If you don't own the right tools for tackling a remodeling or maintenance project, you have the option of renting them or buying them outright. The decision is usually based on how often the tool will be used and its cost. If you need something like a drill, it makes more sense to buy one because it is a good basic tool that will be used over and over. If the project is a one-time occurrence, such as installing large porcelain tiles, you may want to rent a large tile saw instead of buying one. Here are some other projects for when rental tools can help make the job a success.
Refinishing wood floors. While a solid wood floor can last for many years, the floor's finish will wear out and require refinishing. A drum sander is the best tool for removing the old finish. If you have never used one, ask the rental agent to show you how it works. Before you start, make sure there are no nail heads protruding above the surface of the floor. Also, keep in mind that drum sanders are bulky tools that cannot remove the floor's finish close to the wall or in tight spaces, such as closets. For those areas, you will need a smaller, handheld edge sander. You’ll also need sandpaper, purchased separately, for both tools.
Carpet cleaning. For most jobs, you can rent a light-duty carpet cleaner. But for tough jobs, there are commercial-grade carpet extractors available. Both require special cleaning solutions, so be sure to ask about that at the rental outlet. To speed up the drying process, rent a carpet blower fan at the same time.
Painting projects. Painting rooms with high ceilings usually means spending a lot of time climbing up and down ladders. While roller extensions can help, another option is to rent a scaffold for interior work. You can adjust the height of the scaffold to your needs. Some are narrow enough to easily roll through a 30-inch door opening. If the project calls for removing old wallpaper, rent a professional-grade wallpaper steamer. They are messy to use, but if you prepare for the dripping water, they provide the quickest way to strip a wall of old paper.
Unclogging drainpipes. For stoppages that you would usually call a drain cleaning service for, such as one caused by tree roots in the main drain line, consider an auto-feed drain snake, which automatically advances and retrieves the cable. It's much easier to use than older manual tools. Many types have enclosed drums that cut down on the mess, but cleaning out a drainpipe is dirty work, so protect the surrounding area. Place the tool as close as possible to the opening, and wear heavy work gloves when operating the