DIY home improvement sounds nice and all, but let’s face it: tools are expensive. They take up space. And odds are, you don’t know how to use them—at least not well enough to increase your home’s value by installing new flooring or leveling the yard.
Tool libraries like the PhinneyWood Tool Library remove those barriers. They lend out tools (for free) and even teach you how to use them. I’m not talking just little things like pipe wrenches and tape measures. PhinneyWood also lends air compressors, table saws, and lawn mowers.
The tool library has 1,910 types of tools available to borrow, and multiples of most of those. You can search through the online inventory, which spans automotive to electrical, carpentry to yard and garden. You want it? They probably have it, plus hundreds of other tools you’ve never seen anywhere before.
It’s a program of the Phinney Neighborhood Association (PNA), but you don’t have to live there to benefit from it. Located at 6615 Dayton Ave N, just west of Green Lake, the tool library is a quick trip from Greenwood, Ballard, Fremont, Wallingford. And if you’re willing to drive farther for free tools, you can! The only requirement: membership in PNA, which has a range of membership levels (from $100 to pay-what-you-can), offers other neighborhood perks, and has no location restrictions. One PNA member lives in Sugar Land, Texas.
To borrow a tool:
- Get a membership (you can sign up online or in person when you borrow your tools)
- Browse the online inventory, call 206-783-2244, ext. 48, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to see if the library has the tools you need
- Head to 6615 Dayton Ave N. (the east side of the Brick Building) to check out your supplies and learn how to use them
- Keep the tools for as long as you need (If you’re going to need them for a long time, the library asks that you let them know ahead of time)
The PhinneyWood tool library isn’t the only one in Seattle. Others include:
- NE Seattle Tool Library (Wedgwood)
- Sustainable Ballard’s tool library
- Sustainable Capitol Hill’s tool library
- West Seattle Tool Library
- SE Seattle Tool Library (Columbia City)
Each tool library has its own membership requirements and lending rules, but each one is free or affordable, flexible and accommodating, and just all-around helpful.
Little-known community resources like these exist throughout the city. After working in real estate here for twenty-nine years, we know how to introduce you to whatever you need to make your neighborhood like home: free tools, community organizations, schools, social groups, our favorite dog parks. We’ll help you settle completely into your new place. We don’t just help you buy a house—we’re transition specialists.