This year we’ve had a chance to play with some of the items that may be on your “I’m Gen-Y and I can finally afford a house, woo-hoo! more debt!” scenarios.
As you will find out, owning a home means that you can have more stuff and that you HAVE TO BUY more stuff to take care of the homestead.
Here are a few helpful items that may save you money, time, and aggravation.
1. MYCHANIC Sidekick Stool ($99)
The MYCHANIC brand is a hip, functional alternative to your dad’s tool brand.
It’s a combination seat, toolbox, shelf on wheels that is absolutely terrific if you work on a bicycle, motorcycle, car, or truck. It’s equally handy if you’d rather not spend $700 on a tool chest to hold your set of screwdrivers and one wrench. Either way, for $99 you really can’t go wrong.
I was honestly impressed with the Sidekick Stool. The wheels were difficult to install, and the instructions could be better, but otherwise I couldn’t believe there aren’t more of these types of products on the market. It’s quite literally the perfect garage gadget. It holds tools, gives you a place to sit, and moves around. Very cool, very well made, and very much recommended.
2. Milwaukee M18 Jobsite Radio (~$200)
As millennials start to take on home improvement projects, one thing becomes understood quickly: It’s not a jobsite without either country music or sports talk radio set to “dull roar” in the background.
If you guy power tools, Milwaukee is the brand I chose. The M18 series is powerful, affordable, and reliable. And the M18 Jobsite radio is the radio you want, because it also charges your 18 volt batteries.
Don’t make the mistake I made. Don’t buy the smaller radio for $99. It is great, don’t get me wrong, but while it runs on M18 batteries, it does not charge them.
I’ve long been a fan of Milwaukee tools. Bring this radio with you–maybe drop it a few times or spill some paint on it–and you’ll fit right in with the guys who wear tool belts as casually as jeans and t-shirts.
3. Shop-Vac 5986000 5-Gallon 4.5 Peak HP Stainless Steel Wet Dry Vacuum ($55)
Congrats, you’re a homeowner. You need a wet dry vacuum — AKA a Shop-Vac. Amazon’s choice is sensible. For $55, the Shop-Vac 5986000 gives you everything that I would recommend in a garage vacuum — low price, good power, and medium capacity.
The biggest mistake people make with these vacuums is that they guy a huge one, thinking they need all that capacity. They don’t. The Shop-Vac 5 gallon is more than enough for your spills.
You can buy a similar vacuum at most home improvement stores. Just keep it under $100 please.
4. Weber 61010001 Genesis II E-310 Grill ($699)
Spend money on a grill. Don’t go cheap. Buy a Weber. Get one with rolled steel cooking surfaces (not the “V-shaped” metal ones). You won’t regret it.
At $700, this is an investment. It’s also tempting to spend $200 on a big box special by a lower brand. The money catches up with you. Lower priced brands make up for their shoddy construction and rickety metal by adding 4-5-6 burners. Useless. Unless you’re cooking for an army regiment you need THREE BURNERS. Otherwise you’re either wasting propane, burning your food, or both.
I’ve tested grills for years. I recommended a Weber in my old Boston Globe column in 2008, and almost 10 years later, nothing has changed. Buy a Weber.