Do any of you search for deals on building items?

ilmbgJanuary 7, 2014

I am talking about REALLY GOOD DEALS!!
With the colder weather I have been watching alot of 'Living Well Network, TV'. I have seen them get unbelievable deals-for example, a new known brand of kitchen sink for $15.
I realize the object must fit your needed style, color, etc....
Where do these people look? At specialty stores for items that people ordered, then did not want for some reason? Ebay?
As I will be wanting to build when house sells, maybe I should be looking now...

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Ebay, craigslist, the local (and not so local) Habitat Restore, and Tuesday Morning are all places we were able to find some really good deals.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 10:54PM
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I'm constantly looking for deals, but I am building my own house, so I have the time and motivation. I got Hardi siding for 25 cents on the dollar. I just got lucky- a local building supply store was clearing it out. Ditto the matching trim, only from a different store. In the first case, I just happened to be walking through the store; in the other, it was on craigslist.

I've bought a number of things on ebay as well. I got a $1200 sink for $200. I needed an extra-large sink (long story) and found ours. I've bought a number of antique light fixtures, which I am going to rewire and use throughout the house. I bought antique porcelain sconces for the bathroom for $40 a pair. Similar reproductions are $160- each! Even if i paid a lamp shop to re-wire them, I'd be a lot of money ahead, and mine are the real thing.

Back to craigs, I bought ten matching antique doors for $100! Not $100 each, $100 for all ten. To shop craigslist, you have to do a lot of searching, as people do a poor job of listing (and spelling!), and you have to be able to jump in the car and go when you find a deal.

The other way to save money is by shopping around. Whatever material I use, I check a number of places for the best price. Building materials have been volatile in recent years, and sometimes you can beat a price increase. Local lumber yards often are cheaper than the big box stores, and are more willing to bargain on large orders. I've been working with a builder who does my site work and concrete work. He always knows the best deals locally, and has generously shared this information.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 7:28AM
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Sophie Wheeler

That only works if you have a truck and muscle and can store it safely. With no damage. Like no mice and rats getting in and building nests or something falling off a shelf and damaging it. That takes a lot of space. And commitment. And you have to be willing to value your own time as nothing or low. If your time could be spent more productively, like earning money to pay for the products just in time for when you actually need them without storing, then you're losing money, not getting deals.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 9:47AM
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Do you plan to take out a construction loan to build your new home? If so, here is a word of advice. We purchased a lot of items for our house prior to our build and approval for construction loan (light fixtures, ceiling fans, door hardware, appliances, etc.). The bank said we had to document everything we had purchased for them to approve our construction loan. And, by document, they wanted receipts for everything. And, if it was charged on a credit card, we had to show proof that said charge was paid for. Luckily, I kept everything and we paid all charges off each month. But it took quite a few hours creating a spreadsheet and coordinating all the documentation. And, the constant questioning back and forth from the loan originator and the loan auditor went on for weeks on end. My DH is making our laundry room and kitchen cabinets. There was so much hassle regarding this with the bank and what we could claim as the value of said custom cabinets, we finally asked them to take those off our list totally.

So, all I'm saying is keep all your receipts and document everything in case you run into what we did. Good Luck!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 10:24AM
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We haven't really gotten huge deals for certain things, but a big thing that surprised even our contractor was that we got flooring for our entire 1455 square foot house for only 2100 dollars. All we did was go to Menards during sales and getting rebates.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 10:44AM
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I've purchased a ton of lights off of ebay (mostly visual comfort) and got some awesome deals (50-80% off). I've also gotten a lot of bath hardware (RH) and cabinet knobs/pulls at some excellent prices! I just have my searches saved and I can check the feed to see if any new items have been added. Quick and easy! Ebay also has an excellent buyer satisfaction policy.

I've also scored some very nice JADO faucets on Their selection changes often so you have to check back periodically.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 4:03PM
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Hollysprings makes a good point. The siding I bought weighed about 6,000 lbs.! I do have a truck, muscle, and time. Since I built the barn first, I also have safe, dry storage.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 4:08PM
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Hoosierbred-Was the loan originator giving you a hard time because those amounts were going towards your 20% down? I figured when I get closer to that point, some of those items would come out of monthly spending,etc. But I would hate to have a loan guy give me a hard time if it was purchased outside of my deposit amount.
Hollysprings-yes, you would really need good storage for this stuff. But if you are saving a grand on a sink, I would think it makes since for most of use to run around to chase those bargains....I don't make that much for a few hours work anyway :). But you have to have a deal-seeker mentality and get a thrill from it!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 7:38PM
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"Hoosierbred-Was the loan originator giving you a hard time because those amounts were going towards your 20% down?"

Nostalgicfarm, no, none of those items were being used for our 20% down. We put down 20% cash + our land was paid for and we had paid cash for our well and having our pole barn built. We were told they needed all the information for HUD. The bank did say we were the first couple they had worked with who had paid for so much ahead of time. :-)

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 2:28PM
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I search here and there. Like some others, Menards when there's rebates and sales. Always checking LampsPlus open box sales (snagged some good ones there). Finding something I like and googling for clearout prices. Local kijiji ads (Canadian version of craigslist).

I like to really push my local lumber yard to undercut the big box stores, which after developing some friendships there with the build, they're really great about getting me a good price. But sometimes I pay the regular price just to make them feel good ;)

I also found that you can negotiate even with online dealers. When I bought my tub from, I told them I was buying a shower in a couple months too, and they cut me a deal. Same with and getting a great price on my kitchen cabinets (who are amazing by the way). That was a sweet deal.

It's a lot of work like someone mentioned, but if you're relaxing in front of the tv, it's no big deal to surf the web on commercials looking for deals. ;)

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 2:57PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

One of my big bargains was my round hammered copper sink which the plumbing store wanted over $500 for and I got it through eBay for $125.

I got a real deal on my front doors via the Internet... $1200 vs. $6000.

I got a super deal on my guest bath vanity at Green Demolitions which is like a goodwill but for building supplies, furniture and appliances.

I also ordered all my lock sets off the Internet and got good pricing...not super bargains, but good.

But even more than bargains is getting access to finishes and materials that might not otherwise be available. The archway under my deck was a disaster until I found a place in Oregon that sold cedar lath...I had it shipped here as I simply couldn't get it locally. Now it looks great.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 11:18AM
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We are also GCing our home. At night, after my son is in bed, I pull out my iPad & shop around. It has saved me tons of money. Yes, it may have taken some time but if you are decisive about what you want, I don't feel it's any more time than anything else building a home. We have plenty of dry, safe storage so that's not an issue either. I guess some people have extra money to burn or maybe don't care about saving a few thousand dollars for whatever reason. More power to them. I'm fine with researching & saving money where I can.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 4:01PM
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I'm confused. Are all of you bargain hunters GCing your own builds? We've met with three different builders and none of them will let us buy any of our own stuff. Something about them not being able to guarantee the whole home if they did that. Are we just talking to the wrong builders or not being pushy enough? I'd love to be able to find some higher end items on craigslist or ebay because the builder's mark-ups on those items are ridiculous.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 8:05PM
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Homeblessings: Our builder also would not let us buy any of our own stuff. He says that his vendors are "tried and true" and that he would not be able to warranty anything purchased outside of them. I was just very pushy and adamant about purchasing some things on my own. I scored some amazing deals on some light fixtures on ebay and as well as some high end plumbing fixtures. I also purchased some of our own tile and I will not be using his vendor for our countertops (that was a huge savings). Every little bit adds up. Good luck with your build!

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 9:14PM
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"I've purchased a ton of lights off of ebay (mostly visual comfort) and got some awesome deals (50-80% off)."

Ahh, so you're the one that keeps beating me on the VC auctions on eBay :)

I have notifications set up to alert me to new VC and Circa Lighting listings on ebay but I have yet to win any of the auctions (they generally go higher than I'm willing to spend). However, I did score a great deal on a pair of brand new VC Yoke Pendants on craigslist!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 2:00AM
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nancyjla - I also went to various lighting show rooms and got some awesome deals on their open box visual comfort (returns from other people). I was told that visual comfort does not take any returns back like other manufacturers would. As a result, the lighting companies sell the open box items at a discounted price.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 9:44AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

We didn't have a GC but a "project manager" that got a piece of whatever he brought "across the line." He didn't get a piece of whatever we brought "across the line" so, for example, he had nothing to do with the solar panels so got nothing for that. We also had a number of subs who were "in the family" so to speak that we wanted to work with so they were included as part of the deal.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 11:01AM
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Lzhwong - thanks for the info on open box returns. We have a great, high-end lighting store nearby. Looks like I need to stop in there more regularly.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 11:09AM
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Thanks to all of you!
No, I will not have a mortgage. I will sell my current to-large-home-acreage and want a very small 800ft2 (about) very simple home. Something where the only wall will be around the toilet/small sink. I want the house drywalled in and will do the rest. Possibly a dogtrot....
You make a great point of storage/how to bring it home...I could put it in my current 2.5 stall garage and tight barn, but as soon as this house sells I would have to move it....!
Currently I look at Habitat, Tuesday and some similiar type stores here in Texas, but I dont even know what state I want to build in yet, so I dont buy anything-I just drool at the fantastic finds when I see something that would work. The aggregate stores......oooh. (We dont even have them in Montana where the house to sell is!). I could have large amounts of a more common granite/tile/stone for very very reasonable due to several leftovers. I just went with a friend because she was redoing her house in Wisconsin-she got a 60"x27 in slab of beautiful marble for $25, enough of granite 7x11 ft for $100.
I hope I build where there are places to go look for deals...
Thank you all for the sites to look at!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 5:05PM
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I am the bargain queen! I bought my dining room chandy at a lighting store garage sale close out. I bought kitchen sink on ebay, although it wasn't super cheap, it was exactly what I wanted for a LOT less. I just got back from ReStore where I bought my powder room pedestal sink for $25 (link below to the sink I got). I also just purchased at the ReStore two false french doors that were EXACTLY what I needed. I found out they came out of Mike Sherman's former home -- or should I say mansion -- here in College Station (google him). I paid probably 85% less than what they cost new.

For me, bargain shopping is more about getting better quality stuff for lower prices, than getting poorly made crap for rock bottom prices.

Here is a link that might be useful: my 25 dollar pedestal sink

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 4:53PM
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Here's the chandy I bought for 250 from lighting showroom garage sale:

Here is a link that might be useful: my chandy

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 5:14PM
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I posted this on another thread, but thought I'd share here as well.

I am a huge fan of Home Depot's daily deals. You can sign up on their website to get them emailed to you each day. Being a savvy shopper, I have literally saved thousands of dollars already and we haven't even started building yet!

I keep up with everything that I buy in a spreadsheet that I use to not only keep up with what I've bought and what I still need, but I also keep track of the regular price versus the price I actually paid for things.

I had mentioned on another thread about my desire to save around 50% on all my lighting, fixtures, etc, etc, and I kinda got laughed at like that wasn't possible. I just updated my spreadsheet tonight with some orders I placed today, and I am now at exactly 50% saved! Included in those figures are all the light fixtures, faucets, ceiling fans, one tub, two toilets, over half the doors, several windows, furniture, sinks, vanities, cabinets, hardware, etc, etc.

We are building a 4 BRM, 2 BA, 2200+ square foot house for less than $100,000. I am serving as the general contractor, which is going to save us quite a bit. I have overseen construction projects before and have helped build two houses and have remodeled several, so I'm fairly confident this is the way to go for us. Our goal is to not have a mortgage when we're finished. We're able to do this because we recently sold two homes and will be selling the home we live in now along with about 9 acres of land that we own outright. We'll be building on the remaining 6 acres that we have.

Another tip: If you're shopping online, always shop through (or - there are several websites like this) where you earn cash back on your purchases. I also buy gift cards through places like So, for example, when I want to order something from, I log into ebates, and then put in Then at, I purchase discounted gift cards (that can be used online within a few hours of purchasing.) Then I go back to Ebates and enter Home Depot, then click thru the link to place my order at Home Depot. I know it sounds like a lot of steps, but it's just second nature for me now.

My best find this week is was a hammered copper sink for my kitchen. I had looked at a lot of places where they were well over $1,000, but that just wasn't in my budget. Home Depot had one exactly like I wanted on one of their daily deals one day this week for $399. I had gift cards that I had bought through already and went to order it online, but their website wasn't cooperating, so I called and they agreed to give me an extra 5% off because I wasn't able to go through ebates to get the cash back on my order. So, when all was said and done, after you take into consideration what I saved by purchasing the gift cards through and all the discounts, I paid around $330 for the sink. And it was exactly what I wanted!

I've taught workshops on how to save money, and the first rule I tell those in attendance is to buy when it's at it's lowest price, and then figure out a way to get it cheaper through using tools like Ebates and Of course, when it comes to doing this for a house, you have to be extremely detailed and organized, and I've found that my spreadsheets and pinterest help keep me sane...when I purchase something, I add it to my spreadsheets and also to my pinterest boards (I keep several private boards just for this.) That way, when I'm out and about, all I have to do is pull up pinterest on my phone and I can be quickly reminded of what I've already bought, even if I don't have my spreadsheets with me.

I've also purchased things like tile from Habitat for Humanity Re-Store. Before purchasing it, I looked up the tile on my phone and it was still in-stock at Home Depot, but by buying it at the Re-Store (still in the boxes even), I saved about 1/4 off the retail cost at Home Depot.

I've also bought some things off our local facebook swap sites - some cabinets, trim, etc.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 1:19PM
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how do I find facebook swap sites?????

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 3:33PM
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carsonheim - in the facebook search bar, you can search for words like "swap shop", "classifieds" and the name of your town or area.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 4:09PM
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Oh, I forgot to add - we did a lot of shopping for our house on Black Friday...while everyone else was fighting for electronics at Best Buy or braving the mall, Target, etc, we went to Lowe's and Home Depot. We got all the flooring for our bedrooms, hall and living room for about a third of the regular price. It was on sale for 0.99/sq ft (engineered laminate wood flooring - regular price was 2.99/sq ft I think)...I had calculated how many square feet we needed for those rooms, then figured up how much it would be and ordered that much in gift cards through ahead of time. (of course we got some extra flooring in case we have any broken pieces when we go to install.)
We also bought our stove and dishwasher, and saved hundred of dollars on both of those...the dishwasher alone was regularly $799, I think..with the black Friday sale, our military discount, gift cards from, we ended up spending about $350 on it at Lowe's.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 4:17PM
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Could you email me please? Thanks!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 5:15PM
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Carsonheim- just sent you an email. :-)

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 9:03PM
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