Home Improvement Shopping Tips and Tricks

Home Improvement Shopping Tips and Tricks
  • Opening Intro -

    If you are planning a do-it-yourself home improvement job, then you are in good company.

    You do not need to look at statistics to know what is clearly evident: a lot of people handle home projects themselves, with weekend warriors crowding area home centers in search of project supplies and tools.


While home centers offer good places to find deals on home supplies, there are other options available to you including several tips and tricks of the trade. We will take a look at four of those options here.

Resale Outlets

Does everything in your home have to be fresh, off-the-shelf new? If not, there are some options for getting quality home materials are greatly reduced costs. For instance, Habitat for Humanity operates more than 825 Habitat ReStores nationwide, shops that provide used, but still useful products for the home.

Resale outlets feature accessories, furniture, building materials and appliances, items that sell at prices far below what you would pay new. You might not want to outfit your entire home in remaindered or previously used goods, but you might find a window, shelving, flooring or a light fixture that would be suitable for your renovation.

Closeout Stores

What happens when last year’s styles or this year’s overstock needs to be moved out of home centers? If not marked down at the store, the manufacturer may take it back and sell the entire lot at auction. These “lots” are snapped up by retailers that specialize in selling closeout goods ranging from doors and windows to flooring, sheetrock and siding and beyond.

Closeout stores typically have a revolving inventory. This means when an item is gone, it may be gone forever. Or at least that particular model or style. The advantage of such stores is that you can find what you need for all rooms in the house: kitchen, bathroom, family rooms, porches, decks and more. Buck the style trends and you can save money.

Contractor Wholesalers

Wholesalers serving contractors are able to offer lower prices by working off of volume, not margins. The more you buy, the more you can save. There are some wholesale stores that are now open to the public, offering the same low prices to mass buyers and consumers alike.

Some wholesalers operate chiefly online. What this means is that you will only get to “inspect” what you want online, order it and have it shipped to your home. Heavy items, like most building materials, will have to be shipped via freight, with those costs added to your invoice. Still, you might be able to find bargains that cannot be had anywhere else unless, of course, you work with a contractor.

Scratch and Dent

Nearly every store has items that cannot be sold to customers or are not in the condition that they were in when bought new. Sometimes, a customer returns an item under warranty that has been used, but will not fetch full retail price.

Ask your home improvement retailer about stock hidden away, what may only come out for seasonal close out sales. Some of these back room items are destined for donation, but you may be able to survey the inventory and make an offer for what you want.

Your Choice

The rising cost of building materials has consumers scrambling for ways to save. Steel, cooper and aluminum have risen sharply although lumber and concrete prices have actually fallen.



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Categories: Home Structure

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Auto Trends Magazine", an online publication. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and weblogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".