Posted to Where-is-Waldo by Mike in Marion, OH
Waldo is smack dab in the middle of "flatlanders" Ohio.
First I want to issue a warning. I am writing a book. Not literally. My co-worker Evan has told me I have to write a book. He is undoubtedly tired of hearing me talk to him about building so I will put it out there to people who might benefit from my ramblings.
We are building on what is arguably a hill, on 2.5 acres. We have had the land free and clear for about five years. We originally were going to build a Cape Cod modular home in 2001. We decided it was not going to be the home of our dreams, so we decided to wait.
We have decided now is the perfect time, since Julie and I have both finished our bachelors degrees and she is working full-time. Our target groundbreaking is May. Julie is a Retail Interior Designer and I am quite handy, so I think we are going to make a great owner-builder team. Plus we love to bargain shop! We have been designing the house ourselves for about a year, and just handed our floorplan design over to an architect about a month ago. About that same time we purchased The Owner-Builder Book. Smartest thing we ever did. It really got us fired up. I read it cover to cover in about three days. Then decided to buy The Complete Guide to Contracting Your Home. Another good book for other O-B's to read. As soon as I finished the first book, we hit the ground running. We have spent in the last few weeks just under $1,000 dollars and saved around $3,000. For you other O-B's, here are some suggestions that we already took advantage of.
1. Got lucky and found all of our interior and exterior door hardware. Bargain Outlet had all of its Schlage locks on sale on top of being on clearance. We bought four deadbolts, our main entry lock, all bedroom, bathroom, and closet doorknobs in brushed nickel. We spent $350 for all of it. I looked it all up on Lowes.com and found that we would have spent over $800 for the exact same stuff. bargain-outlets.com
2. Julie, being in the design field, knows about places that you and I would drive by and say, that place looks scary! One such place is Lowendicks (owner's last name). This is a home improvement junkyard in Newark, Ohio. He has antique clawfoot tubs, sinks, old doors, fireplace mantels, and mountains of junk! We found a cast iron pedestal sink for $75. We have to refinish that. Any suggestions on that would be appreciated. We are planning another trip over to get a clawfoot tub as well. They run between $50 and $250. We also unbelievably found our main entry door. It is a brand new fiberglass door with two sidelites for $250. This was a rare find, as most things there are used. We had previously priced this door at Lowe's and it was $983 through them. Sorry, no website. Just a phone number for these folks. 740-323-3127. And by the way, they are cash only! No checks, credit cards, etc.
3. Another scary place that can be a gold mine is the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. This place takes donations from contractors or people remodeling their houses. Some things are new and others have huge gaping holes in them. We went to the one in Columbus, Ohio. Check out their website for other locations. habitatforhumanityofohio.org. They take credit cards!
We bought two double doors. (I call them French doors, but Julie always corrects me.) They were $75 apiece. I don't know who donated them to Habitat, but the store sticker for 84 Lumber was still on them. I have yet to go to 84 Lumber and price them new. I am guessing they are about $200 apiece.
4. eBay! We bought our cabinet knobs from eBay. A dealer had 50 brushed satin nickel knobs for $43.50. That's only 87 cents apiece and they are $1.97 at Lowe's. And they had a deal where you pay no shipping on them. We received them in three days and were delighted with them. We also found our drawer pulls on clearance for $.97 apiece at Lowe's. They were normally $3.97.
That is all for now. Many pictures to follow.