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Home Improvement DIY Projects – A Few Suggestions To Get You Started

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DIY home improvement projects, both large and small, are happening in everybody’s neighborhood each and every weekend. So rather than put off your own home improvement for another six months why don’t you just dust off the hammer and saw, get your creative juices flowing and get into your project today.

If you are a novice at home improvement DIY style then you can become initiated in the ‘do it yourself’ way by initially tackling a small project, one that does not involve a great deal of skill based knowledge. Say, for example, you have just relocated and you are not too impressed with the previous occupant’s color scheme throughout the house – you can start your home improvement career by heading down to your local paint shop, load yourself up with brushes, paint, turpentine and a few ground cover sheets – turn up the music and go crazy on the walls. A painting project is one that does not involve buying or hiring expensive equipment but the end result can be quite spectacular, particularly if you have combined colors well.

If you intend to paint the interior of your home first then it is a good idea to have a family discussion to hear everyone’s suggestion regarding the proposed color scheme. The children’s views are important particularly if you are going to paint their rooms because if you just went ahead and used the colors you like without consulting them it could cause major grief. Just imagine how impressed your sports jock 16-year-old son would react if he came home from practice to find that you had painted his sanctum a mixture of purples and pinks. Remember everyone has an opinion about colors and the object is to reach a consensus together.

The saying goes that ‘a change is as good as a holiday’ and having a freshly painted home certainly makes the rooms feel fresh and revitalised. At the completion of the project you will end up with a great sense of satisfaction and probably a dash of motivation to start you on the road to your next DIY home improvement project.

Easy Ideas For Outside The Home

Other relatively inexpensive home improvement DIY projects can de done to the external areas of the home. You may think that it is time to upgrade your backyard area but don’t actually know what to do. So the best move in this situation is to borrow a few books from your local library or look online at how some of the more elegant and expensive properties have structured their backyards. For instance, you could really add some interesting features like building a fountain or installing some benches around the perimeter of the garden. You may even decide to take on a bigger home improvement DIY project and build your own gazebo in your backyard. If the garden is in need of a general spruce-up then maybe something as simple as clearing away bushes and trees can make a marked difference to the appearance of your backyard.

Give a little thought on what you can do to improve the appearance and features of your home and grounds and then visit your local handyman store or go on line for some advice and guidance to ensure your home improvement DIY project is a roaring success.

8 Thrifty Home Improvements that Save Energy

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The upgrades and improvements you make on your home today can result in some pretty fabulous long-term savings, provided you do a little planning ahead of time. By making changes that will allow your home to utilize energy more efficiently, your redesign can save you some green and let you live “greener”, too.   

Before you begin working, an energy audit can show you where in the house your money should be allocated. According to Texas electricity providers, by performing an energy audit on your home and making improvements accordingly, you can save anywhere from 5 to 30 percent on your monthly utility bills each month.

Here are eight simple steps to get you started:

Insulation and Weather Stripping

The first step to improving the energy efficiency of your home is making sure there aren’t leaks around the doors and windows. Leaks can also be found in the attic and basement. Before thinking about insulating the home, you need to check for leaks and use weather stripping. Otherwise, any energy-efficiency measures will not work. Next, you should insulate the walls as well as in the attic. Much of the heating and cooling escapes a home that isn’t insulated.

Energy-Efficient Lightbulbs

According to Energy.gov, energy-efficient bulbs use twenty-five to eighty percent less energy than traditional bulbs. They can also last up to twenty-five times longer than traditional bulbs. While they may cost a bit more at purchase, over the life of the bulb, it brings in more energy savings.

Upgrade the Dishwasher

Older model dishwashers manufactured before 1994 can waste up to 10 gallons more water than newer dishwashers. According to Energy Star, a new dishwasher can save you over $35 a year on utility bills. Reducing water usage and using less energy will have the added benefit of reducing pollution and reducing the impact on the environment. Consumer Reports has a list of the best dishwashers to save energy and money.

Programmable Thermostat

There’s no reason to run your heater or air conditioning when you’re not home, yet you can’t leave them off when you’re out of the home either. While you’re at work, you can lower the thermostat then have it raised a half hour before you’re scheduled to get home from work. You can save money by using a programmable thermostat in your home. Some thermostats come with smartphone apps to help you control the temperature in your home too.

Low-Flow Fixtures

Between low-flow shower heads, faucets and toilets, you can save energy and hot water each year, which is the second highest energy expense in the home according to Energy.gov.

Tankless Water Heater

Water heaters with tanks of water have to keep that water heated until it’s demanded by the homeowner. That kind of energy use is called standby energy, which can cost you a lot of money in energy each year. A tankless water heater doesn’t have to keep water heated in a tank, so it can save you money each year in energy as well as water costs.

Ceiling Fans

Instead of fiddling with the temperature in the home through the thermostat, purchasing a ceiling fan could be a better option. It’ll save you money on cooling costs each year, and they’re relatively inexpensive to purchase and install.

Energy Vampires

You can save money on energy and utility costs by finding the energy vampires around your home. Any appliance that uses energy to remain on standby for your use is a vampire. The microwave and coffee pot that keeps the time for you is an energy vampire. DVD and CD players, computers, game systems, televisions and cable boxes are some common vampires. Unplug all these appliances when they’re not in use. You can use power strips to easily turn them on and off when you’re not using them.

Save hundreds per year by upgrading your appliances as well as using low-flow fixtures in the home. Unplug electronics when they’re not in use too. Some of these upgrades and improvements are small but they can give you big savings throughout the year.

Home Improvement DIY – Fun Family Projects

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Be it indoors or outdoors, Home improvement DIY’s are not only about adding functionality to rooms, hallways or yards. These days, DIY projects are fun filled activities for the whole family to get together. With the best intentions in mind, almost anyone can achieve professional-looking results without the use of a contractor.

DIY Home Improvement nurtures the significance of family togetherness coupled with a warm home mindset. Here are the Top 3 DIY Projects that you can do as a family.

– Painting the Kitchen –

Painting the Kitchen is one of the easiest and quickest ways to brighten up the “grayish” flavor room. A task like this when done alone could take up to several days to a week to complete. This is one of those projects that desperately requires the family’s help to complete.

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Try coming up with fun painting themes like “Painting the Kitchen to be Two times Bigger” or “An Authentic Italian Style Kitchen”. This way, your family can enjoy a fun filled goal while you ensure your project runs smoothly as planned.

Another fun family project could be as simple as painting the kitchen cabinets. Everyone loves an “Instant Makeover”. This can be the perfect solution to lighten up dark cabinets or brighten them up with bold colors.

– Custom Build Something Useful for your Family Member –

Custom building something useful for the house is probably one of the best ways to get the family involved, especially your kids. It could be a secret surprise renovation for your Mum’s birthday or simply building a piece of furniture catered to your son’s or daughter’s fashionable taste.

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Try getting your children involved by helping you to create certain parts of the project or furniture. Kids will be kids and we sometimes like to spoil them because we love them. If you are a parent building something for your children, listen to your their suggestions and let them quietly instruct you on what they really want.

– Build A Custom Piece of Furniture To Sell –

This exciting yet encouraging project may be a tricky undertaking. But if done properly, with conscious business mindset, family planning and execution; will most possibly result in a source of lucrative income. Tricky because of the greediness of human nature; where everyone wants so do a little lesser and take the bigger share of the profits when flourishing.

If you plan to custom build a piece of furniture. A good tip will be to reproduce design ideas from popular pieces of furniture you see in stores or magazines, and construct them to be even better! Better material, better finish, while adding your very own personal touch. In short, a high quality, custom built, good looking piece of furniture that will grab the hearts and bigger pockets of savvy home owners.

Home improvement DIY Projects are indeed a fun-filled family activity. Do-It-Yourselves aren’t always the easiest way to go, but it certainly provide a sense of all rounded contentment, enrichment and family adherence.

Thanks, and we hoped you’ve enjoyed this Home improvement DIY article.

Home Decorating Television Shows Help Millions

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Some of us just have to face the fact that we have absolutely no taste when it comes to how we decorate our homes or businesses. Lucky for us over the past several years television has once again came to our rescue by supplying us with numerous home decorating shows.

If you are decoratively challenged, then you need to be watching these new shows. For many years, This Old House was one of the only shows that could teach you things that you needed to know about how to fix up your home as far as plumbing, adding on a room, or turning your garage into useable living space. This was great for these kinds of projects and it is still a much watched show even now.

Today we have HGTV, or more specifically, Home and Garden Television. The Do it Your Self Network is right up there in popularity too. It is amazing what you can learn about decorating on the cable and satellite channels. They show you how to paint, how to lay stone, how to remodel entire rooms, or an entire house.

There are many programs like Designed to Sell and Flip That House, that people watch to help them know what the best ideas and design are when it comes to selling a home or condominium. They teach you what remodeling options may be or may not be a good selling point. They can show you how to do some of the work yourself that can sometimes save you thousands of dollars.

Some of the home decorating shows like Design on a Dime and Decorating Cents, are programs on HGTV that give you great ideas about how to make and buy some great things for designing on a very limited budget. You can go from trash to chic in no time after viewing these shows.

Design Star is a different sort of decorating show. It is a reality show that comes on HGTV that hosts a competition for up and coming designers. They can get their own home decorating show on HGTV if they win. They are given various decorating projects, both as teams and individually, to see who can make the winning room designs. It is as addictive to watch as any of the other network reality shows.

The next time you feel you could use a little help decorating in your home, the help is just a remote control away. You will be able to find at least one, if not countless shows that can help you make your home become beautiful and stylish.

Easy DIY Home Improvement Ideas

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Many enthusiasts of DIY home improvement differentiate between two specific classes of projects. The first class involves major renovations in the house, including:

* Replacement of floors

* Installation of new insulation

* Installation of a new roof

* Installation of wooden fences around a yard

The second type of DIY are smaller projects that delivers creative pleasure to the ones engaging in them. These small projects typically involve adding small yet useful objects inside the house. Though most of them involve one form of furniture or another, these smaller projects are recommended for those who are just beginning with DIY home improvement.

Small ideas but nice results

Free time, a bit of cash and a lot of good ideas is all you need to think of your own DIY home improvement project. Here are some ideas to get you started:

* Windows- if you’ve been thinking for the longest time that the windows in your bedroom are creepy at night, why not replace them? Contrary to popular belief, it is easy to replace windows. All you need are a few traditional tools like a crowbar and a hammer, or a saw in some instances. Simply measure the window’s dimensions and purchase a window of the exact same size. Take down the old window frame, taking utmost care not to damage the glass. Then simply install the new window sets using window glue and a few bolts or nails.

* Gates- gates can be customized. If your own gate allows it, you may attempt to install name plates on your own gate, to identify your house easily. This would be a great idea especially if you live in a housing neighborhood, where houses generally look alike.

* Extra utility table- If you don’t have enough table when you go out for a yard picnic, why not build one yourself? All you need would be small planks of wood and a little ingenuity. First determine what particular table size you want. After making the proper measurements, simply follow the configuration of picnic tables you see everyday and voila, you have your own picnic table. DIY projects that involve wood are often durable because wood is a sturdy material.

* Floor design- tired of visible scratches on your floor? One way to successfully remedy old floors is simply installing new vinyl. Vinyl comes in a variety of colors and designs so you would be having a lot of fun and choices by simply choosing the design you like. The installation of vinyl is even easier- you simply need contact cement or other forms of strong adhesives to attach the vinyl to your floor. Just find the center of the floor area using a nylon thread and divide each area into quarters. Start with 1 quarter and finish by cutting to size when you reach the edge.

* Wall design- wallpaper is still in. You simply have to know how to install wallpaper properly. First, the walls must be free from dirt, moisture or grease before the application of the adhesive. Let the adhesive dry a bit first before attaching the wallpaper in small, manageable strips. Watch your bedroom or your living room come alive with the new look.

Home Renovations to Save Energy

28092014-0114-HDRRenovating or upgrading your home can be fun, especially when incorporating energy efficient upgrades, which saves you money and makes your home less susceptible to mold and allergens. In fact, the average homeowner can save up to 96 percent on their heating and cooling bills simply by making their home more energy efficient.

 

Whether you are renovating your home to make it more appealing, or you simply wish to enjoy an increase in energy savings, these energy saving tips will provide maximum savings while enjoying your beautiful, new home.

 

Inspect for Condensation, Water Leaks and Excess Moisture Before You Begin

 

Water leaks and excess condensation and moisture cause mold. Prior to your project, inspect for signs of excess moisture. Addressing those issues first, can help improve the interior air quality of your home.

 

Insulate Upstairs

 

According to research, about half the homes in the U.S. are not fully insulated. Insulation helps keep your home comfortable year round. When renovating your home, don’t forget to insulate upstairs, and while you’re at it, you should also consider insulating your water pipes, ducts, attic spaces and recessed lights above the attic for even more savings.

 

Replace High Energy Use Equipment with Energy Efficient Ones

 

Replacing old ventilation, heating and air condition units with more energy efficient ones can decrease your monthly energy costs. It is important to have your home well insulated and sealed in addition to this project, in order to reap maximum benefits.

 

Renewable Energy

 

Renewable energy is obtained from natural processes such as wind, sunlight and water etc., that are replenished at a greater extent than they are used, which means lower power plant and fossil fuel costs and greater savings passed on to consumers. According to Spark Energy, renewable energy is on the rise in the transport, heating, cooling and electricity sectors worldwide, and is predicted to account for approximately one third of new electricity generation in the U.S. over the next three years. In fact, over 65 countries already have policies in motion involving renewable energy.

 

Seal the Ducts

 

If your home relies on forced-air cooling and heating systems, approximately one fifth of the air could be escaping through leaks in the ducts. To address this issue, use duct sealing to seal gaps or leaks in the ducts. If you need to, seal around windows and doors as well. And don’t forget the basement and attic, to also help lower your heating and cooling bills.

 

Install Energy Efficient Water Heaters

 

Water heating makes up approximately 15 to 20 percent of the annual energy usage in a home. Installing energy efficient water heaters can help drive down costs.

 

Replace Drafty Windows with Energy Efficient Ones

 

Replacing old, drafty windows with energy efficient ones can increase energy savings. When replacing your windows, opt for wood instead of aluminum framed models. If you are low on funds, consider installing lower-cost storm windows instead. As long as your interior windows are in good condition, installing storm windows provide a quick and easy way to make your windows more energy efficient without the hassle and cost of full-blown window replacement.

 

Install Energy Efficient Doors

 

When installing energy efficient doors, avoid using hollow metal doors because they allow air to penetrate right through.

 

Install a Programmable Thermostat

 

Programmable thermostats save about 10 percent on your cooling and heating costs, which more than pays for themselves in just a few months, and they allow you to cool your home at warmer temps, while you’re away.

What is a Home Designer? (and How to Choose One)

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A home designer specifies the design, materials, stylishness, as well as interior details for residential building projects. In lots of states in the US home designers aren’t mandated to have an architectural diploma or architectural license.

Many people may think that these kinds of home designers not having specific qualifications is an undesirable factor, but that’s not even close to the truth. A professional within the field of non commercial design, a “home designer” is the most suitable choice that will lead you through the design and building process from start to finish.

A great home designer generally possesses years of expertise not only designing and drafting the construction docs , but in addition will often have put in many years on actual construction sites performing the actual job themselves. Now this isn’t at all times the situation however, these people with this kind of knowledge are usually best to design your home. Not just because of their experience and expertise in the profession but their rates tend to be more affordable when compared to a registered architect’s charges will be.

The rates a home designer, as well as an architect command has proven to be completely different. Architects attain four years or more of college getting an education and studying the particulars on architect home design as well as architectural design of almost everything else all varying from little homes to large high-rise buildings. Architects are registered to approve numerous facets of building not employed for individual houses. Because of these two details architects demand very high service fees to create an architectural design in addition to a set of construction drawings for houses. The majority of architect’s charges vary from 7% to 15% (sometimes greater) for his or her services on a housing project. Almost all home designers’ rates for this exact same service vary from 3% to 8%. This particular large variation in rates combined with the undeniable fact that each commonly possess the identical or the same level of expertise in residential design is actually the reason why the majority will probably select a home designer above an architect for their housing project.

Even though design capacity can virtually, be trained, the most effective jobs are the effect of a mix of skill and knowledge, therefore your choice in who to employ shouldn’t be exclusively selected simply for their reduced rates or education. A home designer needs to be selected as due to their outstanding results of their labor.

Home designers make use of numerous sources and instruments accessible to them to assist in communicating their architectural designs as well as the construction documents into the completed product. Many home designers continue to utilize pencil and paper in addition to numerous types of color goods to symbolize and express their design to their clientele. Even though this can be a great method of communicating a design to a customer it really is outdated and doesn’t consistently accomplish the job the home designer developed it for, to help the customer to fully grasp and picture the design. Nowadays there’s a large amount of computer programs that enable a great house designer to provide their house design to their clientele. These types of graphic tools as I prefer to refer to them include things like 3D colored renderings, walk-a-rounds, as well as walk-throughs.

Therefore, when you’re looking to select a designer it’s also advisable to consider exactly how they show their designs to their clientele. Not everybody can easily figure out a conceptual drawing of a 2D floor plan. In fact ultimately it will come right down to what home designer you sense you might have more suitable connection with and you feel the most confident with.

Building a residence signifies one of the biggest monetary assets the majority of people is likely to make within their lifetime and very few comprehend just how complicated the procedure will be till they’re involved with a lot of restricted covenants, construction requirements, zoning ordinances, design and style choices, material options, suppliers as well as builder options and so forth. Do your family as well as your bank account a favor and locate a home designer to partner with and to who you’re confident with.

DIY Furniture Projects

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The reality of life is that everything has a cost. This is true no matter what you need to buy. But what if you need, say, some new furniture, and don’t have the money – but you do have the time to try to make it yourself?

There’s nothing wrong in doing DIY furniture projects at home. It saves money, increases one’s skill, and it builds one’s confidence in doing things by themselves. Furniture is no-doubt, an expensive item to buy. For people who are either newly-married, recently moved out of the house, or are starting out after a major life catastrophe, buying new furniture can be a bit of a stress.

Of course, people want to fill out their new space with good-quality furniture but it takes a lot of work to buy each piece one by one. Imagine working non-stop just to buy a couch for this month, while saving up for a cabinet next payday. While that is possible, it involves a lot of passing time and hard work. Why not just make some furniture of your own? Buying in shops and stores means that you are also paying for the laborers and distributors who have shared their time and effort in the production of a basic furniture item. Whether it’s the coffee table or cabinet that you’re eyeing, chances are the prices of these items are high because of the added costs.

In making your own DIY furniture projects, you are saving up in precious bucks. This of course, requires a person to sacrifice their time and effort in the building process of the furniture. If time is not a problem, then one would discover that making furniture from scratch is actually an enjoyable and rewarding hobby. The basic things one will need in creating their own furniture are a plan, tools in building, and the materials. Many of the tools that one will need are available in the hardware stores in reasonable prices. Ordering the wood and paint is easy as well. In a matter of days, the company will deliver the materials right in one’s doorstep. The plan is easy to buy as well, but customers must look for one that can be returned in case it’s too hard to understand.

After the materials in tools are in check, one can now build the chosen furniture project. Some of the easiest furniture items to build include chairs and tables. Harder projects meanwhile, include cabinets, cupboards, or anything that has a lot of doors and pockets.

Doing DIY furniture projects also enable one to customize the item early on. This can be done by painting the furniture item with paint or wood varnish to give it a glossy finish. One can even add engraved patterns into the items as designs though this would take time and skill to do. To jazz up chairs for example, one can buy golden knobs and accents to beautify the project. For tables, buying glass to put on the face will make the project look like it was bought from the shops. Cabinets can also be decorated by buying handles and knobs with intricate designs on them. In the end, it all depends on one’s preferences.

How to Start a DIY Home Improvement Project: Tips & Tricks

 

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Image by KingTyrone

 

Do it yourself projects are efficient ways to minimize cost, and to a certain degree, tap into your creative side. Home improvement is just one area in the wide and complex world of Do- it- Yourself.

In a way, home improvement should be done by the homeowners themselves, because the property is theirs, and if something succeeds or fails, the homeowners take full accountability for what happens. How does one begin a do it yourself project? The following is a step by step guide in determining your general path for future DIY projects.

1. Examine your house- a house that has stood against the elements of nature for at least three years probably has suffered some form of damage. When was the last time that you stopped to inspect whether your house is still safe to live in, or if there is something that you can still do to improve it?

A thorough evaluation of your house and all its parts would definitely give you great ideas for your future DIY project. With you some paper and a pen, list down everything that you think must be repaired, replaced, improved or taken down completely. Be critical of how furniture and electrical wires are placed in your house.

After making your list, start sifting through them. What is it that interests you at the moment? Do you wish to make a new gate made purely of wood, and coated with varnish? Do you think that old door needs sprucing up? Whatever you might choose to do, remember that you have to take into consideration time and budget constraints.

2. Plan first, and plan well- do not commit the mistake of not being able to plan before you try your hand in DIY home improvement. Any project, executed without a clear plan in mind is bound to either fail or finish unsuccessfully.

How does one begin a work plan for a DIY project? First identify what needs to be done. Make a list of the things that have to be done prior to the DIY project. Then proceed to make a list of the things that you need to do. This includes even the smallest of implements in the DIY project, like nails and paint.

After determining the materials needed for the DIY project, begin to compute how much all this would cost. A good and reliable computation should not be based on estimates alone. If you can, make the computation when you’re at the hardware store.

If something seems to be too expensive, then try to find an alternative brand, or if it’s not possible to do this, try to find an alternative, material to replace that which you cannot acquire due to cost, a good example will be thinner gauge plywood for sidings and non load bearing structures.

3. Timeframe- never forget to make a timeframe for a particular DIY project. Failure to do so might mean the project might take too long to finish, or in some instances, it might not be completed at all. A timeframe would tell you what to do and what to complete in a day.

Advantages of DIY Home Projects

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Image by grassrootsgroundswell

 

DIY home improvement has gained ground in the past few years due to two distinct reasons: rising prices of goods and rising prices of home improvement through contracted work. Many people are now opting to solve their little home improvement problems themselves, with the aid of knowledge, and with a lot of diligence.

Carpentry and plumbing are not simple activities. But nonetheless, the streamlining of systems and design in the past few decades has made do it yourself home improvement doable. All one needs is time, some tools and a clear aim. Even if the results are not that great, as long as it is strong and durable, it will do for the long run. Beautification can be pursued afterward.

How does one capture the “itch” for do it yourself projects? Solving home improvement problems would come naturally for anyone- especially for the ones who already have at least the minimum tools at home. If you don’t have basic carpentry tools, then perhaps it’s time that you visit your nearest hardware store to buy some.

The tools of the trade

What kind of tools would you need for basic home improvement? The following are some of the basic tools that would be of great use to you whether you wish to make a new cabinet or repair broken chairs:

* Hammers- never underestimate the humble hammer. Try to acquire a hammer that is not too light or too heavy. Aim for hammers that have solid steel construction, from the neck to the head. The neck and head must be completely solid and should have been fused naturally. Handles may be made of wood or sheathed with a rubber grip. If you’re not used to carpentry, it might be a good idea to first check if the hammer you would be buying would be comfortable to use. If not, don’t force it- look elsewhere.

* Power tools- power tools make do it yourself home improvement less of a pain. Though the general level of difficulty of home improvement projects depend largely on the kind of work involved, investing in drills and wrenches would contribute a lot in making your DIY projects more pleasant. Aside from this you would also finish projects much faster, and you would be expending less energy.

* Wood and boards- though it might be a good idea to have a general stash of wooden boards, plywood and small planks available in your garage, always limit your purchases to what you would probably need in the near future. The reason for this is that the wood might be damaged before you get to use it- something you won’t want to happen especially if you’re engaging in DIY projects to save money.

* Nails, screws, bolts, nuts- whether you should buy different kinds of nails or screws depends largely also on your projected activities in the coming months. If you think you’re going to be repairing furniture, then it might be a good idea if you buy the proper nail sizes. However, if you want supplies for general home repairs, try to get half inch to one inch nails.