Renovating this house has been an educational experience of sorts. I learned to properly use dust masks by pinching the metal part to fit your face. I have discovered signs indicating a termite infestation. I have seen the usefulness of putty knives, and I have a whole new set of vocabulary words – utility bar, squares, caps, sistering, blocking, etc.
A possible result of my ongoing renovation education, I have been become a much better bargain hunter. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been fond of sales and saving money, it’s just that I don’t usually go out and hunt these things down. It all started when I hired a new contractor. He is my uncle’s good friend, but lives out-of-state. So, I am in charge of getting materials for the upcoming jobs. Armed with my list, I have contacted every hardware store, lumber supplier, and siding manufacturer that I could find within 45 miles. I looked for the best prices, made comparisons, called for estimates, and wrote everything down in handy lists. I even learned how to make double-sided copies on the machine at work to run the lists off! I checked for deals, I found coupons. Basically, I did everything I could to save money, and more importantly, I think it worked out. Lowes was having a sale on windows, so every one of them was 15% off. I signed up for moving coupons. I found french doors on clearance. I received discounts from sales people trying to beat my other estimates. Ultimately, I think we manages to save quite a bit, even though the front door was a bit of a splurge. I saved some money, I learned some new skills. Both pretty valuable to this renovation…although, finding a bag of gold under the floorboards would probably be more helpful.