Beth Allen is the founder of HIPChicks. She runs workshops for women on Do-It-Yourself home repairs.
She says, "You can have a fabulous toolbox, that's going to let you handle most every DIY Project around your house for under $200."
She says the most-used tool is a screwdriver. She suggests getting a set with several sizes and heads for different screws. And a couple of hammers.
"I recommend a 16-ounce claw hammer. It'll handle almost any job you have going on in your house," Allen says. "But I also recommend that everyone owns a small 10- or seven-ounce hammer for those little things."
She also says you'll need both a small and a large level, a good 25-foot tape measure, an assortment of wrenches and pliers, a stud-finder and a utility knife.
She adds, "I think the most important tool every homeowner has to have is a cordless power drill."
She suggests an 18-volt drill, with two batteries for most homeowners -- although she says women who have smaller hands, the elderly, or people with disabilities may want to sacrifice some power in favor of a smaller 12-volt.
And though she picked out tools at the Home Depot, she says there are lots of other money-saving options.
"You can go to yard sales, you can go to thrift stores, and even Craigslist is a great place to find a lot of these tools," she says. "And it'll save you a big chunk of change."
To check out Allen's site and learn more about her HIPChicks DIY workshops, click here.
Here's Allen's Under-$200 tool shopping list (from the Home Depot):
Ryobi 18 volt Cordless drill w/ 2 batteries, case ($69)
Stanley 25 ft tape measure ($10)
Ratcheting Screwdriver/Drill bit set ($15)
Zircon Stud finder ($15)
Hammers, 16 oz. ($7) and 10 oz, ($5)
Levels, 3 ft. ($10) and 12 inch torpedo ($5)
De Walt utility knife ( $5)
Pliers, set ($15)
Wrench, adjustable ($10)
Screwdriver set ($7)
Husky Tool Bag ($20)