The First Ever Tool Library Was Started In Columbus In 1976 And It’s Still A Life-Changing Service Today

The pandemic has put a big strain on nearly everyone’s finances, and thus homeowners of every income level have turned to DIY home maintenance.

Also, COVID-19 has us at home more than ever now, spending more and more time in our houses. Home projects that may have felt minor, have now become unignorable. Projects like fixing that leaky faucet, maybe doing some yard work – things you’ve been meaning to do, stuff that’s been nagging at you for weeks, if not months. Well, now’s as good of a time as any to do them, right? So, you decide to give it the ol’ college try, seems easy enough, right?

It’s easy to get frustrated by home improvement and maintenance, sometimes those online how-to’s are confusing, and sometimes home improvement projects require expensive tools that you’ll only use once. But still, those jobs have got to get done! So what do you do?

If you’re a Franklin County Resident, there are some great resources out there: The ModLiving Tool library, and the Columbus Landmarks association.

In fact, they’ve partnered together to create a program to help Central Ohio homeowners.

COLUMBUS LANDMARKS

Columbus Landmarks is a nonprofit in central Ohio focused on the preservation of historical Columbus. “Columbus Landmarks advocates for, promotes and preserves Columbus landmarks and neighborhoods,” according to their website.

One of their biggest programs is called the “Home Preservation Program” or HPP. This program is meant to assist homeowners with maintaining homes 50 years or older. It offers advice and resources for homeowners on how to navigate the trials and tribulations that can come with owning an old house. They also give advice on how to maintain, upgrade, and repair an older home, while still keeping within the architectural or historic character of the home.

Columbus Landmarks also offer workshops and instruction on how to do some repairs on older homes – albeit programming is somewhat limited due to the pandemic. Still, their website has a series of helpful instructional or informational videos for homeowners.

MODCON LIVING

“Modcon Living is a nonprofit organization dedicated to sustaining homes and neighborhoods by providing reliable, affordable home repair and modification services, while serving vulnerable homeowners.” – ModCon Living’s website.

Modcon Living is one of the most valuable resources for homeowners in Franklin County, especially for those who are lower-income.

“Safe at Home” is one of the most impactful programs they run. Volunteers and handymen have repaired more than 130 homes last year of low-income Senior Citizens and disabled Franklin county homeowners. The goal is to keep these homes safe for the occupants, so they can “age in place” or “care in place” in safety and dignity.

Similarly, the Mod Squad is a “Social Enterprise” of contractors and handymen in the service of being able to assist homeowners with repairs and maintenance. The Mod Squad’s profits go directly to helping more people in need in the “Safe at Home” program. The Mod Squad’s contractors are fully insured and bonded and offer quality service at very reasonable pricing.

The Tool Library is the pièce de résistance of ModCon Living. In it, more than 4,000 tools are made of use to Franklin County residents, for a very low cost.

Did you need a lawnmower or hedge trimmer? They’ve got it!

Eight-foot, ladders? They’ve got it!

Electric drills or saws? They’ve got those, too!

Any sort of home improvement tool you can think of? They’ve probably got it, don’t hesitate to ask!

Membership is straightforward and very fair. For regular (non-landlord) members, the fee is $40 per year, for one property. (Additional properties are $20 extra, per property).

For seniors and students, the yearly membership is only $20.

If you’re lower-income and the $40 is too great, Modcon Living has a “pay what you can” donation-based membership fee, which lets those who need it, still have access to the Tool Library. For those who may be in a crisis and need tools – this is incredibly helpful.

There are some late fees, as well as a $2 fee for gas tools and shop-vac filters.

If you’re unsure if you want an entire year membership, ModCon Living also offers 30-day memberships for $15.

Unfortunately, membership to the Tool Library is limited to Franklin County residents. But, ModCon Living does have plans to open membership up to surrounding counties in the future.

ModCon Living also offers membership to the tool library to other nonprofits, one of which is, you guessed it, Columbus Landmarks.

Columbus Landmarks and ModCon Living partnered together on October 24 to create the Tool Library Workshop. In it, Columbus Landmark’s “HPP” program combined with ModCon living gave an overview of what the Tool Library has to offer. Also, they were able to do a (socially distanced) hands-on demonstration of some techniques on how to repair common problems in older homes. This past session dealt with how to fix a leaky faucet.

Both Modcon Living and Columbus Landmarks hope to continue this new program – if both funding and the pandemic allow it. Hopefully, it continues, because they are both valuable assets needed greatly by Columbus area homeowners.

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