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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am starting a kitchen and bath reno next month in my own house.
This particular job will be done with as much used, surplus, or cheap material as possible. Here are some examples of what I've found.

1] I scored a 6 month old pair of french doors for free.
2]We replaced a deck last week that had 30 perfectly good 2x8x12 joists.(saved them). We're going to build a nice big deck off the master bedfroom
4] Another site had 5 sheets of plywood left over. They are offered for free.
5] I was able to obtain, again for free(legally) 1200 sq ft of brand new luxury carpet out of a model home. Just happens to be a colour we like.
6] Last week I bought 24 cupboard doors and 11 drawers in a beautiful Maple Shaker style, all from an add on Kijiji, for $300. 1/2 the doors were brand new, and all the hardware, fittings, hinges, everything was there. Best of all they match doors that a currently stocked at Ikea.
7]Yesterday I found 50 metal studs for $10.00 (they are usually $3.50 each at Home Depot).
8] I also found a 5' corner bathtub with 8 jets for $200.00, also brand new.
9] Someone else advertised 400 sq ft of hardwood floor for $2/sq.

On top of all this, family members gave us a gift for enough money to cover the material. Otherwise I couldn't do this right now.
I hope to bring in the job for about 1/3 or less what it would cost if I bought everything retail.

My wife is spending hours on the 'net, and it's amazing what you can find!
 

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good job and best of luck.

bought a house some time ago and had to gut it the day after purchase. It was beyond trashed inside. Still spent a fortune on remodeling it but....

Did the same thing you did. Picked up left overs from jobs, reused materials, searched the bargin bins.

Down in denver there are a few "builder surplus/used material" places. If you have the time to search you'll find all kinds of stuff.

My recent find was a solid wood bi-fold door that retails for $85.00 at home depot, got it for $25.00. Needed some sanding and cleaning up but you'd never know.

Unfortunatly some things aren't as good as they seem and end up getting thrown out. Other things are a trial and error.

A mentor of mine collected windows for a few years then designed the house around the windows.

I asked this homeowner who was demoing a house if I could come in and take the T&G off the ceiling, they didn't understand what I wanted to do. I tried and tried to explain but it didn't seem right to them. So it went into the dumpster.

Now I need to figure out what to do with the 250 sq ft of unfinished #1 cherry flooring I have.

It's endless.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Update.
After going back and forth on some of the plans, we made our minds up on the new layout.
Starting today with demo.
I've since picked up a corner bathtub for free.
Also two perfectly good vanities.
Found travertine tile for the bath for less than 1/2 price, brand new.
Found a Sub-Zero stainless steel fridge at Habitat for Humanity for $700.00!!! Perfect condition.
Found a $1200 tub and surround at H for H for $250
Same place has oak flooring, brand new, pre-finished, $1.00/sq ft
Found some stone wall cover for 1/3 the price of new.
Lowes is selling slate tile, brand new, for $1.50/sq ft.
Home Depot has a deal on halogen mini pot lights: 6 for $45 instead of $15 each.
We found a couple of track lights, really nice: free.
A builder friend is doing a complete gut. I get the granite counters, sink, garburetor, 4 doors, wall mount double oven, and 8 inch baseboard, for free.
He also has a few windows he's giving me.

See: Craigs List and Kijiji are good for something.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Oh. By the way, the job has grown. I have no extra money in the budget, but we'll see what happens.
We are now taking out a wall between the family room and a sunroom that was obviously added on at some point. This will create a much larger and versatile room. There is a slight problem with the wall I'm removing being a former exterior bearing wall. We will be putting in 2 "doric style" supporting columns.
Next, I'm taking out about 8' of wall between the kitchen and the family room.
And I'm taking out 12 ft of wall between the breakfast room and a "sitting" room (actually, I'm not sure what it is, being sort of in a weird location).
We're creating a pantry, adding a side door exiting to the yard, and leveling some of the floor.
I'm also changing the stairs to the 2nd floor. They are shallow, and my wife(who has developed osteo-arthritis) has some difficulty. They are 9" treads with 8.5" rises. We're gonna make them 11" treads and 7" rise, and then put in a landing.
We have a strange entry to the house, consisting of a sort of envclosed porch with a 3x4 steel deck and steps leading up to the door. We have no front closet.
I'm taking out this "deck" and will put in a 4x9 floor level with the interior of the house, and will add 2 closets either side with access from inside the house.
Eventually I will remove the exterior enclosure and put in a nice wrap around cedar deck with an overhead
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Got a question for you guys.
I'm doing this myself, for myself, with the help of 2 of my deck guys. I know exactly what I want to do. I am not bothering to make up detailed scale drawings, as I know pretty much where everything is going, and what I am taking out.
Basically, I'll hold a finger up to the wind and decide what happens as I go along.
If I was doing this for a client, there would of course be detailed plans drawn up by a designer.
Should I bother to spend the money to have this done?
My only concern is the bearing walls, but an engineer friend is going to take a look after the drywall is off.

Whaddya think?
 

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My grandfather built a house out of used wood/materials 65+ years ago in upstate NY.
Still as solid as a brick S*it house.
 

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I'm remodeling the basement, including a bathroom. Budget of $0 however I'm already $32 over budget, had to purchase a piece of treated plywood. Everything else I get free off jobs, or find free on craigslist. (and stuff I had sitting around the house).
 

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Got a question for you guys.
I'm doing this myself, for myself, with the help of 2 of my deck guys. I know exactly what I want to do. I am not bothering to make up detailed scale drawings, as I know pretty much where everything is going, and what I am taking out.
Basically, I'll hold a finger up to the wind and decide what happens as I go along.
If I was doing this for a client, there would of course be detailed plans drawn up by a designer.
Should I bother to spend the money to have this done?
My only concern is the bearing walls, but an engineer friend is going to take a look after the drywall is off.

Whaddya think?
I don't know about you but when it comes to my house I can pull off whatever I want to do without the help of a print. I feel like I can build a house with a hand sketch on a block of wood and have it turn out just fine to MY tastes.

If you have been down a road enough times you can leave the map at home without getting lost. But the road atlas comes in handy in unfamiliar territory.
 

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Sean
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Stone - I have done a few fly by the seat of my pants projects on my own place & they generally come out ok

That being said, spending a few minutes drawing it up could have saved me a few times when I had to yank it down & redo certain area's because of a cabinet not fitting where it should have, etc...
 

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I do this to some degre on all my projects. I go to auctions and get $10/sq ft hardwood flooring at $3/sq ft. I check out building marerials recyclers and have picked up some great deals. Shop the sales. When youre on a timetable you can never find everything you need on sale, but you can make a serious dent in the cost.

But I'm generally renovating a new rental property - that is, for me. So here's a remark likely to be polemic - this is exactly why some customers want to buy their own materials. They know darn well that you're not going spend your time hunting and scrounging to find them great deals on materials - you're just going to go to the local building supply place and buy the usual stuff at full price. When Stone Mountain scrounges materials for his reno project, he's a smart cookie - but when a customer wants to do the same, he's a pain everyone says you should avoid.
 

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When we work on our own houses we are not paying labour so we can take all the time we want finding materials and making them work. Sometimes the homeowners deals cost us time in installation and overall look of the job so when others see it our name is attached to it.


If the homeowner wants to get their own materials that is fine. Then it is cost plus and I charge for every hour spent in relation to that job.
 

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Sean
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this is exactly why some customers want to buy their own materials. They know darn well that you're not going spend your time hunting and scrounging to find them great deals on materials - you're just going to go to the local building supply place and buy the usual stuff at full price. When Stone Mountain scrounges materials for his reno project, he's a smart cookie - but when a customer wants to do the same, he's a pain everyone says you should avoid.
Whoa - back the train up Bob

If a Homeowner wants to pay me to look for deals like that, pick up, and store the materials - I will be more than happy to :thumbsup:

That would of course be at my regular rates, which would probably cost them more than what my local building yard charges

Next - there is a big difference from Stone doing this as compared to a regular HO, a few quick examples;

well it looked nice - hardwood flooring that had more waves than the ocean

the door they purchased - nice, to bad it's for a mobile home

the nice $20 ceiling fan from China - that started an electrical fire because of the wiring

Now I am not saying that they can't find good quality materials at a discount sometimes, but more often than not if they do the math - the savings are not there or they start getting tired of tripping over the materials while they look for that next piece
 

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That's the way to do it Stone, I've done the same type of thing several times.

Check with your suppliers, they could have old stuff that hasn't moved so they just want to get rid of it cheap to make space for something that sells. I picked up a bunch of old assorted composite decking for our fishing pier at the coast, .50 per lf. that way.

Yeah, no need for drawing if you're doing all the work.
 
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