Essential DIY Fasteners.
Like anyone’s house, there’s always little projects and repairs to be done. You know, replace a deck board, hang a picture, install a ceiling fan… you get the idea. And so many times when you set off to take care of these projects or repairs you come up missing the right fastener for the job.
This can be very frustrating, as we all dislike running to the store for just one item. And it’s especially frustrating and costly if the hardware store or home center is 30 miles away, like it is for me.
So, if we’re missing the essential fastener we need, we end up either putting off those projects and repairs or do them improperly (only to end up having to do them again).
Life can be so much easier if you have right fasteners as well as the right tools for the job at hand. That’s why I’ve created this essential list of Do-It-Yourself Fasteners. You know, the ones you’ll use most often.
Types of Fasteners
Although there are many different types of fasteners; Screws, Nuts, Bolts, Washers, Pins — and available in a range of materials and grades; Metal, Plastic, Stainless, Standard, Industrial and Specialty — these are the fasteners to have on-hand because they’re the ones you will use the most.
Pick up a box (each) of these sizes of drywall screws. (3/4″, 1 1/4″, 2″ and 3″). Drywall screws are the great universal fastener and can be used in so many applications (note: indoor use only).
Torx Head Screws
Torx screws come in various sizes (1 1/4″, 1 3/4″, 2 1/2″ and 3″). These are self-drilling and great for building decks or any outdoor project. Pick up a box of each.
As far as nails go I don’t stock many because screws are definitely the fastener of choice these days. Having said that, I do keep some 1 1/4″ finish nails on hand for projects like hanging pictures and small repairs. I also keep some 16d galvanized finish nails around for deck repairs.
16d Vinyl Sinkers
The reason they’re called sinkers is that they have a vinyl coating, making them easier to drive and once in, hard to remove. 16d vinyl sinkers are the best choice for framing and 8d vinyl sinkers for the smaller jobs.
8d Galvanize Nails
Lastly I recommend having some 8d galvanized nails on hand. These are great for building and repairing smaller outdoor projects.
Nuts and Bolts
Nuts and bolts are a more difficult item to decide what to keep on hand. What I recommend is picking up a combination set. You know, like the ones that come in an organizer. Like this.
Overall, I find the need for nuts and bolts is pretty low and, typically, you’ll know in advance exactly what you’ll need for a particular project.
Also, here’s a nice Bolt and fastener chart from BoltDepot.com showing a selection of different types of fasteners, what they’re called, and a description of each.
You can also download a handy Standard US Hex Bolt Sizes and Thread Pitches Chart [PDF]
A must have for any DIY’er, wall anchors are invaluable for fastening just about anything to walls and tile. Pick up a couple packs of each of the various sizes and types listed below — and don’t forget to pick up the correct size screws to go with each size anchor.
Plastic Expansion Anchors
Plastic anchors are very popular but are mostly used for smaller jobs and for tile.
EZ-Anchor fasteners (also called threaded drywall anchors) are one of the best inventions ever. Best used for attaching just about anything to drywall as they hold quite well. I find the EZ-Anchors the best wall anchors for mounting LCD and Plasma TV mounts.
These anchors come in several sizes and are easy to install as well as remove. Be sure to pick up some #6 and #8 sheet metal screws to go with them (note that small 3/4″ – 1 1/4″ drywall screws also work with these anchors).
Toggle bolts are mostly used for fastening things to ceilings as they spread the load over a larger surface area. These too are removable.
Having the right fasteners on-hand will save you time, money, and frustration — and you’ll seldom have a problem holding things together.
So consider picking up these essential fasteners at your local home center or hardware store. Believe me, they will last quite a while and be well worth the investment.
Coming up next, a fantastic, lightweight and DIY tool box-organizer to hold all your hand tools or fasteners. This great tool box makes it so convenient to take all your hand tools or fasteners to your project. Also coming up, DIY Essential Supplies.
One more way to succeed with speed from your DIY Answer Guy.