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.