Filling Your Toolbox On A Budget
When planning your home renovation, it’s easy to gloss over the cost of renting or buying power tools. Use this guide to determine what tools you may need to complete your project and find out how to save money by shopping around for a good deal or renting the tools you need. Continue reading to learn how to fill your toolbox on a budget.
Budget-Friendly Tool Guide
Home renovations are an expensive undertaking, which is why so many homeowners decide to roll up their sleeves and do the work themselves rather than hiring a professional contractor. But when you decide to remodel your home DIY style, you don’t have access to the same pricey tools that a professional has in their arsenal. Luckily, there are a few simple ways to save money on power tools while completing your remodel. Read this guide to learn more about filling your toolbox on a budget.
Tools you may need for home renovations
DIY projects call for professional-grade tools. When you’re working on a budget but want your home improvement project to look as good as if you hired a contractor, you’ll need the right tools for the job. Here are some common power tools you may need for your home renovation project and an approximate price range for each:
- Circular saw: $50 to $1,200
- Ladder: Typically up to $600, but can be more expensive
- Nail gun: $30 to $900
- Oscillating multi-tool: $100 to $450
- Palm sander: $50 to $100
- Paint sprayer: $100 to $900
- Power drill: $100 to $1,000
- Pressure washer: $100 to $4,000
- Reciprocating saw: $150 to $2,000
- Table saw: $400 to $5,000
- Wet/dry (shop) vacuum: $50 to $750
Plus, you have to account for small tools and supplies like tarps, drop covers, paint supplies, protective gear, and handheld tools like pliers and hammers. While these items may not cost a lot on their own, they’ll add up fast when you’re working on your home improvement project.
4 ways to finance power tools for your DIY project
1. Buy your tools on a store credit card
You may be able to finance your power tools over a span of a few months by opening a store credit card wherever power tools are sold, such as Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Walmart. Many of these retailers offer some form of installment financing that allows you to break up your purchase into manageable monthly payments.
If you decide to go this route, watch out for interest rates. While certain hardware stores may offer financing options with 0% APR, others may charge double-digit interest rates just for financing your purchase. Plus, penalty APRs and late fees can make it even more costly if you miss a payment.
2. Rent power tools from a hardware store or equipment rental company
If you’re doing a larger project involving materials like wood, you might need some heavy-duty tools. When filling your toolbox on a budget, national hardware stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s offer power tool rental, plus there are likely specialty power equipment rental agencies near you, such as Sunbelt Rentals or something similar. Renting power tools gives you the ability to complete your large project the right way without having to invest thousands of dollars on power tools that you may only use a few times.
Renting power tools vs. buying them also comes with some additional benefits:
- You don’t have to learn how to maintain and store the tools.
- You won’t take up valuable storage space in your garage or shed.
- The rental company can guide you on how to use your tools properly.
Make sure to call around for price quotes to get the best deal on power tool rental.
3. Search for a deal on used tools online
FIlling your toolbox on a budget is now possible thanks to online marketplaces. These peer-to-peer social sites allow you to connect with people in your area, which could be a great opportunity to see if your neighbors are trying to get rid of power tools they no longer use. You may be able to find a good price on used power tools on websites and apps like:
Prices on these types of marketplace typically aren’t firm, so if it feels appropriate, you may be able to haggle with the seller for a better deal. When you meet the seller, take some basic safety precautions to protect yourself. Follow these tips for meeting up with sellers from internet marketplaces:
- Always meet in a public place. Going to someone’s home when purchasing from the internet can be dangerous, so meet at a public and populated place, such as a coffee shop or a park.
- Test out the tool. You may be able to get a good deal on used power tools if you buy them on an online marketplace, but you don’t have the same security of being able to return the item if it’s defective.
- Share your location with a friend. You can typically do this using your phone, but if you can’t use a smartphone, then just let them know the address where you’re going, when you’ll be there, and when you’ll be back.
- Bring a friend with you. There’s truth to the saying that there’s safety in numbers. If you’re feeling particularly wary, then have a friend join you when you go to make the purchase.
PRO TIP: Purchasing tools and supplies from an online marketplace is a great budget-friendly and sustainable option for medium-sized projects like furniture refinishing, upholstery, and DIY decor projects
4. Borrow what you need from friends, family, and neighbors
Before you shell out your hard-earned money for a power tool you may only use a few times, check with your personal network to see if anybody has the equipment you need. Ask around or make a post on social media to see if someone you know may have a certain power tool like a circular saw or pressure washer. Apps like Nextdoor let you connect with people who live nearby you, so you can easily connect with your neighbors and ask them if you can borrow the power tools and equipment for free or cheap.
When borrowing power tools from people you know, make sure to return them on time, clean construction debris away, and disinfect the item. Wear and tear happens, but you want to return the tool in the same condition you borrowed it.
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Erika is a writer based in Charlotte, NC. When she’s not educating consumers about personal finance, she loves binge-watching documentaries, tending to her houseplants and ordering too much home decor online. She spends her free time arranging and rearranging her dream space: Cozy and creative with all the modern finishes that make life simpler.