Selling your house this spring and need a quick spruce-up? Or are you a first-time home-buyer who wants to renovate on a budget? Instead of handing your paycheck to Lowe's or Home Depot, consider the bargain-hunting alternatives.
1. Scratch on steel? Scratch $500. The Sears outlet at 4100 Tomlyn St. (just off Westwood Avenue, north of Broad Street) has an enormous selection of discontinued and scratch-and-dent appliances, TVs, exercise equipment and even foosball tables, all 10 to 70 percent off retail. Sharp-eyed shoppers can save hundreds or thousands on high-end appliances with minor cosmetic flaws.
2. See what other renovators have left behind. The ReStore at 1901 Roane St., operated by Richmond Metropolitan Habitat for Humanity, offers inexpensive fixtures and materials. You'll find insulation, tiles, cabinets, windows, doors and paint. You may not find exactly what you're looking for, Manager Michael Norman says, but "I do guarantee that when you come in here, you're gonna find something that you need." The showroom is being updated. Proceeds benefit the nonprofit.
3. Search for classified information. Whatever you're looking for, someone in the area is probably trying to get rid of. Don't forget to check local classifieds for bargains. In addition to the offerings in newspapers' classifieds section, an online option, www.craigslist.org, recently listed concrete planters, riding mowers, walnut flooring, shingles and porch posts. Look in the "material" and "farm+garden" sections.