I never realized going into the construction trades would be such an exciting journey. Of course, growing up in a family where my Dad was a carpenter and my uncles were all in home construction or home building and renovation probably set the stage for me. Early Saturday mornings often meant I was awakened and asked if I wanted to come help. I always looked forward to it. Usually Dad already had breakfast cooked and the truck loaded with all the tools we needed. I jumped out of bed, washed up and ate and off we would go for a new adventure.
My first recollections are of helping by going out to the truck every time a tool or some supplies were needed. I quickly learned the names of everything. Hammers, nails, wrenches, saws and so forth are pretty common but then there are also framing hammers versus finishing hammers, circular saw versus reciprocating saw, and so forth. It didn’t take long though, before I was quite well-versed on almost any tool name used in a wide variety of construction trades for home building or commercial construction.
When you have the right tool for the right job, it makes the whole process go a lot smoother. For someone just starting out in the building industry, it may be helpful to have a list of tools to get you started. Of course as you go along, you can add tools you need or that are specific to whichever building trade you want to specialize in. More on the different types of trades will be described later.
Basic Construction Tool List
Some of the tools you use the most often should be a regular part of your toolbox. Others can be rented from your local rental yard or tool rental supply store. Here is the list to begin with:
• Tool belt to hang around your waist and carry the small things with you
• 2 measuring tapes, one 30 foot tape and one 100 foot tape for bigger jobs
• A speed square and a framing square
• Lots of carpentry pencils and an effective sharpening method
• Carpentry crayons
• Framing and finishing hammer and possibly a sledge hammer
• A nice utility knife and good supply of blades
• Retractable chalk line, which can be used for many carpentry applications
• Linesman pliers and a selection of needle nose pliers and a variety of other sizes
• Torpedo level, 2 foot level, six foot level
• A cordless drill or cordless driver and reliable rechargeable battery packs
• Corded circular saw and/or cordless circular saw, plunge router, straight router, reciprocating saw and jig saw
• A portable table saw that can handle big or small cutting projects and a sliding compound miter saw
• An air compressor of appropriate size
• Framing nail gun with the multi nail size capacity
• Hand saw, finishing angled nail gun, hand saw and block plane
• Plumb bob, flat pry bar, chisel, and nail puller
• Sets of nails and screws
• A variety of different clamps such as pipe clamps, c-clamps and bar clamps
• Orbital sander and belt sander
• Screwdriver sets, socket wrench sets, wrenches, rakes, pick axe, air hose
Some of the building trades or construction trades you can choose from are as follows:
Plumber – A tradesman who does plumbing would be working to install piping systems in residential houses, maintaining pipes in commercial buildings or repairing plumbing systems in industrial buildings. This could include wastewater disposal, water distribution, gas pipefitting, irrigation systems and so forth. Licensed plumbers are certified gas fitters as well. They can install sewage systems, water treatment solutions, compressed air or for hospitals, medical gas systems. There will be plumbing fixtures to put in or remove, testing water or sewage pipes for leaks, interpreting plumbing blueprints and construction designs, and being aware of plumbing safety procedures. Residential plumbing repairs in Lethbridge may use computer-controlled devices and plumbing software on the job. They may be standing a lot of the time and need to be in good physical shape. They also need to be strong enough to carry large plumber’s tools and machinery.
Painters – A construction painter or residential home painter will do many of the same things. They will be applying paint, stain and wall coatings to the inside of walls, outside of buildings and many more applications. It’s important to cover the items in the room for protection so paint splatters don’t fall on the floor, carpet, tile, linoleum or stone floor. Drop-cloths, tarps and plastic sheets work well for this. When painting door jams, remove doors, electric switch covers, door knobs or anything else that might get in the way. The painter may need scaffolding and ladders to reach high places. Holes should be filled with plaster, caulk or other appropriate compounds, dried and sanded down before applying the topcoat of paint. There may be calculations made for the area to be painted and to determine how many gallons of paint to purchase for the job. Primers and sealers help the paint adhere to the surface. Paint and stain colors can be mixed or ordered in advance. Paint application requires brushes, rollers, sprayers and other finishing tools.
Plumbing repairs are important to have done as soon as there seems to be a problem. Otherwise the situation can become a bigger and more costly problem to fix. It’s important to be able to hire an established and professional plumbing company such as https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pRjA_eUIks. For plumbing repairs Lethbridge, if you’re not sure what certifications or regulations are required for plumbers, kindly visit the government website at http://www.mca-ab.com/.
HVAC Installation – heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems are called HVAC for short. These workers repair, install, maintain and replace hvac systems in homes and businesses. This is the way to make people feel comfortable because it controls cool, warmth and humidity. The worker may have a secondary degree obtained from a community college or trade school. These programs include air conditioning, heating, and refrigeration. There are also certificates available and licensing is required in some locations. They may work directly for residential homeowners or do industrial HVAC installation. Lifting heavy equipment and being good at time management are essential skills in this home building trade.
What does someone in the HVAC trade do in particular? Besides repairing or installing the heating or AC units, they may have to do some trouble shooting with humidity control, AC settings, and so on. They may be involved in the refrigeration industry. They work on maintaining the indoor air quality of a building, including schools, offices, hospitals, factories, apartment buildings, recreational facilities and many others.
To work in a bigger city in Southern Alberta such as Edmonton, Calgary, Lethbridge or Medicine Hat, an HVAC service technician would be expected to have a certain amount of their own tools and supplies. It does depend on what type of company hires you, but having some of your own tools is definitely an assett.
Some of the tools used by the best HVAC service in Lethbridge include:
- right and left-handed snips
- straight and off-set snips
- tinner’s hammer
- hand crimpers
- hand seamers or seaming tongs
- hand notchers
- offset duct stretcher
- snap lock punch
- a variety of lengths of hand folding tools
- duct puller
- combo drive tool
- electrical testing meters
- digital voltmeter
- duct knife
- strap gun
It does require a small investment to get started in this industry. However, it’s worth the initial cost, which will pay for itself in a short amount of time.
Bricklayers and Stone Masons – A brick layer may be creating chimneys, walls, structures, foundations or walkways. He may be making brick fences or working on industrial brick projects. Usually he works with a construction team but not always. It used to be there was only concrete cinder blocks or traditional bricks but now there are diverse materials to work with such as chunks of marble, structural tiles, terracotta blocks and much more. Some blocks or bricks are also made of gypsum, glass or other building materials. Mortar is the most common substance used to bind together pieces of brickwork. It must be the correct viscosity in order to properly stick the stones together. Needing expert assistance? Talk to the professionals at http://www.manufactorydirectstone.com/.
A masonry contractor is usually the supervisor for the project. Stone work may take place around the property or as a covering on the outside of the house. There is a lot of measuring and marking to do as well. A popular use of manufactured stone veneer is to cover a walkway in the front garden, around the fireplace, inside or outside archways, the front face of a home or business, and anywhere you want to make a lasting impression with a natural-looking material such as stone.
Manufactured stone, cultured stone, decorative stone and stone veneer are less expensive than you might think. They can be purchased locally and used to modernize the look of your home or commercial property and increase property value. Stone design can take the form of many different varieties to suit any style of building. We always wanted the look of manufactured stone veneer in Calgary. It was what “fit in” at the time. It wasn’t as important on our Lethbridge home because the stone look wasn’t as popular there.
Window Installation – one of the more popular brands for windows is jeld-wen. A window installer would be measuring and placing casement windows, patio doors, double-hung windows and many more styles. Some slide open and others are non-opening depending on the application. The window installation technician would fit pre-made and sized windows into the pre-cut and measured window openings on residential homes, commercial buildings and large industrial windows in buildings as well. Precision window installation requires level, weather-tight and leak-free seams. Usually there are several years of apprenticeship required. The technical skills and experience for professional window installers would also be important.