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Many people do not realize, if your doing a major home remodel/project you can go the commercial desk at Lowes or Home Depot and set up an account as if you were your own commercial contractor.
Home improvement projects can break a budget. However, thanks to many on-line services, the average homeowner can tackle many of these projects alone. A cornucopia of knowledge can be found at Lowe's on-line site. Whether you shop at Lowe's or the neighborhood hardware store, utilize the corporate chain's information to do it yourself and save money. Scroll through the Project Center at www.Lowes.com for help.
Lowe's also includes Interactive Design Tools which allow you to build your project with help. Featuring a Closet Maid closet designer as well as deck designer, the site allows you to see the end product and evaluate the needs and costs of such a project. Jump to the Project Calculator and cost as well as material needs can be estimated. This allows proper budgeting even for small projects such as mulch application.
The home improvement warehouses are on your side. Their business is improving your home, so they want to help you do just that. Although contractors do make up a large portion of their business, they're more than happy to allow you to save the contracting costs and do it yourself. After all, won't you be able to afford the second project if you do?
When you need big jobs done on your house (replace the roof, resurface the driveway, etc.) look around and see if any of your neighbors need the same job done. You have a lot of bargaining power with the contractor if you can talk about two jobs, next door to each other. For work that takes a lot of setup time, it hardly costs more to do two jobs once they get rolling.
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I'm in the process of remodeling and rather than going and buying new stuff, I'd like to see what's available used (and less expensive!). Does anyone know where I can look?
join your county's freecycle group and put up a wanted post.
Go to the website for Habitat for Humanity. On that site.....find your state........and then your county. They have "stores" full of donated, used items ranging from building materials, bathroom fixtures, kitchen cabinets, kitchen appliances, paint, furniture, light fixtures.......you name it ......it's probably there! The stores are called "Re Store". All items are donated. The staff is volunteer. All proceeds go to the Habitat for Humanity program to build homes. Just be sure to check your location's operating hours. The one in our city is open three days a week. Anyone can shop there. Also, if you have items to donate they are a good place to consider. They do so much good for communities and low-income folks who'd appreciate a "hand-up" rather than a "hand-out".
I agree with freecycle.com. It's a great place to give and get things for free. You might also try craigslist.org and click on the city nearest you. It is world wide now. There you can post things to sell, trade and give or get for free.
If your town or one near by has a salvage yard, I would look there. Goodwill or the Salvation Army stores in our area sometimes have items too.
Is there an expensive furniture store in your area that offers "free removal of your old furniture" when you purchase new? If so, chances are very good that they take that old furniture that they remove free, spiff it up and resell it in their "bargain basement" or a back room. Call and ask if they sell any "reconditioned" furniture -- they don't usually advertise it, because they want you to buy the more expensive, new stuff! This also applies to appliances -- I bought a "reconditioned" refrigerator for $50 that lasted for years!!
We are remodeling, and do not have wallboard or wiring up in a couple of the rooms. It looks like it will be a year or more before we get it finished. What can I do to cover up the walls so they don't look so much like a dungeon?
By CoreenH. from Rupert, ID
I have used flat sheets before... just staple them up over the unfinished wall. A king size flat sheet from a dollar general/family dollar is pretty cheap and if removed carfully; you can reuse it later. Hope this helps!
I thought of sheets too, but I think I'd go the whimsical route if it's only temporary, and put up designs. Since they probably won't reach floor to ceiling, put the whole sheets from the floor up and put a "border" of other sheets across the top.