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How to Save Money on Updating Your Crofton Home

Instead of selling your home in today’s market, why not make your current one better by updating it, as we’re doing with our home.

Pink bathroomDo-it-yourself is the obvious way to save money, but we’ve “been there, done that” over the years.  As first-time home buyers when we bought a brand-new Crofton home in the 70’s, we couldn’t change out the pink bathroom, tile floors, hollow-core doors and other typical Levitt home features fast enough.  And yet we have lived with the original baths in our current home for a decade.

My husband Larry and brother Mike re-did our kitchen, but we decided to hire a contractor for updating the obnoxious pink bathroom (photo on the right).  The choice of contractor was easy for us, since I always recommend J&D Contractors to my clients, who LOVE their work.  Still, paying someone to do home improvements is something new for us, so we wanted to save money another way – possibly the cost of materials and fixtures.

RestoreWith that in mind, we headed to Pasadena to the Habitat for Humanity Re-store that I heard about from my friends Lisa and David Webber.  You’re probably aware that Habitat for Humanity builds homes in partnership with the home’s new owners, with labor performed by volunteers and using donated materials.  But not all donated materials are used to build homes – some are sold for profit in the re-stores.

Larry measures the doorsWe spent a lot of time at Lowe’s and Home Depot in the past month,
making preliminary selections of a vanity, lighting, tile and fixtures. In fact, we created a budget based on those selections so we immediately recognized the tremendous values we spotted at Renovation Station, the Anne Arundel County re-store. 

Larry and I were both surprised at what we found:  brand new items still in boxes (and used items, as well) – even toilets, plumbing supplies, lighting fixtures, towel bars…  We ended up finding nearly everything necessary for our bathroom update, and paying less than half of retail.

Instead of paying $260 or more for a vanity, we paid $104 – and we had our choice of several, still in their cartons.  In fact, we found one the same finish as our kitchen cabinets.  According to the volunteer working at the cash register, these vanities were donated by a contractor who purchased them in quantity for updating hotel baths but had a few more than needed for the job.

164Our cost for a granite vanity top and bowl was $60, not the $199+ we had budgeted – and the style/color were similar to what we liked at Lowe’s and Home Depot.

We purchased door knobs for the project at just $5 each – I priced the same brand at Home Depot yesterday for $15.

We returned two doors to Lowe’s when we got home because we were able to get two new pre-hung doors exactly like them for $50 less at the re-store.

And the list goes on…

If you want to save money when you update your Crofton home,
I highly recommend you visit a Habitat for Humanity Re-Store.  There are several in Maryland, and they each will have different inventory at amazing prices.  If you don’t find what you want at one location, chances are they’ll have it at another.  (Use the link in this post for a list of locations.)  We were lucky…  we saved a bundle shopping at that one re-store!

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Copyright 2009.  All rights reserved.  “How to Save Money on Updating Your Crofton Home”  – Margaret Woda

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