acres; 4 bedrooms, including a guest house with 1 bedroom and one bath
That’s intriguing: Some of those boulders added into the website proved so big that they had been brought in singly on their own trucks.

Swaback Partners, pllc

An axis of water ties the front of the house to the back. A waterfall flows down from the top of the hill, and due to this axis, there is an illusion that it flows beneath the rear patio, is brought through the house and terminates at this fountain.

Swaback Partners, pllc

The single-slope roof structures follow the slope of the hillside, making the house seem to be a part of the hill. The municipality didn’t need a three-story structure, so a garage is cleverly tucked underneath the primary living floor (far left side of this picture ), even though a master suite occupies the upper floor over a different portion of the house (toward the ideal side of this picture ). The construction you find on the far right is another guest house.

“We implemented boulders into the sides of the walls along the drive to make it seem like it was carved out of the hillside,” says Wetzel.

Swaback Partners, pllc

The main entryway is an inviting gem box also makes the most of local materials and light. The entrance door consists of 5-inch-thick mahogany panels floating between layers of laminated glass. A grid of 21 panels of onyx appears to float across the entrance. During the day the sun glows through; backlighting provides a warm and inviting glow at night.

Swaback Partners, pllc

The front door is aligned with an expanse of glass that opens out to the backyard and a view of the hillside. The grid of onyx hovering overhead highlights the axis in the front entrance to rear. The water also highlights the link by the hillside waterfall into the fountain in the front.

Swaback Partners, pllc

An individual can follow the water out of the pool and fountain out front into the pools round the rear entrance and up the hill.

“The hillside was reconstructed to stabilize it,” clarifies Wetzel. This meant that the existing hillside was covered in a geotech mesh for security, and boulders were brought in and proceeded to pay for it. The team engineered the waterfall found previously, which offers soothing sound and brings the eye up to the top of the hill.

Swaback Partners, pllc

Through the front door, a gallery-like hallway leads to the fantastic room.

Swaback Partners, pllc

At the excellent room a grid of Fossil Creek flagstone highlights verticality. “The 24-inch by 24-inch grid lines continue up to the swimming pool and the guest house,” says Wetzel. This is one of those design moves that joins the inside and exterior design.

Swaback Partners, pllc

The towering ceiling in the excellent room articulates the hillside-driven incline of the roof.

Swaback Partners, pllc

“The indoor design and the outdoor architecture each speak for themselves, but they also blend together really well,” notes Wetzel.

Swaback Partners, pllc

The entrance terrace leads from the garage level up into the front door. The guest house is located on the ideal side of this image.

Split-face Mesastone adds purple-haze colors in the mountain into the facade and introduces a different feel. Weathered penny copper adds to the glow overhead.

Swaback Partners, pllc

Pocket doors open the fantastic room up to the entrance terrace. Large cantilevers offer shade from the Arizona sun, keep the house cooler and make terraces. In addition they produce a transitional space that continues to blur the lines between inside and outside.

Swaback Partners, pllc

“Substantial lengths of glass and clerestory windows offer natural daylight during every room in the house,” says Bernhard. “Floor-to-ceiling glass and also the avoidance of finish-material changes at exterior wall lines deliver expansive indoor-outdoor living environments.”

Swaback Partners, pllc

The sheets of glass that you see about that breakfast area are pocket doors, which transform the enclosed room to an al fresco dining space with a few straightforward slides.

Swaback Partners, pllc

The kitchen picks up on a darker desert palette that includes Red Dragon granite and Wingate black cabinetry. Smaller-scale components, like the backsplash tiles, make a more intimate feel.

Swaback Partners, pllc

In a house so receptive to the exterior, solitude is essential. Metal mesh sunglasses provide it in this powder room.

Swaback Partners, pllc

A bedroom opens into a mountain patio and abuts 12-foot by 18-foot boulders. “We placed each of the boulders to look natural and not contrived,” says Wetzel.

Swaback Partners, pllc

Constructed up into the hillside, this bath enjoys a grand view of the boulders.

Swaback Partners, pllc

“Anywhere we can monopolize on integrating the natural light to the inside, we did,” says Wetzel. Case in point: The deficiency of risers on such white oak staircase opens up the view to the large window at the landing.

Swaback Partners, pllc

Upstairs, a sitting room in the master suite gets the top floor its own retreat.

Swaback Partners, pllc

“We altered the grid in the master bath to make it more human scale,” explains Wetzel. The 24-inch by 18-inch limestone highlights horizontal lines, while green slate presents a new substance and cooler colors.

Swaback Partners, pllc

“The master bedroom has a to-die-for view,” says Wetzel. “You seem out to the mountains and will see the city lights in the distance.” To take advantage of this opinion, a motorized 12-foot x 15-foot doorway opens into a private patio that has a fire pit.

Added soft light comes in the Sapele mahogany ceiling coffers.

Swaback Partners, pllc

The view from the top of the hill to the backyard is spectacular. An upper patio with its own fire pit provides an intimate, tucked-away outdoor area and a view of the city lights at night.

Swaback Partners, pllc

The designers made certain that the tint of the patio’s cement matched the landscape.

Swaback Partners, pllc

Well-placed boulders cleverly conceal an outdoor shower, providing solitude yet keeping the open-air feeling.

The job took 20 weeks from begin to finish, including all of the extensive site work. “On a job like this, it’s always scary at the start to see how much has to be done. It is an excellent feeling to receive it right, down to the tiniest details, and execute something outstanding,” says Wetzel.

Architect’s Toolbox: Wash the Wall With Sunlight
Gracious Hacienda in Mexico

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Mood Makers: Small Rooms, Spacious Feel

Many decorators like to keep their secrets to themselves but I’m not among them. Over the years, I’ve learned lots of secrets for earning a space feel larger. Even the smallest area can seem more spacious if you’re privy to some little empowering information. (Not all of the chambers below are tiny, incidentally, but they show the principles)

Abbe Fenimore Studio Ten 25

The main thing to remember is that the more floor space you can see, the larger the room will look.

MANDARINA STUDIO interior design

Keep areas beneath furniture free and clear to make the region feel larger.

Cornerstone Architects

This distance is not modest, but it shows how keeping the floors color exactly the same from room to room furthers the feeling of spaciousness.

Eleven Interiors

Remove your area rugs and scatter rugs. Unbroken floor space always makes a room look larger.

Frederick + Frederick Architects

This includes tub mats in the toilet — couple of things make a toilet room look smaller than chopping up the flooring with tub mats. There’s a reason you don’t see them in design magazines.

Jump the skirts on upholstered furniture. Incorporate Lucite or glass tables and pieces.

Dream House Studios

Let your light shine! A well-lit room always looks larger. Let from the organic light and include lots of attractive artificial light in the form of hanging light fixtures, sconces and lamps.

CWB Architects

Mirrored furniture and framed mirrors reflect light and distance — use them to your advantage in a small room.

Mary Evelyn Interiors

Install French doors, get rid of heavy window dressings and banish your sheers to make your room feel more spacious and open.

Kristie Barnett, The Decorologist

Tall pieces of furniture from the far corners of a room draw back your eye and make the room look larger, especially if the furniture is light-colored, such as these white armoires (click photo to view full view).

Michael Abrams Limited

This interior exemplifies how the warm, neutral wall color throughout a spacious floor plan, together with lots of different light sources, draws your attention all over the space and expands the sense of size.

Tell us How do you create your space sense larger?Share your tricks from the Remarks section below.

Small Space Trick: A Great Big Mirror
Ideas for a Smaller Bathroom

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Renovation Detail: The Eyebrow Dormer

Celebrity fun facts collect, and one of my favorites is that Whoopi Goldberg does not have eyebrows. She goes from eye to hairline. It does not hold Whoopi back at all, but eyebrows are important — they break up the forehead and put in curvaceous interest to somebody’s facial structure. So when a home comes along with a large grand roof, sometimes you’ve just got to add an eyebrow dormer.

Eyebrow dormers have a low profile and raise a wave in the plane of a roof’s shingles. Originally made for medieval thatched roof cottages, the eyebrow dormer was created to welcome light and add ventilation. However, eyebrow dormers were made popular in the United States when shingle-style architecture emerged in the mid to late 1800s. Mainly seen in New England, eyebrow dormers were utilized as an enchanting visual apparatus to break up the extended expansive roofline of beachfront shingle-style homes.

Today, eyebrow dormers are found on houses of all shapes and sizes. And while they’re expensive to install and complex to make, if a gifted craftsman is up for the challenge, they will drastically enhance your home’s look.

TEA2 Architects

Centered above the front entry, an eyebrow dormer breaks up the extended expansive roofline on this lakeside shingle-style house.

CG&S Design-Build

An eyebrow window has been cut to the roofline to flood this converted loft with daylight.

Daniel M Martin

Numerous eyebrows produce an undulating wave effect.

Thomas Rex Hardy, AIA

The eyebrow is treated as a separate roof on this pool home, with all the curve coated in weathered copper.

CG&S Design-Build

The curvaceous lines of the eyebrow dormer offset the sharp summit of the house’s front gable.

Reynolds Architecture- Design & Construction

An eyebrow dormer unites with angled cross balustrades, a cupola and cedar shingles to make an exterior rich with architectural interest.

Asher Associates Architects

Multiple dormer fashions can work superbly together on a home’s exterior. On this particular coastal New Jersey house, an eyebrow and a shed dormer team up.

Asher Associates Architects

Feast your eyes on this superb cathedral ceiling featuring a set of eyebrow dormers.

TEA2 Architects

Centered above the front door, an eyebrow dormer breaks up the wide monotonous roofline on this lakeside home.

Melaragno Design Company, LLC

A eyebrow dormer graces this Arts and Crafts–moved residence and melds beautifully with the home’s knee braces and square feet.

Jeffrey Dungan Architects

Reminiscent of a thatched cabin, this house goes back to its basics.

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