Tools and tips to help you build your house.
This is my cutting instrument of choice even for straight line cuts in 2-by lumber. I use this when the 2-by lumber is too wide or too long to easily fit on the chopsaw.
Wherever possible (ie the lumber is not too long or wide) it is best to use a pillar drill rather than a hand held drill because it makes holes that are exactly 90 degrees to the timber face. This means the hole is in the same location on the back side as the front side.
It is worth having a range of ladders of different lengths. It is best to use a ladder that is not overly big for the application because moving a big heavy ladder is a real pain.
For use with polystyrene walls it is good to make a wooden top cap to spread the weight and avoid denting the polystyrene.
Unlike most builders, I don't use a hand held circular saw for cutting. What I use it for is cutting grooves to a particular depth. Ideal for routing PEX piping in the surface of 2x4s. I make a series of cuts about 1/4" apart and then break off the bits between with a chisel.
A circular saw is also useful for demolition type applications, eg cutting away bracing timber and window bracing.
My Building Creed
Do a CAD drawing for everything
Cut to CAD, not to measure
Design from Building Science
Stick to commodity products
By that I mean try to avoid using proprietary building products. Proprietary products are much more expensive because they are single sourced, typically have a design royalty, have the cost of middle men and or a sales network, and have a high shipping cost from their single manufacturing location.