After your budget and timeline, the next important factor in your home improvement project is supplies. The cost of your supplies, tools and materials will affect the overall cost of your project. Their availability will affect your timeline and the quality of your tools will impact your finish and overall speed.
For these reasons, it’s important to invest serious planning effort into your project and make a full assessment of the materials you’ll need as well as the tools required to complete the job.
Here is a list of some of the basic supplies and materials needed for most home improvement projects.
1. Paint and Brushes
When setting out to paint a room, measure first so that you know exactly how much paint to buy. Start by calculating the square footage of the area that you’ll be painting. Each wall has a square footage; measure the length of the wall and multiply it by the height to get the initial number. Then add the numbers for all the walls together to get your total square footage. A gallon of paint, being painted as a second coat, usually covers about 300 square feet. A gallon of primer normally covers about 175 square feet of wall space since a greater percentage of it is absorbed into the wall.
If you’re uncomfortable with these figures or feel overwhelmed by the math, take your measurements into the paint store with you. The paint clerk will be able to quickly determine the amount of paint you need. If a room has large windows or doors, bring in their measurements as well.
Wood is a versatile material that can be used to build basic shelves or frame an entire house. Select a wood that’s strong enough for your project and will endure over time, and buy enough to complete the work. Base your project – whether it’s a deck, a fence or a shelf – on dimensions that are divisible by two and four; this will make selecting the right amount of wood much easier to calculate.
3. Basic Tools
Every home needs to have at least a hammer, saw, screwdriver set and a few boxes of nails. From there, your tool needs will depend on the types of projects you plan to tackle.
If you intend to to work with wood, consider purchasing a quality table saw or circular saw. If you anticipate doing a lot of do-it-yourself plumbing, you’ll need wrenches and some good soldering equipment. For redoing old floors or refinishing furniture, you’ll need a power sander. Almost every home improvement project has a specialty tool.
All these basic supplies are available in any local hardware retailer. For large items such as tools or large shipments of lumber, shop around for the best price before making a purchase.