The tools and kit that you need if you’re starting a renovation project.
One of the questions I’m asked most frequently is, “I’ve just bought a renovation, what tools do I need?!”. If you’re just about to embark on your renovation journey, these are the tools and kit that we’ve found most useful, or that we wish we’d had at the time.
We were lucky enough to be able to borrow quite a lot of equipment from family and friends before we started. It’s definitely worth asking around to see what you can borrow, even if it is just for a short time. The saying ‘buy cheap, buy twice’ is definitely true of DIY kit too. We know we’re in the renovation game for the long-haul so we’ve invested in decent tools and safety equipment over the last two years, and I’d recommend this approach to anyone else who’s just about to start.
Most of the links here are to Screwfix. I’d never stepped foot in a Screwfix until I started this renovation, and now we go at least once a week, sometimes multiple times a day! It’s like Argos for DIY kit, and much cheaper than other DIY warehouses.
Personal Protective Equipment
Facemasks – invest in a well-fitting, comfortable facemask, with the appropriate filters for whatever work you’re doing. We have several different brands and models including these ones from Screwfix.
Goggles – we learnt early on how important it is to invest in good goggles. We initially had goggles like the kind from school science class, which did not stand up well to 100 years of ceiling filth falling on them! I’d recommend some goggles like these from Screwfix.
Gloves – buy lots of work gloves. In all different sizes and for all different jobs.
Ear defenders – an essential piece of kit for the noisy jobs.
Work clothes – I wish I had invested earlier on in some decent work gear, instead of ruining my favourite jeans and trainers! You can pick up safety boots and trainers for quite cheap, and I’d say it’s worth investing if you’re going to be doing a lot of the work yourself.
Impact Driver and Combi Drill – these can be picked up individually or as a twin set. We have the DeWalt twin set.
SDS Drill – we bought one of these early on and it was very useful for chasing out the walls for the electrics.
Multi-tool – a particularly handy tool for loads of jobs.
Orbit sander – we have lots of different sanders, but the orbit sander we used early on to get the walls smooth after removing wallpaper and woodchip.
Fluke pen – this little tool has saved our lives MULTIPLE times. I’m not exaggerating! Please buy one!
Industrial vacuum – we made the mistake of buying a domestic vacuum from Facebook marketplace which we broke it within 30 minutes! We’ve had one of these Titan vacuums from Screwfix ever since and it’s not failed us yet.
Laser level – they’re expensive, but if you’re right at the start of a renovation project, they’re worth the investment in our opinion. It’s also worth getting a really good spirit level.
Pry/nail bar – these smaller bars are so useful for lots of jobs, particularly demolition.
Stanley knife – always useful to have, and make sure you buy a pack of blades too.
Lump hammer – so much easier to use for demolition than a claw hammer.
Tape measures – they say that in London you’re never more than 6ft away from a rat at all times. In a renovation project, you’re never more than 3ft away from a tape measure at all times! Invest in a couple of good quality ones.
Flood light – this is definitely one of those tools that we didn’t know we needed until we needed it! We were borrowing a flood light until very recently, but then we were sent this light from Gtech to try out, and so far so good! (ad-PR product)
Hop up – this is great, especially for decorating. You’ll need step ladders too, we’ve found these easy enough to pick up second-hand from eBay and Facebook Marketplace.
Extension leads – you will definitely a few extension leads, and reels.
Carpenter pencils – so useful, and you’ll lose 90% within the first week!
Sandpaper – we’ve always got big rolls of 120 and 80 grit sandpaper on the go.
Rubble bags – these bags are what you want in any demolition stages of a renovation. We’ve had too many heavy duty bin bags split with dust and rubble going everywhere!
Tool storage – depending on what space you’ve got, and how many tools you have, we highly recommend getting your tools organised as best you can. This tool tote has been one of the best investments we’ve made (pictured).
Flexible buckets – these are a lifesaver when clearing rubble, moving tools between floors, mixing plaster, and cleaning. I think Screwfix do some more heavy duty ones, but Amazon have lots of options (affiliate link).