Getting To Know Sarah from @toolgirlsgarage

Sarah is a lover of power tools, saw dust, and big ideas. Follow her Instagram and Blog for her adventures in home improvement, woodworking, and homesteading.

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself and what got you started. How did you develop an interest in home improvement and renovation? What about homesteading?

A: I was really lucky to be raised around power tools and construction, It was a huge blessing that my Dad was so skilled that I had that exposure. When you see the possibilities that those skills can offer, it’s hard to resist the call to explore and learn. Much like construction and woodworking, homesteading adds another set of somewhat lost skills that I naturally gravitate to. Plus, being able to learn so much in my everyday tasks keeps me really engaged and excited! I think often, the desire to be self-sufficient and having a natural curiosity to learn is really the key to that lifestyle.

Q: Which project have you completed that you’re the most proud of?

A: Gosh, that’s a tough one! I love projects I build for others, because by building the table or renovating a space you get to be a part of their life story. It’s sort of a romantic take on it, which sounds silly, but it truly is a gift to be a part of their life! I am incredibly proud of our home too, as most every project involved my kids and taught me so much that I really find joy in seeing these spaces transformed.

Q: If you had to narrow it down, which 3 tools would you consider essential for every DIY enthusiast to have in their toolkit?

A: Love this one! I would say, a Miter Saw, and Impact and a brad nailer. Most projects could be built with those three tools, especially for a new homeowner or someone looking to tackle their own DIY projects!

Q: Do you have any tips or advice for someone who is just starting out with home renovation projects and wants to build their skills?

A: Expect mistakes. There is a lot to be said about the learning journey that will
happen over those first few projects and how you view your own success in it comes down to the anticipation of errors. Mistakes happen, but they’re also the best source of learning you can possibly find! Work through the bumps, make adjustments and learn to fix those mistakes and you’ll set yourself up to learn more than you thought possible.

Q: How do you balance functionality and aesthetics when planning and tackling a project?

A: I always design from a place of function first. I think really understanding what you need from a project is the key to good design. Something can be beautiful, but if it doesn’t serve a function or solve a problem in your home it becomes a trophy of sorts instead of really enhancing your home. Once I decide on the bones of a project that is needed, then I create ways to make it beautiful.

Q: What has been the most fulfilling part of growing your online community?

A: Building a community has really been all about building relationships, I have  found that embracing the different skills and experiences from those around us is a great way to expand our own. The support and encouragement through the community makes every single project more fun and amazing.

Q: How long have you been a CRAFTSMAN user? How have CRAFTSMAN tools helped to support your projects?

A: I’ve used Craftsman tools for as long as I can remember. I am pretty sure they were my very first tools I ever used. The memories of helping my Dad repair cars or tackle projects always have Craftsman tools in them! I 100% wouldn’t have had the confidence to do what I am doing without his example!

Q: What are the most common mistakes you see people make during home renovations, and how can they be avoided?

A: Mistakes happen. I think if you’re tackling DIY projects or renovations knowing when to call in a pro is important. There are just some thinks like plumbing or electrical that can be dangerous if not done correctly, so its key to know when something is maybe best left to the pros.

Q: How do you stay updated with the latest trends and innovations in homesteading and renovation?

A: Honestly there are always going to be new products in both the home space and In construction. Materials are evolving just like any other sector to last longer and provide better results. I am lucky to have a somewhat inside track to the industry from being in contact over the years with some of the best manufacturers in the business.

Q: What do you enjoy most about the process of transforming a space?

A: Gosh, there is a lot to love! I am still an old school sketcher, so even with 3D
Imagining, etc, I still prefer to sketch things out in a notebook. The moment you see something you drew come to life is pretty indescribable. Honestly there is no better feeling!

Q: Do you have any tips for someone who wants to start their own homestead but has limited space or resources?

A: Homesteads do not always require huge properties. I know people who have
done an awful lot of things with a standard size lot. Space helps, but making the most out of what you have is really the key. Grow only what you eat, so much space can be wasted by crops you won’t consume, so I have found that to be a key to making use of your space.

Q: Are there any specific home improvement or sustainable living trends that you're excited about or currently exploring? 

A: Definitely enjoying the new addition of beekeeping to the list of things were
doing, we own chickens and have a huge garden and orchard! I would love to look at sustainability, something like a solar system that could power our home or part of it would be great!

Q: Where is your favorite place to shop for CRAFTSMAN tools?

A: Always love a good Lowe’s visit!

Q: What advice would you give to someone who is considering transitioning to a homesteading lifestyle but feels overwhelmed or unsure about where to start?

A: There are so many projects that you can do! Just start small, expand as
needed or focus on setting yourself up for success in one or two areas rather than trying to tackle a dozen different things at once! This sort of ensures you can enjoy each venture and not become overwhelmed which is easy to do if you’re not careful. 

Q: Do you have any upcoming projects that you're excited about and would like to share a sneak peek with us? 

A: I recently had a major spine surgery and am still recovering, but slowing
down gave me a really good chance to brainstorm and enjoy the idea phase more than I have been able to in years! I have some really cool furniture ideas I am eager to bring to life, and have a bunch of shop organization projects to tackle too!

This or That?

Circular Saw or Miter Saw?
Miter Saw
Plan & Prep or jump right in?
A mix!
Corded or V20* cordless line? 
V20* Cordless!
Hand tools or power tools?
Power Tools
Beginning of project excitement or the finishing touches stage?
Traditional techniques or modern tech?
A mix!
Raised bed gardening or traditional in-ground gardening?
Raised Beds for veggies and plants, but in-ground for trees of any kind!
Stain or paint?
Neither if I have a choice!
Workshop or outdoor workspace?
Outdoor for sure! 

Sarah's Favorite Products