Three years ago my husband and I decided to add 900 square feet to our existing home. There was only one thing standing in our way: Money!

We had very little money, and not nearly enough to pay a contractor the $110,000 he estimated it would cost to build our addition.

I’ve always been a thrifty gal. I save money on everything from food to vacations. My husband jokingly asked me if I had any coupons we could use to buy building supplies. I took this joke seriously and got to work finding ways we could build our addition on a major budget and pay for it little by little out of my husband’s paychecks. To my husband’s surprise I was able to save us a TON of money!

Here are my best tips for finding building supplies on a budget.

Military discounts

Lowe’s and Home Depot both offer a 10% discount to military including veterans (my husband is a veteran). This discount has helped us in a huge way over the past three years.

Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity has 825 ReStores in several states that offer building supplies at up to 90% off. We have purchased tile, insulation, duct work, plumbing, and more from our local ReStore, and we have saved tons of money! The selection changes almost daily, but they always have great finds. Visit Habitat online to see a list of ReStore locations.

World Vision

World Vision is a nonprofit organization that also has Storehouses in certain states that also offer discount building supplies. In order to qualify in my area you have to be sponsored by a clergy member, pay a $10 yearly fee, and volunteer for eight hours. If you agree to these terms you can shop in the Storehouse for name brand building supplies such as Kohler, Delta, Simonton, Anderson, Moen, and many many more. I recently purchased a brand new sink that retailed for $750, and I only paid $25 (new in the box)! We have also purchased Tyvek house wrap for over 80% off and new paint rollers for only a dime a piece. Check out World Vision online to look for Storehouses in your area.


Another place we saved a ton of money on building supplies was our local Goodwill. I stop in our Goodwill store at least four or five times a week just to see what they have. I have purchased brand new tile, roofing nails, and plumbing supplies at only a portion of what they would have cost at the big name home improvement stores.


Used and new building supplies can be found here. I was able to purchase all of the vinyl siding for our house for only $250 from Craigslist.


We wanted to lay down rustic-looking hardwood flooring with old-fashioned square nails. We were in shock to find that one 50 pound box of the nails we needed would cost us $400 from the supplier! We found the same nails from a seller on eBay, and we bought them for $90 shipped.

Salvage yards

There is a place near me in Pittsburgh called Construction Junction. I am obsessed with this place. The inventory changes almost daily, and I love going there to see what new things they have. This place is huge! I was able to purchase two big boxes of used hardwood flooring for only $75. The boxes were so large they had to be loaded with a forklift (there was over 800 square feet of solid hardwood flooring in those boxes). I have also purchased cabinets from Construction Junction for only $10 a piece. Tile can be found for as low as $2 a box. Need a piece of wood for a project? They sell huge slabs of wood for only $1 (the same piece of project wood at Lowe’s was $30). Search for used building supplies or salvage yards in your area to find similar places to shop.


Simonton Windows Outlet in Pennsboro, WV is a huge warehouse full of brand new windows that are factory seconds or discontinued. The savings here are amazing! I have heard of people driving up to 8 hours to visit this outlet because the savings are so great. I purchased all of my windows for my addition, including sliding doors and a huge picture window, for under $500. Those same windows would have cost me thousands elsewhere.

Building or remodeling can be so expensive! Use the tips I’ve mentioned above and I promise you will never want to pay full price for building materials again! It really is possible to have what you want if you’re willing to get creative about where to find it.

This is a guest post by Shawna from Bridgeport, WV
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Upgrade and Save: Home Improvement on a Budget