Equipment You Need

We thought we'd put together a page of equipment you need for renovating an old house. We've learned by trial and error what we need to have on hand. So here's a list of what you should just go ahead and buy (or borrow).


  • A Shop-Vac. We purchased it originally to clear a clogged drain, but it has been indispensable for doing just about everything. Just believe us and buy one.
  • A ladder. Needed for lights, painting, trim, cleaning, etc. 6 feet tall is the perfect height for indoor work.
  • A set of basic tools; here's what we've found most useful:
    • A full screwdriver set
    • 2 hammers (two to save you from having to hunt one down)
    • 2 measuring tapes (same)
    • Vise grips (immeasurably useful for getting nails out)
    • A wrench set, with small wrenches
    • Basic pliers and channel locks


First off, you should probably have a licensed electrician do your electrical work, especially if any of it makes you uncomfortable. But, if you are fairly handy, doing basic work like switching outlets is fairly simple. And it really doesn't take that many things to do it.

  • A digital multimeter is invaluable for testing outlets.
  • Needle nose pliers, wire strippers, and a couple of screwdrivers.
  • Electrical tape.


Flooring Removal

Buy an appropriate floor scraper. Even if you don't think you need it. Buy it.