5 Tips for Starting A Neighborhood Tool Share Program

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

My husband and I moved into a new place this past week and have found ourselves painting, changing light fixtures and doing other basic fix ups to our new rental. One of the things that has made this process a lot easier has been the kindness of friends and neighbors and their wiliness to share their tools. Sharing tools saves money and space so it is perfect for every do-it-yourself-er. Get tips for starting a tool share in your neighborhood after the jump.

When you share tools with people you not only get the tool but most often you get some great tips too. Take the ladder we borrowed this week for example: in addition to using the ladder we got tips for cutting in a high ceiling with paint and some ideas for getting the old light fixture down.

If you want to start a tool sharing program yourself here are some ideas to make it successful:

1. Take an inventory of everyone’s tools. Figure out what everyone has to avoid future duplications.
2. Put together “tool kits”. We happen to have everything to do a light tile job, my husband’s parents have everything you need to paint. This way you can have one go to place for each job.
3. Chat with others before you purchase something. Often if a friend or neighbor has an upcoming job they’ll be willing to chip in on the tool cost. As for 10-20% of the upfront cost assuming they will use it later on.
4. Pay attention to space. If someone has a huge basement let them store the large items if they are willing, just be sure to label the items you own with your name to avoid future confusion when everyone forgets who’s is who’s.
5. Be flexible and help out. If everyone is refinishing their deck one summer make up a schedule and work with everyone on everyone’s projects. This will make it go faster and be more fun.

This is a great way to make friends with people who love home improvement and to save a bit of cash in the mean time.