Outfitting your new home

By Mir
January 16, 2007

Allanna writes:

Mir, you pretty thing, you!

Did I remember to mention that you’re pretty? And brilliant? My question is this: My husband and I recently bought our first house… and we’re trying to get it to be gorgeous and wonderful. One thing in particular that we’re looking for is home-stuff hardware… exterior door handles, bathroom faucets, and the like. How can we best emulate your mad skillz in getting spectacular deals on these things?

Thank you so much! You’re pretty!!

Allanna is very good at sucking up. We like that. In fact, I bet that Allanna is really, really pretty.

So how do you get all of those annoying little house things for less?

For most of us, the best intersection between convenience and price when you need to buy everything from curtain rods to drawer pulls is to head to your local Big Box home improvement store. It’s not sexy or glamorous, but they’ll have everything you need at a reasonable price.

Sign up for a 10% off at Home Depot coupon right here, or for a 10% off Lowe’s coupon right here. These coupons arrive in the mail after about ten years, so request them immediately and be prepared to delay your shopping for a bit.

(Once you hit those big stores, look around for a cart of open boxes, returns, and similar “less-than-perfect” items. You may find a bargain that way.)

Want to do some shopping online? Overstock has all kinds of home improvement stufficon, and you know from experience that there’s always an Overstock coupon floating around here somewhere (if you can’t find a current one, email me). They have the advantage of some nice stuff for low prices, but the disadvantage of not being able to touch it before you buy. You have to decide how much that matters to you.

Willing to do some hunting locally? Stores like Big Lots often have the sorts of things you’ll need, at reduced prices, but the selection will be minimal and you may have to dig through a lot of junk to find the bargains. This is a great option if you’re longer on time than money. If time is at a premium, you probably won’t want to bother.

Here’s a general tip to remember: Your time is worth money, whether you have a paying job or not. No bargain is worth the time if it takes you forever and/or drives you insane. It’s okay to pay a little more for convenience, provided that you’re not overspending your means.

Congratulations, and enjoy your new home, Allanna!


  1. My husband and I have remodeled 3 houses so far. We found the hardware that we wanted at Home Depot and wrote down the information. Then we came home and searched for the style online and found them for about half of the price at different websites. It pays to research.

  2. Check and see if you have a Habitat for Humanity ReStore near you. THey sell construction/home improvement items donated by local builders and home remodelers. Since it is all donations, there is no guarentee of stock, but you can get amazing deals on the things that they do have. And you get to feel good, since their profits go to building more houses 🙂

    Here is their directory:

  3. I second Caren’s suggestion. We were able to get drawer/cabinet pulls and knobs through MyKnobs.com. The name’s a little odd, but we were happy with them and they were considerably cheaper than the orange big box store that shall remain nameless.

  4. Ditto on Habitat Store. They have donations of new and used stuff, so sometimes you can find some really cool antique fixtures there. You just have to be prepared to buy it that day because there’s no guarantee that it will ever be back.

  5. It is good to remember that your time is worth something, b/c I spent a lot of time finding just such things (knobs and the like) during a recent remodel and it is hit and miss what is cheaper/better selection/etc online, and what is just fine at HD/Lowes. Don’t drive yourself crazy is good advice. I got about half-and-half online vs at the store.

  6. Thank you, Mir! I knew that you’d come through for me!
    Your post (and the comments) give us lots to consider (and that’s a great thing).

    Again, thanks so much!

  7. If you know exactly what you want, learning how to build a good search on Ebay for it is worth your time. There are many folks out there selling home fixtures for less than retail.

    You can also set Ebay to look continuously for your specific item and email you when it becomes available (in an area called “favorite searches”).

    (Check the seller’s feedback scores before buying, though. There are some bad folks, but very few with more than 100 transactions and a 99% or higher positive rating. I’ve been buying on Ebay for over six years, and have had one bad purchase in all that time.)

    Small tangent: Sinks are one thing I’m willing to spend a little more for– to me, a cheap sink makes your whole house a little shabbier. A wowza sink makes you (or your guests) feel like a princess every time you use it. Dunno why that is, but it is.

    Tangent 2: Oh- and if you’re having kids in that house, stay away from the nifty lever-style door handles. My one-year-old can open those with ease– and she’s only been walking a month. Regular doorknobs will give you much more control on where they toddle when you’re not looking!

Bargain Hunt





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