What’s In a Remodeler’s Toolbox
“With remodeling work, you have to open things up and assess what’s there and what needs to be done,” says Burske. “With new construction, all the plans are laid out ahead of time, so there are not as many surprises.”
“To move up the ladder,” says Burske, “you need to learn skills. Having someone to show you the ropes can be a huge help. Also, a basic remodeler’s toolbox is key to perform essential remodeling jobs.”
Burske says he began working 10 years ago as a laborer with a company where he was fortunate enough to have a mentor who taught him to do it all.
“My mentor was very patient and really took the time to explain everything to me,” he says.
Burske believes contractors should never stop learning new skills. “Listen to your peers, and remember all the little tricks they teach you,” he says. “Never be afraid to listen to someone else. My buddy, who I work with now, has shown me some different ways of doing things, and I’ve shown him others.”
Skilsaw 15-Amp 7¼-Inch Worm Drive Saw with Diablo Blade #SPT77W-22
If you want to be a legitimate contractor, you better have a worm drive saw. I wouldn’t even try to use other saws for cutting lumber on a daily basis.
DeWalt 20V Max Compact Drill/Driver #DCD780C2
Cordless drill/drivers are essential tools in a remodeler’s toolbox. I use this cordless drill/driver for just about everything. It’s smaller, so it fits into different areas more easily. It’s great for cutting door jambs or trim, because you can set it on the ground and it just vibrates back and forth to cut them.
Stanley 30-Foot Tape Measure #33-430L
There are cool tape measures that have a fat head to hook on top, bottom or side, which is great. But, they’re heavier, so the tape breaks. I’m a fan of a simple Stanley 30-foot tape measure. There’s no reason to carry anything bigger, in my opinion.
RIDGID 18-Gauge 21⁄8-Inch Brad Nailer #R213BNE
I like the tip on the RIDGID brad nailer. These nail guns have a big rubber tip, so it doesn’t scratch the lumber work you’re doing.
Estwing 25-Ounce California Framing Hammer #MRW25LM
A lot of people tend to like lighter handles, but I prefer a heavier hammer because its inertia drives the nail. Yes, it’s heavier to swing and might make your forearms burn, but you’ll have to swing fewer times.
Empire True Blue Professional Box Level Jamb Set #E75JAMB
The 78-inch model fits in a door jamb from top to bottom. The cool thing is that it has a lifetime guarantee. This is a huge deal, because you don’t want a level that’s not reading correctly.