Second-Hand Home Improvement Supplies

My parents live near a Habitat for Humanity home store (a thrift store that only carries remodeling and building supplies – quite the score if you happen to be working on a house). This morning they went to the store to see if they could find any cabinets that would work for our new kitchen. We’re leaving all of our existing cabinets in place, but needed to add cabinets in the area that is currently dining room and going to be annexed as kitchen. We had found a lazy susan corner cabinet at the Habitat for Humanity store near our house over the weekend, but we needed another corner cabinet, a regular cabinet to go along a straight wall, and a couple smaller cabinets to go at either end of the bar we’re building.

My mother called a while ago and said that they had found another corner cabinet, a double cabinet that will go in the straight section between the two corner units, and a narrow cabinet for the end of the bar. Total cost? $90. We priced similar cabinets at Home Depot and those three units would have been about $470.

Because we’re so accustomed to shopping at thrift stores and buying second-hand whenever possible, we’ve just continued that mentality into our kitchen remodel project, and it’s saved us a whole lotta money so far. We’ve bought a dishwasher, stove, sink, pot rack, pantry door, and four cabinet units used. We’ve spent $435 on all of those items together – less than the dishwasher alone would have cost if we had just headed to Home Depot with our shopping list.

And we’ve found all of these items in less than two weeks, and with just a few trips across town to buy things from people selling them on Craig’s List. It really hasn’t been inconvenient at all, and it’s been like a scavenger hunt – much more fun than just plunking down our credit card for $5000 worth of new appliances and cabinets.

If you’re considering a home improvement project, I would highly recommend shopping for used stuff first, and only paying retail for the stuff that you can’t find second-hand. It’s amazing what people will get rid of just because they want to upgrade to a newer model or a different color. And a home improvement project is much more fun if you’re not stressed out about how much it’s costing you.

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  1. Bellen says

    Your kitchen redo is terrific. Friends bought an entire set of unused
    kitchen cabinets for 1/3 the retail price – a local cabinet outlet was changing out all displays. They then found 2 year old appliances on Craigs list for 1/2 original cost – from a couple upgrading their kitchen. The good deals are out there – you just have to know where and when to look and know that new is not always the best way to go – no matter what the TV shows & advertisers would make us beleive.

  2. says

    Every city should have a Habitat for Humanity home store! The bargains you can find are unbelieveable! Why this concept hasn’t caught on in more cities is beyond me. It a win/win for everyone- the charity, homeowners, and the
    contracters and construction companies that make the donations.

  3. says

    I once got a lot of half cans of paint from a friend, mostly mauve and blue. I wanted lavender, and was going to go buy some until my friend pointed out that mauve, blue, and white would make lavender. So I painted my whole bedroom for $-0-. I love freecycle as well. Usually someone has what you want. I’m currently looking for free shreds from a tree trimming company to use as mulch around my hedgerow.

  4. susan yoder says

    what out for untreated mulch, it could add to your worries. Carpenter ants, termites etc. might be more problems and could cost you much more in the long run. Mulch that you get at your local nurseries is treated. Shreded tires or stones would work better if you want to save money stones are cheaper.

  5. says

    Thanks for the tip. When people are doing repairs or updating the design of the bathroom, they sometimes throw things of decent quality. You can use them in your house, and the price will be much lower.

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