Choosing to invest your time and effort in completing construction projects yourself can lead to a real sense of fulfilment and pride, not to mention the fact that it can save you a lot of money. However, when you first get going you’re going to need to invest in some high-quality equipment in order to carry out the work. That’s why we’ve put together this guide on those initial essentials, and why you’ll need them.
Hard hats. Needless to say, anyone working in construction of any kind needs to invest in a high quality hard-hat. (There’s a reason that anyone without one will not usually be admitted onto a building site). Whilst we’re not aiming to be too harsh, the simple fact is that there are a great deal of things on a construction site that, were they to fall on your head, would kill you. A high quality hard-hat should be purchase numero uno for any self-builder.
Workboots. If there’s anything dumber than someone heading onto a construction site without proper, steel-capped workboots, then we don’t know what it is. It’s virtually impossible to carry out building work (even work of your own creation) without dropping things on your foot here and there. Safety boots will save you breaking one (or more) toes when the inevitable happens. Don’t get caught in your trainers.
General health and safety equipment. Whilst it might not always seem necessary if you’re working by yourself, a lot of health and safety equipment is extremely useful and can prevent serious injury. Do you fancy doing some close-up soldering without eye protection, or welding without gloves? We didn’t think so. Buy the very best equipment that you can afford, and ensure it conforms to your government’s safety standards. You’ll never make a safer investment.
High-five. To carry out most standard construction, you’ll need what we call the ‘high-five’ of equipment: hammers, power drills, screwdrivers, saws and attachments (ie, bolts, screws, nuts, etc). Whilst it’s a good idea to have a variety of each tool to cover a wide range of jobs, you should at the very least ensure you have one of each. Things like screwdrivers, of course, can be bought with attachments that mean you don’t actually need to buy more than once. As with any other item on this list, you should buy the best you can afford.
Materials. Whatever project you’re looking to spend your time on, you’ll need materials with which to work. Initially, this will largely be wood of various kinds. When you’re just getting started, it’s probably more sensible to work with lower quality timber: you’re almost definitely going to make mistakes here or there and you don’t want to be throwing away hundred dollar panels because you drilled in the wrong place! Of course, more serious projects should be constructed using quality woods – you don’t want to build a garden shed using rubbish timber, it will probably collapse – but make use of less expensive composite woods during those early projects.
Vehicles. For larger projects, it may become a necessity to use machinery. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that often it’s more sensible to consider leasing or somewhere similar, simply because you’re extremely unlikely to recoup costs through use on home projects.