5 Gadgets for the New Homeowner

From laser levels to ray gun thermometers, Tech Talker reveals 5 must-have gadgets to help homeowners save money and time.

Eric Escobar
4-minute read
Episode #165

...after using the Nest, I can now see that its best feature is actually its ability to learn your habits, including when you’re home and when you’re away. The brain on this thing makes the heating and cooling in your house extremely efficient and easy!

It’s a pretty pricey gadget at around $250, but almost every review I’ve read - and my own personal experience - shows that the Nest quickly pays for itself in savings on your utility bills.

The Nest also has a sister product called the Nest Protect, which is a carbon monoxide detector and fire alarm rolled into one. The Nest Protect connects to the internet, too, and will let you know audibly (if you’re home) if it detects CO or a fire. What’s even more powerful is that it will also let you know if either has been detected when you are away from home.

Range Finder

A good friend of mine is an interior designer and she introduced me to the incredible digital Range Finder.

If you’ve bought a new house and you’re trying to measure a room for furniture or decorations, this tool is indispensable. You may be thinking that a normal tape measure would work just fine, but I’ve seen this range finder do things that no tape measure could ever do.

It can easily be used by one person over different elevation levels and is extremely accurate. Until I saw just how effortless and accurate this device was, I wasn’t quite sold. But now, any measurement I need to take - from just a couple of inches to over 100 feet - I trust to my Range Finder.

It’s also especially useful when trying to measure ceiling heights and lengths of stairways. You can even mount it to a tripod. If you think you'll be taking a lot of measurements inside your home (whether for a renovation or a redecoration), this device will make measuring anything extremely simple and accurate.

Laser Level

Last, but certainly not least, is a laser level. The one I’ve linked to has a particularly awesome feature: you can attach it to a tripod and use it to level everything in a room to the same height. It also comes with accessories that allow you to mount it to a wall.

This device is definitely worth it if you’re installing anything in your house or having work done - pouring cement, installing a fence, or just making sure all of those picture frames in the hall are level. In my opinion, this device definitively answers the dreaded question, "Does this look level to you?"

Well, that’s it for today! Be sure to check out all my earlier episodes at quickanddirtytips.com/techtalker. And if you have further questions about this podcast, or want to make a suggestion for a future episode, post them on Facebook.com/QDTtechtalker.

Until next time, I’m the Tech Talker, keeping technology simple!

Photo of level laser courtesy of Shutterstock.



About the Author

Eric Escobar

Tech Talker demystifies technology and cutting edge devices so that even the most tech illiterate can understand what's going on with their computer or gadget — and what to do when something goes wrong.