Buying tools in sets dramatically reduces the cost, and you'll have a more complete selection when you need it.
What size do you need? Many experienced carpenters use a 16 oz. claw hammer for most jobs, but also carry a 20 or 22 oz. framing hammer for their heavier nailing jobs requiring big spikes. For lighter work, a 13 oz. curved claw hammer can be useful. Even a 7 oz. hammer will come in handy for smaller jobs like making picture frames.
When buying quantities of standard fasteners, such as screws or bolts, buy a full box anytime you will need close to a half box or more. The second half of the box will be virtually free. For example, 45 individual screws will usually cost about the same as a box of 100 screws.
How often have you been at the store, knowing you should pick up a filter, humidifier pad, vacuum bag or plumbing part, but don't remember the size or the part number? A solution is to make up a Òparts cardÓ the size of a business card to carry in your billfold. Write down the part numbers on it for all your home or equipment parts that need regular replacement, and add to it as needed.
The depreciation factor can help you out when you buy more expensive quality tools. A high-quality tool usually will depreciate less, as a percentage of its purchase price, than a lower-priced tool. This means you can use that quality tool over the years and, if you resell it, you recover a higher percentage of its cost than with a lower-quality tool.
Once you have invested in quality power tools, follow through with premium blades, bits or accessories to take full advantage of high-quality engineering. For example, if you try to get by with a cheap saw blade instead of a premium blade, a saw will not perform up to its potential no matter what you paid it.
Because of market competition, you won't go wrong most of the time if you go by price as a guide to quality when buying tools. If you're pondering whether to buy the $100 or $200 tool, go with the more expensive. Quality tools are a joy to work with and, properly adjusted, they will produce superior results. Also, it's less expensive to buy a quality tool the first time than to replace a lesser tool with a better one later on.
When you're shopping for new windows, first, look for the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) label; it means the window's performance is certified.
Look at the Climate Region Map on the Energy Star label to be sure that the window, door, or skylight you have selected is appropriate for where you live.