In this article, we’ll go over the basics of what you need to know before entering a construction supply store. Whether you’re an expert or have a general interest in your home, you should know this information to make the process as easy as possible.
Hopefully, this article will answer many of your questions and help make things clearer going into your next construction supply store visit. Let’s get started!
Where to Buy Your Construction Supply
If you’re like most people, you’ll need something a little more customized than what’s available at the local hardware store. In which case, you should visit a construction supply store. These stores stock a wide range of building supply all in one place so that you don’t have to run around searching for building materials. This includes items such as lumber, plumbing supply , decking and fencing, and more.
If you’re going to be doing some large scale projects (such as building an addition on your house) then visiting a construction supply store is absolutely essential to your success.
What to Buy at A Construction Supply Store
To make things easier we’re going to go over what you should buy at a construction supply store and what you should buy local. Here’s the list:
– Lumber: Unless you’re going to be doing a lot of projects, it’s better to get your lumber from the hardware store. The lumber at construction supply stores is usually much more expensive and you often won’t use it all in one project. This makes it a poor value in my opinion. In other words, unless you plan on building an addition on your home, save your money and buy this material locally.
– Pipe: Pipe is very similar to lumber. However, you will need pipe for plumbing purposes. You can buy pipe locally at hardware stores but it will be more expensive. In addition, if you want to change your plumbing layout or replace old pipes then you’ll have to run around different stores looking for the right pipe. This is because most people don’t know where each kind of plastic/metal/rubber piece belongs so it can be somewhat frustrating to pick the right one.
– Fencing: Don’t buy wood fencing from the local hardware store because it’s usually overpriced and made of poor quality. The same thing goes for wood posts or fences. If you want to build raised beds then you can buy a ready made kit(such as this one) or you can make it yourself if you have the time.
– Decking: Again, don’t buy decking at the local hardware store because they’re overpriced and made from poor quality materials. Beside that, there are plenty of ways to make your own decking using reclaimed wood and scrap wood from old projects. It’s much cheaper and will work just as well.
– Decking Screws: You can buy deck screws one at a time in hardware stores but they’re usually overpriced and their sizes are not very precise. On the other hand, at a construction supply store you can get a variety of sizes and types of screws. This makes it much easier to find the one you need.
– Lumber/Decking Nails: You should also avoid buying nails from the local hardware store because they’re usually overpriced. At a construction supply store, you can buy in bulk which will be cheaper in the long run. Plus, you’ll be able to get all different sizes so that your wood will stay together securely.
Know Your Tools Before You Go to The Store
If you’ve never used any tools before then I highly recommend that you seek out some kind of training beforehand. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy or complicated, just enough to familiarize yourself with how to use the tools. Having a basic knowledge of how your tools work will help you buy the right ones.
This is especially important for power tools because they can be dangerous if you don’t know how to use them. Not knowing what you’re doing might seem like it will save you money in the long run but I assure you, it won’t. In reality, it’s much cheaper to learn everything up front and avoid making costly mistakes down the road.
In addition, when you go to a store they’ll usually give you advice on what tool will work best for your job(or at least point you in the right direction). So it’s better to have a basic understanding of tools than to go in blind.
How to Read a Lumber or Decking Label
You’ll want to know what type of wood your lumber is made from so that you can buy the right stain for the job. Otherwise, your wood will never look as nice as it could have. In addition, some woods are better for specific applications so you’ll want to know which one is best for each job you’re doing.
The first step is to read your lumber label. It’s generally green and it’s located on the side or top of the board. This label will tell you everything you need to know about your wood such as:
– The species of wood(this one is important)
– Where the wood came from(the country)
– How big it is(width and length)
– Whether or not the wood was kiln dried, how dry it was when it was cut down, how much it weighs, and so on.
– Using a pen, pencil, or marker you can circle the best looking piece or just highlight the part you want to use.
The next step is to match your lumber type with a matching stain. There are so many different stains available, each with its own unique characteristics. You’ll want to buy the right one for the kind of wood you’re using. In addition, there’s a variety of stains that are made for decking but they’re usually very expensive and make your wood look artificial.
You’ll also want to know whether your stain will be fine like Minwax Wood Finish oil-based stains or natural things like tung oil which would give your decking more of an aged effect.
The last thing you’ll want to do is ask your store whether they carry a matching stain and if they don’t, then find out where you can buy one. You should get some names of different companies or stores that you can go to where you can buy the right stain for your project. This way, you’ll know exactly which brand or product to look for.