Spending more time at home due to the pandemic means having extra time for undertaking do-it-yourself (DIY) projects.
It can be as basic as hanging frames or something more challenging like installing kitchen cabinets, furniture repair, or adding a new patio.
Whatever project you have in mind, you’ll probably need to attach items to your wall, door, floor, or roof.
Whether upgrading a room or sprucing up your outdoor space, fixings and fasteners are must-haves in a homeowner’s toolbox.
While they may seem small, fixings and fasteners are crucial to any home improvement project. They can spell the difference between a sturdy install or a failed attempt that may damage both the items used and the surface they’re attached to.
This simple guide will help you know which one to use and provide additional guidelines to keep you safe during your weekend DIY.
How To Use Fixings And Fasteners At Home
To ensure you’re using the right one, keep in mind the following tips:
1. Know Their Purpose
Fixings and fasteners cover a wide range of small tools to connect two or more objects. Common fixings and fasteners used at home include nails, screws, bolts and nuts, hooks and eyes, rivets, and studs.
In addition, there are different kinds within each type of fastener. Common and finishing nails are used for timber and light construction.
Masonry nails attach timber to brick or stone, while roofing nails hold shingles in place. There are also special types of nails for upholstery, carpet, building fabrics, and holding wires on fence posts.
Screws also differ depending on their head shapes. They can be slotted or cross-headed. Screws provide greater clamping ability than nails and fasten items securely on wood, concrete, and metal surfaces.
Nuts and bolts typically go together. Bolts are small metal shafts inserted into a nut to hold things in place.
Wall fasteners, such as hooks and anchors, allow you to attach objects to hollow walls. Anchors have grippers at the end that expand to secure them in place.
Rivets work on the same principle, except they’re mainly used to join two or more metal sheets together.
Permanent fasteners such as nails and rivets are good options for securing materials long-term.
However, they can break once removed. If you want a more cost-effective option, go for non-permanent fasteners such as screws, nuts and bolts, or hook and eye.
2. Determine The Material You’ll Be Attaching To
There are also different types of fixings and fasteners for every surface.
Wood screws, common nails, and finishing nails work well with timber.
If you’re attaching fixings to masonry, it’s best to go for masonry nails or concrete anchors as they’re bigger and more reliable.
You can also include a plastic rawl plug that the nail or screw can insert into for better grip.
You’ll also need to consider the type of wall you’re hammering or drilling. Make sure you use the right fastener so that it won’t crack or split.
3. Consider Object Weight
You also need to consider how much weight the fastener will carry. Hooks, anchors, nails, and some types of screws are ideal for lightweight objects.
If you plan on attaching cabinets, frames, or brackets to your wall, choose fasteners that can carry heavy loads.
Washers work alongside nuts and bolts to distribute the weight evenly. Aside from washers, lock nuts can also provide a more secure grip.
4. Use Appropriate Tools
Choosing the correct fastener is only half the job. You also need to use the proper tool to secure both the object and the fixing in place.
A hammer or mallet can drive nails manually, or you can use a hammer drill instead.
Screwdrivers are designed specifically for screws. You’ll need a flat head or a Phillips screwdriver depending on the head.
As for nuts and bolts, you’ll need a wrench or a hex key. These are extremely helpful for turning screws in hard-to-reach places.
5. Practice Safety Measures
Safety is essential even if you’re doing a simple home DIY project. Apart from using the right tools, you’ll also need to check if there are loose parts or incorrect settings.
It’s also recommended to wear protective equipment. Goggles protect your eyes from splinters during hammering or drilling, while gloves reduce hand injuries.
If you’re kneeling for a long time, it’s best to use knee guards. For extensive drilling or hammering, you may also use earplugs or a dust mask.
Aside from protective equipment, you’ll also need load support if you’re attaching heavy objects. This will keep the fixture in place and ensure that you and the others remain safe during the installation.
Fixings and fasteners are indispensable tools for home DIY projects.
Knowing the different types and their uses helps you select the suitable fastener based on material surface and object weight.
As with any home improvement activity, using proper tools and practicing safety measures will ensure success.