45 Brilliant Gifts for New Homeowners
If someone on your list has just purchased their first home, there are all kinds of gifts that can make being a homeowner easier. Find the perfect gift for that new homeowner in our gift guide here!
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If someone on your list has just purchased their first home, there are all kinds of gifts that can make being a homeowner easier. Find the perfect gift for that new homeowner in our gift guide here!
Just because eggs are the quintessential breakfast food doesn’t mean how you cook them has to remain old-fashioned. This smart kitchen product allows you to cook up to 10 eggs at once to soft-, medium- or hard-boiled. You can also opt to poach four eggs in a special tray or make an omelet with as many as three eggs. And, with well over 1,000 reviews on Amazon, this egg cooker has an impressive rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars.
For foods like risotto, constant stirring can be a pain. With the Saki Automatic Pot Stirrer, you get to enjoy a hands-off experience. The innovative cooking mixer automatically and continuously stirs your sauces, soups and more. Featuring a unique two-arm design to ensure precision and balance, the product eliminates burned food and scratched pots and pans.
A solid smart kitchen product for newbies to air frying, this countertop appliance features a digital display, programmable timer and intuitive interface. The smartest part about this device is the unique TurboStar Technology that promises healthier cooking and frying. “Air is the new oil,” the brand says. “And now with the Philips Airfryer you can use that air to fry in a healthier way with up to 75% less fat!” It also comes with five presets for popular dishes and a warm function.
Traditional oven mitts are so bulky and awkward, it’s amazing its taken this long for an updated design to hit the market. The ‘Ove’ Glove ($24 for 2) is made from heat and flame resistant Kevlar material used by firefighters. The glove has a nice, snug fit and is great in the kitchen or out by the grill.
You’ll want to add this collapsible charcoal starter to the list of camping hacks you wish you knew about earlier. The starter heats charcoal quickly and is a great piece of equipment for grilling, tailgating, camping, beach trips and other outdoor activities.
Our editors here at TFH are great, but they can be messy. And I should know—I’m in charge of keeping our shop and studio clean. I run a wet/dry vacuum nearly every day, so I was pretty excited about the new 14-gallon Shop-Vac we just got. It has a flexible, crush-resistant hose and a hose storage system that actually works. Its 20-ft. cord is plenty long, and it has a hose accessory storage system that, again, actually works.
The canister is clear, so you know when it needs emptying, and the kickstand holds the lid up, so you can change the filter without dragging dust all over the place. But I love the wheels best of all. This thing glides across the floor like a curling stone across the ice.
Josh Risberg, Lead Carpenter
Here’s another product we received that initially elicited a shoulder shrug, this time from our senior editor, Travis Larson. His reaction changed once he started playing with it: ‘Hey, it can work as a flashlight or a lantern. Cool, it’s rechargeable and the cord stays attached so it doesn’t get lost. Wow, you can charge your phone with this thing. Neat, it has a magnet on the bottom as well as a hook.’ Needless to say, he was impressed.
You can buy the Cat brand CT6515 Rechargeable Utility Light/Lantern for about $32 at some home centers, hardware stores and online retailers. You can also find them at truck stops (truckers love them). Turn on that light bulb thought bubble of yours with other work light solutions.
The basic plunger design hasn’t changed much in 100 years, but that’s not because there wasn’t room for improvement. Witness the Korky Beehive Max Toilet Plunger.
First of all, the pliable rubber creates a better seal, so it clears clogs with no splash-back. Plus, more and more toilets have keyhole-shape rather than round discharge openings. Unlike conventional plungers, the Beehive reshapes itself to those keyholes, which also improves the seal.
Unlike many plungers, the water drains instantly because there’s no recess or lip to hold water or worse. The little T-handle at the top is a nice touch too. All of that plunging bliss will set you back only 11 bucks at The Home Depot.
Or if you’re toilet is running, find the fix for it.
Wandered down the caulking aisle in a home center lately? There are a dozen different construction adhesives to choose from: dedicated adhesives for masonry, wood, foam, decking, paneling, marble, mirrors, drywall—you name it. Multipurpose adhesives are available, which is great, but wouldn’t an all- purpose adhesive be even better?
That’s exactly what Gorilla Construction Adhesive is: all-purpose and all-surface. It takes hold in as little as 30 seconds and works indoors and out. Buy a 9-oz. tube of Gorilla Construction Adhesive for $8 at a home center or hardware store.
Check out construction adhesives that won’t drool.
The new line of LED lightbulbs from GE, simply called “C,” can be directly controlled with a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth — no central hub necessary. There are two types of bulbs in the “C” line: The “C Life” is an all-purpose light perfect for the kitchen, living room or office. The “C Sleep” bulb has been designed to support the body’s natural circadian rhythms, which can help you sleep more soundly. It emits a traditional soft light for the day; a warm, calming light before bedtime; and a crisp, energizing light in the morning. Using an app, the lights can be dimmed and set to a timer as a group or individually. When run for three hours a day, the bulbs should last 20 years!
You can start thinking about replacing lights in your new workshop area with LED lights.
I have a dog, a cat and carpeting, which is why the Bissell SpotBot is the best Internet purchase I’ve ever made. The SpotBot is a hands-free spot and stain cleaner. The coolest part about this thing is that it does all the work for you. Just fill it full of water and cleaning solution, park it over the stain, push the start button and walk away. It automatically squirts the special cleaner into the carpet, scrubs with a rotary brush, and rinses and sucks up all the mess. When it shuts itself off, the stain is gone, and I just empty the reservoir into the toilet. I love this thing! Search for the SpotBot 33N8A online or buy it at discount stores for $130. — Sam Larson, Field Editor
Be sure to have these pet cleaning tips in your back pocket as well.
I actually love the smell of gasoline—except when it’s on me. If I spill a little on my hands when I’m at the pump or fueling my lawn mower, I have to wash right away. But even after a wash or two, the smell seems to stay with me for hours. Not long ago, I replaced the carb on my snow blower and my hand got soaked with fuel. Later that day, I was in my local home center sporting a powerful eau de petrol when I came across Gas Off wipes by Briggs & Stratton. I opened the package right then and there, and by the time I reached the checkout my hands smelled like fresh linen. On my next trip to the store, I bought another pack to keep in my truck. I bought the 15-wipe pack for $5, but Gas Off is also available in single packs and in 8-oz. spray bottles. — Josh Risberg, Set Builder
Find out how to properly store gasoline.
When you’re pouring concrete near a house, it’s not uncommon for a bit to splash up onto the siding, garage door or window. It’s not a big deal if it gets washed off right away, but woe unto you if you let it dry. Removing cured concrete requires harsh chemicals or a whole lot of scrubbing and scraping.
Sakrete has come to the rescue with a product called Concrete Mortar Dissolver. Just spray it on and watch concrete or mortar dissolve. Thick messes will take a couple applications, but it really works. We tried it on some vinyl siding, and it performed as advertised. The best part is that it’s safe; safe enough to apply without gloves. It also won’t harm sensitive surfaces like auto paint. Some pro masons use it to clean their tools. Visit a hardware store to buy a bottle for $13, or locate a retailer at sakrete.com.
Find out how to repair motar joints.
High-density polyethylene plastic (HDPE) is tough, lightweight and weather resistant. It won’t rot and never needs paint. If those qualities sound good to you and you need a fast storage solution, consider an HDPE shed.
The 7×7 Rubbermaid Big Max storage shed shown here is big enough to store yard and garden tools, a pressure washer and a snow blower. And the sturdy floor can easily handle the weight of a riding lawn mower.
In just a few hours, and with the help of a buddy (who probably owes you anyway), you can build this maintenance-free shed. Assembly requires only a couple ladders, a few simple hand tools and afterward perhaps a cold beverage or two. The hardest part might be creating a flat spot in your yard.
The Big Max has lockable doors, and the HDPE panels are rugged enough to resist those wayward baseballs from the neighbor kid. It’s available at Home Depot and other retailers for about $600.
Find out how to fit everything into your shed.
Hanging bicycles from the rafters is a great way to save garage space. But even hanging bikes can take up a bunch of room. Here’s a cool space-saving product that puts a new twist on the humble bike hook. The Saris Cycle Glide is a system of hooks mounted on glides. Once the bikes are on the hooks, they can be slid closer to the wall on the glides that mount perpendicular to the wall. And because the hooks slide back and forth on the lower set of glides, the bikes can be nestled neatly together, taking up a lot less space.
This system also makes it easier to take down the bikes when they’re hanging over a parked car, a boat or a big mess like in my garage. That’s because you can pull or push the bikes clear of the obstruction before you lower it. I’ve been using mine for almost a year now, and I love it. You can buy a Saris Cycle Glide for $245 at bike stores or online. — Jeff Gorton, Associate Editor
If this style isn’t to your liking check out other bike storage ideas.
My wife recently brought home a pivoting toilet paper holder, which reaffirmed my long-held belief that it’s the little things in life that make us happy. The holder has a pivoting arm that lifts up but stays attached. That means no more chasing spring-loaded rollers around the bathroom floor. Buy this type of paper holder, made by a variety of manufacturers, at home centers or online. The Moen model we bought cost $26 at Home Depot. — Mark Petersen, Associate Editor
If you’re having problems with your toilet flushing, check out our repair tips.
The Moen Magnetix handheld shower is secured to the shower arm with a magnet rather than a clip. That’s quick and slick for me, but even better for my daughter, who can’t reach quite high enough to remove a standard shower wand. Aside from allowing her to shower ‘like a grown-up,’ the Magnetix line offers adjustable spray patterns and water-saving engineering. We’ve had ours for a year and wouldn’t give it up. Magnetix handheld showers are available in stores and online, starting at about $65. — Gary Wentz, Editor-in-Chief
This outlet cover plate with a built-in USB charger is as easy to install as a regular cover plate. You just shut down the power, unscrew the old plate and screw on the new one. No receptacle replacement required. The USB port gets its power from two prongs that contact the screws on the sides of the receptacle.
Step up your technology game but updating your home with smart appliances.
Sure, a funnel works great at keeping fluids from spilling all over, but when you’re done pouring and pull it out of the hole, the fluid leftover in the funnel drips all over the place. I use this Hopkins FloTool On-Off Refill Spout (No. 10101) to keep that from happening. I have one on my windshield washer fluid and antifreeze containers and one on my gallon jug of chain saw bar oil. There’s no mess and no cap to fumble around with—just twist and pour.
Hopkins FloTool also makes a Spill Saver Oil Spout (No. 10107) that fits quarts of oil. I’m not sure I know where my funnels are anymore. — Mark Petersen, Associate Editor
You probably don’t have a complete set of sockets and wrenches in your tool bag or the emergency vehicle kit under your truck seat. And you don’t have to if it contains the new Crescent Pass-Thru Adjustable Wrench Set. This compact tool kit features 10 spline-style sockets that work with hex, square and external Torx fasteners, from 10mm to 19mm and 3/8 to 23/32 in.
The pass-through sockets fit over protruding bolt threads and nuts mounted on studs, eliminating the need to carry deep sockets. For more grabbing power, simply replace the smooth jaw with the serrated side, and you’ve got yourself a pipe wrench, perfect for stripped bolt heads and pipes up to 1 in. You can purchase the kit at The Home Depot and other retailers.
Learn some tricks to loosen nuts, bolts and screws that are tricky.
Construction projects create an abundance of all sorts of filth: sawdust, insulation fibers, drywall dust, shingle grit, dirt. It’s everywhere. Sure, you’ll always have to keep a broom and dustpan in your truck, but consider adding a blower to your cleaning arsenal. It’s great for clearing floors during rough framing, blowing shingle grit or slippery sawdust off a roof, cleaning up that miter saw before packing up, blowing out the inside of your work truck…you could even use it to dust yourself off before heading home for the day.
If you’re already running the Milwaukee’s M18 battery platform, check out the M18 Compact Blower. It has three speed settings, a max airflow of 100 cfm and air speeds up to 160 mph!
Grilling gurus will love this high-tech meat thermometer from Meater. It has a longer Bluetooth to WiFi range extension, and it will alert you via the app when your food is done. So you can spend more time chatting with your dinner guests than watching your food cook. Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you have to stop grilling! Here are 11 tips you need to know about winter grilling.
You may think this Crowley Jones EV1850 Eye-Vac Pro Electric Dustpan represents the ultimate in laziness. But if you have back issues, this smart vacuum/dustpan is for you. Just set the unit to automatic mode and sweep the debris toward it. The motion sensor detects when your broom is within range and starts up the vacuum. Aim the dirt pile toward the suction port and the vacuum will suck it up. If you have pets, they may activate the motion detector when they walk by. That’s why there’s a switched manual mode to activate the vacuum.
Not so long ago, video borescopes were for pros only—nobody else could justify the high cost. But over the past couple of years, many manufacturers have jumped into the market with reasonably priced models. So peeking inside walls, appliances and engine compartments isn’t just for pros anymore.
The model shown (the General Tools iBorescope) is unique: Instead of having a small video screen mounted on the tool, it sends a wireless signal to your Apple or Android smartphone or tablet. Visit the manufacturer’s site to learn more, purchase it or check out other models. To shop for other brands, search for ‘borescope’ or ‘inspection camera.’
Investigate how to home inspect.
A little leak can lead to huge costs and headaches. That’s why there are water shutoff systems like the WaterCop control valve. Install it right after your main shutoff valve, then locate water sensors (sold separately) near the most likely leaks (water heater, toilets, dishwasher, etc.). If a sensor detects water, it wirelessly signals the valve to shut off. You can also install a temperature sensor that shuts off the water when indoor temperatures fall to 38 degrees F. That won’t prevent the pipes from bursting if they freeze, but it will prevent a flood. Visit the manufacturer’s site for more information.
Find you water main and gas shut off when you move in to a first home or new home.
These solar lights are a great addition to any home and can be helpful for new homeowner eager to show off their backyard patio into the evening. These lights are powered by a rechargeable lithium battery and can light up to six to nine hours once fully charged.
A cabinet like this can meet the needs for a lot of items including hardware and crafts. This model is 20 inches by 16 inches and has 36 drawers to store all sorts of goods. The drawers can be rearranged and the unit can be mounted all the wall. Check it out at Amazon for about $32.
If you anticipate storage issues as you look for a house, check out some of these storage solutions.
In the event of a blackout, the American Red Cross has a device that will ease your worries. The Blackout Buddy is an emergency LED flashlight, blackout alert and nightlight all rolled into one. It can be used as a flashlight at any time and its battery will run for up to four hours. It lights up automatically in the event of a power outage. You can pick up two for around $20 at Amazon.
Check out tips to survive a blackout as well.
Give new homeowners piece of mind that important papers will be safe in case of an emergency. The SentrySafe Fire and Water Safe offers advanced fire protection, it’s verified at 1,550 degrees F for a 1/2 hour. It’s also water resistant and tested up to 72 hours of water submersion. The safe also comes with an after fire replacement guarantee that SentrySafe will replace your fire resistant safe following a fire. Check it out at Amazon.
A knife sharpener can be an overlooked item for new homeowners until they suddenly discover that recently purchased knife set no longer cuts as well as it used to slice and dice. Nip it in the bud buy buying a knife sharpener like this one from AccuSharp. For $11 you might look like a cheapskate but who are the new homeowners going to think of every time they have to sharpen a knife to prepare a meal?
Lawn mowers and string trimmers can really beat up the bottom of wooden fence and mailbox posts. And that exposed bare wood can deteriorate faster and attract hungry insects. Now you can protect your 4×4 posts (3-1/2 x 3-1/2 in. actual size) with Post Shield rugged plastic sleeves. If your posts have already taken a beating, you can use the sleeves to cover the damage. Plus: This is the BEST fence post removal trick.
The four pieces are easy to install and are available in black, white and bronze. Click here to learn more about Post Shields.
When gas container safety regulations changed in 2009, many gas-can manufacturers produced nozzle mechanisms that were anything but user-friendly. But fortunately for consumers, the folks at No-Spill came up with a gas container that meets the new standards, is easy to use and includes features you’ve always wanted in a gas can.
First, the can has an auto-stop nozzle. Just lower the nozzle into your lawn mower tank and press the button. The flow stops when the tank is full. No more gas spills. Brilliant! And the nozzle is self-venting, so the tank fills much faster and without the gurgle-gurgle of other cans. Plus, no more guessing how much gas is left in the can. You can see the level through the viewing stripes on the container.
The No-Spill can is available in 1.25, 2.5, and 5-gallon sizes.
The Worx Aerocart manages to achieve several nearly impossible goals. It’s a powerful two-wheel wheelbarrow with enough strength to carry 200 pounds. Its highly advanced design helps to automatically center the load, making it easier to haul. You can also convert it to a dolly, add an accessory for hauling chopped wood and extend an arm to carry odd-shaped objects. This wheelbarrow will come in handy for almost any landscaping job. Buy it now at The Home Depot.
Ropes work great to secure tarps, but tying secure knots with the right tension can be tricky. The CamJams from Nite Ize have come to the rescue. Now all you have to do is anchor one end of the cord, run the other end through the CamJam; clip the CamJam to a grommet, and pull the cord—nothing could be easier!
Next, check out our expert tips for hauling stuff here.
Jumpstart some refurbishing projects for the new homeowners with some chalk furniture paint. Chalk furniture paint is a great way to mix up the style in your house without having to buy new furniture. Plus, you can transform it into a distressed look with a little additional effort.
When everything is done around the house, give the new homeowners something to relax in. This SEGMART camping hammock is just fine for the backyard after a hard day of housework. It’s ideal for two people as well, it’s rated to hold 600 pounds. Plus, it’s easy to lug around on camping trips since it weighs just 2 pounds.
The hard part of buying of buying the home is over for the first time homebuyers so let them bask in the serenity that is their home. They can enjoy the outdoors and listen to the soothing sound of water with this outdoor water fountain. Easy to use, it is powered by a 110V outlet and is just under 3 feet tall.
Find some more contentment by learning how to build a backyard water feature.
This Echo Chainsaw is going to handle just about everything a backyard is going to throw at a new homeowner. This chainsaw will cut logs up to 3 feet in diameter and is backed by a five-year consumer warranty. The chainsaw has a 18-inch chain and includes an anti-vibration handle.
Make sure you sharpen up on chainsaw safety before using one though.
If you hate cleaning and are looking for something to make the job less painful, this just might be the assistant you need. Black + Decker’s 36V MAX Lithium Stick Vac (No. BDH3600SV) is a cordless upright that’s fun to use and does a great job on carpeted stairs and in tight spaces. What’s even cooler is that it doubles as a handheld vacuum. You just pull the motor away from the handle to create a powerful handheld cleaning buddy. It works great around toilets and tubs — many people’s two least favorite spots. The cleaning wand on the handheld part extends another 4-1/2 in., making it easy to get into closet corners.
The fully charged 36-volt lithium battery lasts 17 minutes—an indicator light lets you know the remaining battery capacity. A lightweight upright/handheld won’t replace the full-size plug-in vacuum that for heavy cleaning (accompanied by heavy complaining), but it makes a midweek touch-up easy. Plus, you’ll love not tripping over the cord. The 36V MAX Lithium Stick Vac is available at home centers, many stores and online.