The Self Build Self Help Site Some Good Things to Have

Obviously there are many useful and vital tools and materials to have, but this page focuses on just some of those which it would be difficult to be without and which you might not have thought of.

The number and quality of tools you need will also depend on the level of your involvement in the build. If you are keen to get stuck into building work then you will need to buy some of these but, if not, then at least you will know what the craftsmen will use. If you do intend to do the work yourself, then get your tools from specialist tool outlets - many of the tools in the DIY stores are a bit lightweight and not of the 'professional' grade.



If you do not have a source of electricity (and you won't on most plots of land - but you may have good neighbours) then a generator is almost essential. You could possibly do without by buying a petrol driven cement mixer, but having a generator means that not only will it power the mixer, but lights and other electric tools (some Toolbox logo tools will need to do heavy work and therefore cordless is a poor option), and a kettle! Get something like a 3000w output otherwise it won't have the oomph to power a cement mixer and kettle.

Angle Grinder

The ultimate is a petrol driven 12" (disc size) angle grinder (also known as cut-off saws, stone cutters or disc cutters), the best known of which is by Stihl. Being petrol driven means its easy to get to any part of your site, and the depth of cut is up to 4" - important if (usually "when") you have to cut through 4" concrete blocks. The petrol driven models usually can connect to a hose so that a water supply will reduce the amount of dust and lubricate the blade and therefore extend the blade life. The slight down side is its slightly more unwieldy than an electric driven, and sometimes temperamental to start.

The electric option is mostly a 9" model, where the depth of cut is usually a maximum of 3".

Another very useful angle grinder to have is for the smaller 41/2" electric models. Having one of these as well as a 9" or 12" is a good idea for the serious builder, where some work requires something a bit handier to use.

Sliding compound saw

Also known as a chop saw, although the 'sliding' variety gives a longer cut. If you are going to do a lot of the work yourself, get the best you can - in terms of depth and length of cut, power, ability to cut angles to the left and right and stability of the table.

Invaluable when it comes to 1st fix carpentry - cutting joists and the joist noggins, timber for stud partitions, rafters. Also invaluable for second fix, especially to cut mitres for architrave and skirting board.

Circular saw

Very useful for sheet materials, especially floorboarding. These range in size from 165mm, 190mm to 235mm. 190mm is a good size, larger than that and they can be unwieldy to use. There are a number of cordless models on the market but, in general, you don't go roving with these but use them where largish sheet materials need to be cut and needing to be plugged into a power supply is not too much of a problem.