If you're on the look out for good deals and unique finds for your home you should check out your local architectural salvage store or community ReStore. Here are some reasons why...
Architectural Salvage Store
Owners of architectural salvage stores rescue unique items from old homes and commercial properties soon to be torn down or renovated.
An architectural salvage store is more pricey than a local "Re-store" because it is filled with antiques and rare items. Even still, you can find some great deals for more higher-end looks.
Here are my favorite things to look for:
1. Light Fixtures
Although they are not thrift store prices, you can find unique light fixtures at architectural salvage stores for great prices. Reproductions of some of the shades in the picture above usually range from $100-$200.
The above [left photo] pendant is from my local salvage store for $65. A similar, yet smaller, reproduction pendant is $225 at Rejuvenation.
2. Light Fixture Shades
The left photo is one of the shades from my local salvage store that sells for $15. It's the original version of this reproduction found at Rejuvenation for $70.
3. Antique Rugs
You can usually find smaller versions of antique rugs for a great price. The big ones are usually expensive because they are in more demand. All of the above rugs were no more than $75. If I can negotiate the owner down, the one in the middle is on my radar for an upholstered bench.
4. Vintage Hardware
Whether it's old door knobs or vintage cabinet hardware, you can find tons of options at an architectural salvage store. If you have an old house you might even be able to find a replacement knob or lock if needed.
5. Marble Remnants
Are you looking to build some furniture or maybe make this marble-topped table? Marble remnants come in all shapes and sizes. Just ask, they might even cut and polish it for you too! These are much more affordable than going to a local countertop store.
6. Doors and Windows
There are always many old doors of all different styles. These doors are old, solid wood, and ready to find new homes. Are you building a home? Find a door for your home at the salvage store and build the doorway to size.
8. Replacement Flooring and Unique Flooring
If you need to patch wood flooring in an old home then check out your local salvage store's supply of old wood floors. You can also find replacements for vintage tile. If your local store doesn't have what you're looking for then try other salvage stores with an online presence.
9. Vintage Bathroom Sinks
The price often varies but you can find a unique sink for your next bathroom project at a salvage store. The above sink is $95... an amazing price for a unique sink.
10. You Can Sell Items
Yikes...I know. This was the condition of the master bedroom the day before we moved into our 99 year old home. Before you get lost in the wallpaper, notice the light fixture/ceiling fan. It was original to the house but not my style. We took it down carefully and went to our local architectural salvage store. I clearly did not have time to sell this fixture online...I had more pressing issues. Thinking I would get about $50, my jaw dropped when the store owner offered me $250. The moral of the story? If you have an antique piece with no patience for selling it online, try your local architectural salvage store.
Budget home renovation goals can be obtained here. Flippers can make more money by shopping here. Most local Re-Stores are run for charity so your purchase will go to a good cause. Sounds good right? Of course, the finds can be hit or miss, but the prices are always great.
Here are my favorite things to look for...
I usually look for my DIY lighting projects here. I also buy shades for existing fixtures in our rentals and flips. These pendants [right photo] without shades are looking for some spray paint and a new shade. Did I mention they're $3?
You can find some great steals here. Ask good questions such as: "Where did this come from?," or "Has it been repaired?" Some local stores will hook them up for you so you can see them working.
Doors are much cheaper here than an architectural salvage store. Prices range from $5-$30.
4. Kitchen and Bathroom Sinks
If you are doing a kitchen or bathroom remodel on a budget, there are plenty of drop-in sinks for your project.
ReStores often have donated overstock from other retailers or materials not used from builders. There is often tile, laminate, engineered hardwood, and large carpet remnants. My local store stays right at $1.25 sqft or less.
6. Builder Overstock
These items are hit and miss but right now my local store has cut granite for sale. There are about 100 pieces of granite to fit a standard 30 and 36 inch bathroom cabinet. These were left over from a contractor who built high-end loft apartments. Did I mention for these were $50? Local granite companies will often cut holes for sinks for a small fee.
The above door was a custom door that arrived to a builder's site cut to the wrong size. The builder took the loss and donated it. If you're building a home, check the ReStore while you are planning because you might find something, like the above door, worth planning around. A custom craftsmen door would be priced in the thousands. This door is for sale for less than $200.
This is random, but I always notice there are headboards in mass quantity at local ReStores. Hotels usually donate old furniture during a renovation. If you are looking to upholster a headboard, check your restore. Buying one here is much cheaper and less time consuming than buying wood and cutting your own to size.
There is always a variety of good and bad furniture at a ReStore. It can be feast or famine, but it's always worth a look. The right photo was one of two chairs I found this week. They are in great structural condition and a whopping $5. They need some upholstery and metal refinishing, but I am excited to give them a new life in my office.
9. Kitchen Cabinets
Install an entire set of cabinets, build an island for cheap, add a cabinet, or find a door replacement. The cheap way to do any of this is to head to the ReStore. Paint can unify different finishes easily.
Are you convinced? Did we miss anything? Please tell us your favorite thing to look for at these stores?