My family is very fortunate to live where we do. Not only do we have several neighbors who we enjoy spending time with, but we know that we have friends nearby that we can always turn to for help. The people who live on our street have no issues asking for a cup of sugar or an extra set of hands during home renovation projects. However, sometimes these projects require tools we don’t have. If you have a good relationship with those in your neighborhood, here are 10 tools you can share with your neighbors to save money.
10 Tools You Can Share With Your Neighbors to Save Money
Working in construction, my husband has collected quite a few tools over the years. However, they don’t come cheap. Quality items run anywhere from $100 – $1,000, depending on what you need. And if he only needs them for a single job, it doesn’t make sense to buy them new.
Many people feel the same way which is why they are creating neighborhood networks and tool libraries to share resources and save money. If no one in your neighborhood has access to what they need, here are 10 tools you can share with your neighbors to save money.
1. Lawn Mower
One of the most demanding responsibilities for homeowners is lawn care. And if you have an HOA, they may have strict rules about the appearance of your lawn. Hiring these services can be expensive, but so is buying a new lawn mower. With prices ranging from $150 – $2,000, a new mower may not be in your budget. Therefore, it may make more financial sense to pool your resources and get one to share among your neighbors.
2. Leaf Blower
Having a leaf blower can make yard cleanup a breeze. Unfortunately, these time-saving tools cost an average of $150 each. So if you prefer to skip the back-breaking chores and the extra cost, splitting the expense will make it more affordable.
There will be times when you need a chainsaw to maintain your trees and clear away debris. Although it may be the best tool for the job, it does come at a price. Cheaper electric models start around $80, but sturdier gas-powered models could run you $350. So, if it isn’t something you will use regularly, this could be one of the tools to share with neighbors to help you save.
4. Gardening Tools
Although I’m not an avid gardener, I understand that gardening tools are essential for planting, maintaining, and cultivating. Without the right tools, it could damage your plants and add hours of unnecessary effort. But if you aren’t ready to invest in your own, sharing these tools could save you a lot of time and money.
5. Pressure Washer
Over time, mold, mildew, and grime will grow and cling to the exterior surfaces of your home and vehicles. Pressure washing not only keeps things looking new, but it will also help you maintain a cleaner, healthier home. However, it doesn’t make sense to spend hundreds of dollars for something you may only use once a year. Instead, talk to your neighbors to see if anyone would be willing to pitch in to reduce the cost of owning one.
6. Snow Blower
The winter months can be brutal in colder climates, especially if you don’t have a snow blower. Unfortunately, they aren’t an option for everyone since the average cost is around $950 for a new one. But if your neighbors are willing to share the cost and responsibility for snow removal, a snow blower could make this winter a little more bearable.
7. Extension Ladder
Most of us have the standard 6 ft ladder to assist with jobs around the house. On the other hand, people usually don’t have the need or space for extension ladders in their garages. But for those times when you need one to reach high places, buying an extension ladder for the neighborhood will make life easier.
Drills are one of the most commonly used tools around the house. Therefore, people usually own a cordless drill to help them with small projects. But if you need something to drill through tougher materials, you will probably need a drill with more power. Rather than renting them out every time you need them, you could purchase these tools to share with neighbors.
Although you may have a few saws, it’s important to know their specific purposes. While some are suitable for bigger jobs, others are more effective for detailed work and awkward maneuvers. However, if you don’t have the saw you need, it’s better to talk to your neighbors before spending money on a new one that you may only use once.
10. Air Compressor
Air compressors are highly versatile. They can be used for anything from inflating tires and powering tools to cleaning up after messy jobs. But even a portable one will set you back at least $100. And if you need a larger tank for bigger jobs, you could spend thousands. Depending on the models you are looking at, dividing the cost could be beneficial for everyone.
Considerations Before You Share Tools With Your Neighbor
Starting a neighborhood tool share makes environmental and economic sense. But before you jump in and start buying expensive equipment, here are a few considerations to keep in mind.
- Is it better to buy or borrow? Sometimes, it’s more cost-effective to borrow or rent tools for one-time jobs. But if you will use it often and have the room to store it, it’s probably better to buy what you need.
- Are there safety concerns? The person borrowing the tool is ultimately responsible for using them safely and properly. However, you should make sure they know how to use the tool and to wear proper safety gear.
- Are there terms and expectations for borrowing? To ensure no one abuses the system, you may want to set time limits and expectations for borrowing the tools. Although a verbal agreement should be enough, you can create a simple contract with the details.
- Who is responsible for damage or loss? It should be common sense that the person borrowing the tool is responsible for its care and safe return. If you are at fault, it’s in your best interests to replace it, no matter the cost. Although it will be an expensive lesson, you need to think about your relationships. Since you live next to them, shirking responsibility could impact the entire neighborhood.
Sharing tools can be a great way to save money and get the help you need for bigger jobs. If you aren’t sure if tool sharing is the right choice for your neighborhood, host a get-together. This will give everyone a chance to meet, gauge interest, and determine if it’s the right option for your neighbors.
- Save Money with a Garden
- Suburbia in the City? Pros and Cons to Bringing Suburban Life to Urban Areas
- 7 Surprising Costs of Living in the Suburbs
Jenny Smedra is an avid world traveler, ESL teacher, former archaeologist, and freelance writer. Choosing a life abroad had strengthened her commitment to finding ways to bring people together across language and cultural barriers. While most of her time is dedicated to either working with children, she also enjoys good friends, good food, and new adventures.