Five essential DIY tools you should own

We’ve all had that embarrassing moment when a friend comes round to help you assemble some furniture, asks where your tools are and you hand over a Christmas cracker set of mini screwdrivers. Owning a set of basic tools feels like the height of ‘adulting’ and over the years our tool collection has grown from one tool box, to a whole garage and two full vans filled with every tool under the sun.

As a London based building company, we’ve had extensive experience using thousands of different tools. It’s safe to say we’re tool obsessed. We’ve put the whole lot of them to the test in multiple different ways and we’re here to suggest the five tools everyone should own. We’ve whittled down the essentials so you can have a small, manageable but very useful set of tools for all your DIY needs.

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A flat headed screwdriver

A medium sized flat headed screwdriver is essential for every toolkit whether basic or extreme like ours. We’ve used them for everything from constructing bespoke furniture and fixing doors into doorways to tightening up handles on frying pans and opening tins of paint. Now there will be lots of people that say you should only use the tools for their intended use but in the interest of keeping your toolbox small and nimble you can experiment with the screwdriver to find other way that it could work for you. Got a cross-head screw but only a flat head screwdriver? No problem. As long as the flat headed screw driver can fit into a cross-head screw than you can still use it. No chisel? Have a go at using the flat headed screwdriver (please use with caution). You’ll find that there are an infinite amount of ways that you could put the flat headed screwdriver to use.

Some of our favourite screwdrivers are:

  1. Stanley CUSHION GRIP Screw Driver FLD 6.5MM X 150MM

  2. Stanley 065143 FatMax Screwdriver Flared 12.0 x 250mm

  3. Facom Protwist Screwdriver Set

  4. Draper DIY Series 28759 Ratchet Screwdriver and Bit Set

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Paint roller

Ok, we admit that a paint roller is not what most people would call essential but hear us out for a moment. Paint rollers are one very easy way to quickly change the look of a room. Now we’re not suggesting that you need to pull on the overalls, grab a full length ladder and start redecorating from top to bottom but, with a paint roller and some paint you can make a feature wall in any room of your house. It can quickly change the look and feel of a room with very little effort.

Here are a couple of our favourites:

  1. Cottam Paint Roller and Paintbrush Set

  2. Harris 4210 9-Inch Taskmasters Medium Pile Roller Set

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Tape measure

Everyone knows the old adage ‘measure twice, cut once’ and nowhere is this more important than home DIY. A simple tape measure is an invaluable tool for any toolbox. If you’re measuring up rooms, putting up some prints or trying your hand at a little shelf building you’re going to need a tape measure. Do not risk it, you will make a mistake. Measure often and measure accurately.

Here are some of our recommendations:

  1. STANLEY Tylon Tape, 5m/16ft

  2. Rolson 50535 5m x 19mm Measure Tape

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Power drill

A power drill is one of the more expensive tools but if you’re considering doing any complex home DIY then we would argue that it’s pretty much essential. It is not only useful for drilling holes in walls but it can also be used to as a chisel away at a variety of materials, and to tighten or loosen stubborn screws.

Here are some of the power drills that we would recommend:

  1. Bosch PSB 1800 LI-2 Cordless Combi Drill

  2. Terratek 18V Cordless Drill Driver, Sensational Electric Screwdriver set

  3. Makita HP457DWE10 Combi drill accessories with carry case

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Well we wouldn’t have a complete list without speaking about the humble hammer would we? Hammers come in handy for all manner of things from building furniture and hanging paintings to removing nails and even opening wine bottles (yes, we’re serious). Whatever the uses are, you’ll look like an amateur if you don’t have a hammer in your toolkit.

Here are the ones we recommend;

  1. Stanley Stht0-51309 16Oz Fiberglass Curved Claw Hammer

  2. Rolson 10334 8 oz Tubular Steel Claw Hammer

Well that’s it folks. A small but basic set of tools that you can use in all of your home DIY efforts. Remember that if you’re thinking of doing anything complex and need a little (a lot) of extra help, we’d be happy to come and assist.

Give us a call on 020 7427 6089 or email us on

Please note: some of the links on this page are affiliate links and though you won’t pay any extra, we will get a teeny percentage of the sales price.

Our top 5 tips for bathroom renovations

Renovating your bathroom is a great way to spruce up your home. Not only will it give your bathroom a new lease of life but it's also a great way to add value to your home. Bathroom renovations aren't without its challenges though and it's always a good idea to get some advice from experts. At Finethorp we have designed and built hundreds of beautiful bathrooms for our clients and we’ve got some great tips to help you if you’re considering a bathroom refurbishment. 

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1.    Finalise bathroom renovation plans before starting work

Make sure you have solid plans in place before you let your builder start work on the bathroom. Being able to talk through your plans with your builder can raise any issues before the work has begun. We’ve often been able to advise out clients on slight changes of design and making these changes before any work is started ensures that our client doesn’t incur any extra costs or waste any time making changes later on in the process.

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2.    Shop around

Don’t feel like you have to buy everything from one bathroom shop. Dedicate a bit of time to the search for bathroom ware and shop around for the best deals. As long as everything looks similar, no one will ever know that they’re not a matching set. You also shouldn't be afraid to haggle to get a bit of a discount. Often shops have ex showroom sets that they'll sell to you at big discounts which are still in excellent condition. This could help to save you money on all your fixings so that you can use it for other parts of the bathroom build, like labour costs.

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3.    Consider using smart tech

At Finethorp, we believe that the future of home innovation is smart tech and your bathroom is a key area of that innovation. Consider adding smart thermometers so that you can control not only the temperature of your underfloor heating and towel rails but also all of the other radiators in the house. In the long run this can cut the costs of your energy bills. Our team of heating engineers know the benefits of smart heating systems and they’d always be happy to have a chat with you about how it could work in your bathroom.

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4.    Find a reputable building company

You are investing your hard earned money into your beautiful new bathroom so you should take the time to find a reputable building company that will do the best job possible for you. At Finethorp we always provide references and even take our prospective clients around some of our current jobs so that they can see the quality of work that we do. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and get to know your builders, you’ll get a good feel for whether they’re the right fit by simply talking to them. And always make sure both you and the building company sign contracts before work begins. Finally, make sure your builder has insurance just in case the worst case scenario happens.

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5.    You get what you put in

Our final tip is that you need to understand that you’ll get what you put in. There are definitely areas of a bathroom renovation where you can shop around for the best deals and budget buys and they are a fantastic way to save money but you mustn’t try to save money on the workmanship of the build. There is great skill needed in building and fitting a bathroom to exacting standards but you have to pay a decent price in order to get those standards. It won’t matter how expensive your fitting are, if you hire a budget builder, you’re going to get a budget job.

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Are you considering renovating your bathroom? Feel free to contact us on as we're always happy to give advice and free estimates for the work.