(My favourite set of tools as I can use for both house related DIY fixes and also car repairs. It is easy for my kids to use to fix their own cabinets and book selves for their rooms. Image source: Lazada)
In the last 2 years, a number of my colleagues, friends and relatives had bought new houses and immediately set on renovation and interior decoration. However with the global pandemic where the future is uncertain, it pertinent for all to revisit on the idea of prepping the house so that you can depend less on others for simple fixes and works.
And if you have just moved into a new house, here are 5 essential things you need to buy or obtain in addition to the usual house renovations, interior decorations and purchase of new furniture and gadgets. This is based on my personal experience with prepping and DIY projects at home which reduces the cost and improved my personal experience.
(My initial objective of me setting up the storeroom is to store extra food and drink for emergency situations but it has gone beyond this now with my tools, first aid kit, tissue rolls and washing liquids. Image source: https://sofrep.com)
Dedicated Store Room
There must be a place in the house for you to keep your food provisions, tools, weapons and other emergency items. Some even have a separate room to survive a major pandemic. It is called the Doomsday Store Room. You need to find a nice corner of the house to be the storeroom – it can be one of the smaller bedrooms or the small room under the staircase (most Malaysian homes has this design).
My so-called doomsday storeroom is a small room under the staircase. It is not a big space so I need to ensure I only keep the essentials in the storeroom.
(A multipurpose ladder saves space in your house but at the same time, can handle different heights and angles. Image source: Amazon)
Handy Mobile Ladder
I have 2 types of the ladder at home – the first one is a small ladder which is tall enough for us to stand and reach the ceiling fan, lights, the cabinets and windows so that we can dust off and keep the place clean. This small low height ladder is useful if we wanted to replace the bulbs, starters (this is before we changed all to LED) and the fan’s capacitors.
It was enough for general repairs and cleaning in the house until we had a problem with the water tank. It was leaking but the tank was on the roof which we cannot access using just the small ladder. I know I need to buy the longer ladder which can be folded when it is stowed away. I bought this specific ladder which can reach the roof once it is unfolded. It was durable and was easy to use.
(Every home should have one – to ensure the home does not go dark and the pipes are not leaking. There are even stronger tapes than cheap simple Teflon tapes and does even a better job)
Extra Light Bulbs and Teflon Tapes
Always have spare light bulbs or LED lights in the storeroom – you will never know when you will need them to replace burned out bulbs- especially in the middle of the night. Don’t waste money or time engaging an electrician who will charge you through the nose for something that is simple and cheap.
You also need to keep a stack of Teflon tapes which will come in handy if you are replacing the tap heads or adding a new water hose.
(My dream toolbox looks like which comes with a full set of tools and gadgets in a nice metal, easy-to-use box. Unfortunately, I don’t have a large garage to keep the toolbox and a workspace for me to do my DIY projects. Image source: Sydney Tools)
Large Sturdy Toolbox
A long time ago, my uncle used to have a storeroom for tools – and there were stacks and stacks of the common tools, power machines, tiles, screws and nails. And he must have collected these over the years because the number of daily tools is high and rather redundant. There will be 4-5 hammers in the storeroom, too many screwdrivers in the toolboxes. There was a large working table in the room as well. In other words, an ideal workplace.
I don’t this luxury but nonetheless, a toolbox was necessary to keep all the DIY tools in one place – screws, nails, multiple screwdrivers, hammer, etc. And soon I had to get another toolbox as my DIY tools grow as I buy them for specialised works which also included minor repairs (such as putting up hot water heater yourself) and maintenance on my car. Then I had to get a full wrench set which came in its own handy toolbox.
(There are a lot of DIY videos or step-by-step guides when it comes to simple work that can be done at home. The problem is you need to have the burning interest, the right tools and time. Making friend with the nearest hardware shop would be good too)
Finally, something that you cannot buy from any store but it is something you can gain from reading books or watching how-to-do videos on Youtube. You can do a lot of simple repairs in the house that will save you time and cost compared to if you engage a contractor to do it.
When my bathroom sink keeps dropping from the wall due to a loose hook at the back, I checked online on what can be done. In the end, I got the idea to unhook the sink off the metal hooks and then unscrew the metal hooks.
The wall where the meta hooks were affixed had gaps so I went and bought a small bag of cement (I did not know that one can buy a good portion of cement for just RM1). I cemented the wall with the metal hook and left it to dry for a day. I reattached the bathroom sink and it has been solidly held on the place since then.
Another is when I found my ceiling fan started to turn slower and slower until to a point, the highest setting was a fast as the slowest settings. In the past, I would have deemed the ceiling fan as defective and would have shopped for a replacement. But then I learned to replace the capacitor for the ceiling fan and how that can fix the problem of the ceiling fan going slow despite at the fastest settings.
Everyone regardless of the house size needs to commit to some form of prepping and some degree of readiness to do things yourself. Of course, these 5 essential things is just a start and is not limited to only to anyone who is moving into the new house.
In fact, every home should have these key things in place and trust me, it will make home a place to be more dependable especially when one is looking to gain personal knowledge and cut down cost.