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  • Writer's pictureMatt Weber

Top 5 Tools Every Homeowner Should Rent

Whether you’re tackling a small honey-do repair, or taking on a major home-improvement project, having the right tools makes it possible to work on projects you never thought were possible, no matter your skill level. If you’re ready to tackle your next DIY project, but don’t want to go all in on purchasing multiple tools that you may only use once, renting the tools you need could be your best solution.

When making the choice between tool rental and buying, consider a few factors: storage, budget, and usage. Renting tools allows you to use the specific tool you need, for less money, without having to worry about it gathering dust in your garage or shed.

According to the American Rental Association (ARA), there are hundreds of tools you could rent for a variety of projects. The ARA has detailed the top five tools used by DIY’ers when working in and around their homes—floor sander, paint sprayer, power auger, ground tiller, and pressure washer—and what you need to know to get the most from these popular rental tools.

Floor Sander

If you’ve got solid wood floors, maintaining the finish is a must after years of wear and tear. Did you know that depending on the type of hardwood floors in your home, they can be refinished up to 10 times before a complete replacement is needed? Unless you have a friend or neighbor who owns a floor sander, rental is likely your best option since this equipment is expensive to buy. With a floor sander rental, returning the luster to your hardwood flooring has become a much more accessible project for the average homeowner.

There are two primary types of floor sanders: orbital and drum. Before tackling your refinishing project, it’s important to know the differences between the two sanders to properly complete your job.

Orbital floor sanders are more popular for DIY hardwood refinishing. An orbital floor sander allows you to reach the edges and corners, so in many cases renting an edger is not needed. Orbital floor sanders oscillate to sand the surface, eliminating the need to follow the grain of the wood as you work. If you are looking to remove deeper scratches, you will need to make multiple passes, which does take time.

Be sure to take your time, as rushing can cause errors. Moving too quickly, not waiting for the sander to reach the full speed before lowering it to the floor, or turning it off while it’s on the floor can all result in damage.

Drum floor sanders can make quick work of sanding but can be challenging to use for beginners and present the highest risk of causing damage.

Drum floor sanders require a constant, steady pace, following the grain of the wood. Changing pace or stopping—even for a moment—-can cause gouge marks or valleys. It’s best to practice on a testing surface for anyone new to floor sanding. An edge sander is often rented for the same projects as a drum floor sander to sand the edges around baseboards.

When visiting your local rental store, be sure to consult the rental professionals on which type of sander fits your comfort level and flooring needs. They can also help you with selecting the proper sanding grit and may offer training before you start your project.

Paint Sprayer

A fresh coat of paint can dramatically change a space, but not too many homeowners get excited about the thought of buying the rollers and drop cloths for a painting session. Renting a paint sprayer could be the answer to adding an accent wall or giving your kitchen cabinets a fresh color in less time, and with a professional looking finish.

Paint sprayers take a little practice, but once you’re comfortable, the result is smooth and much less time-consuming than traditional painting. With the time and energy saved using a rented paint sprayer, you can paint additional rooms, closet doors, shutters, patio furniture or anything else that needs a fresh finish or color. Paint sprayers are also an option for staining your deck or fence in less time and with less cleanup than a manual application.

With a variety of paint sprayers on the market, it’s important to have the correct one for your project. Be sure to consult the rental professionals at your local rental store on which type of sprayer you need. Some paint sprayers are equipped with multiple spray patterns and pressures and may require paint to be thinned for best results. Your rental partner may also assist with calculating the amount of paint needed based on the size and type of surface. For instance, one gallon of paint will cover about 150 to 200 square feet of wall when applied with a paint sprayer.

Power Auger

Ready to finally fix that sagging section of your fence or add a deck to your outdoor oasis? Save yourself time and trouble by avoiding the manual posthole digger and go straight for the power auger rental. The corkscrew-like machine can give you deeper holes for your fence posts or deck structure in a fraction of the time with virtually no back strain. Power augers come in one-person and two-person sizes, depending on how large of a hole you may need and what type of soil you have. A knowledgeable rental consultant can make sure you have the appropriate auger bits, bit extensions, digging bar and other accessories that you will need to complete your project successfully.

Rotary Tiller

Setting up a home garden or giving your grass a refresher has never been easier with a rotary tiller. Since this is a tool you only need once or twice a year, renting is ideal to keep coveted garage space available for other items. Rent a rotary tiller in the spring to loosen soil for planting season or to get a big yard ready for additional seeding or sod installation. Renting a tiller also allows you to spend less time digging deeper than is possible with a shovel, and when fall rolls around, you won’t be bothered with finding storage space in your shed.

Pressure Washer

Dirt, mold and mildew can live on the interior and exterior surfaces of your home, even if you can’t see it, which is why it’s important to keep your house clean. One way to revitalize a wide variety of outdoor surfaces is to remove years of dirt with a pressure washer. Pressure washers work by using a pump to increase the pressure of water flowing through the hose to help bring your home’s exterior back to life.

There are a lot of uses for a pressure washer, some that you might not even think of. Many homeowners use pressure washers for their driveways, as well as other concrete surfaces, to help spruce up the overall curb appeal quickly. Once your concrete patio or deck has been pressure washed, consider using the tool to clean your patio furniture to make it look brand new again. Another use of pressure washers is to remove dirt and buildup from vinyl siding, stucco or brick to clean your home’s exterior. Pressure washers can even get grime off your garbage cans without having to scrub them by hand.

With so many uses, how do you decide when to rent a pressure washer and when to buy one? If you plan on using it often, a pressure washer may be more cost-effective to buy. Storing, maintaining, or even winterizing depending on where you live, can be a hassle when owning a pressure washer. If skipping the storage and care required is a better option, look to your local rental store to rent a pressure washer as needed.

Best Practices for Tool Rental

DIY projects can pay off in many ways, but you still want your efforts to be efficient. Tool rental stores understand how important tools are to completing your projects as quickly and easily as possible. They offer tools for the most common DIY home improvement and repair projects as well as specialty tools. Not every rental provider carries the same tool and equipment inventory, so check around to find the best tools to match your project goals.

How to Find Rental Tools

Use or get the RentalHQ app to find rental tools near you. Enter your desired tool and location into the search fields to find local rental stores to meet your needs.

Editor's Note: This article appears courtesy of American Rental Association

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