Further to my recent blog, Renovating on a Budget, Part 1, I thought I’d mention a few “hidden gems” in Vancouver that have budget-conscious finishing touches. I’m omitting the obvious “Big 3”: Home Depot, Rona and Lowe’s. Note that I don’t have a direct affiliation to these stores—I’m just getting the word out!

AMAZON
You can comparison shop the “Big 3” vs. Amazon.  Often, Amazon wins–if you can wait a day or two!  We sourced bendable baseboards (surprisingly expensive), exterior door hardware, light bulbs, electronic doorbells, video security, and VERA, (our talking smoke/carbon monoxide detectors) online at lower prices.

JACK’S NEW AND USED BUILDING MATERIALS
Jack’s is on Still Creek Dr. in Burnaby.  Aside from new and used doors, they carry demolition treasures–beautiful millwork and finishes from old mansions that have fallen victim to the wrecking ball in Vancouver. From chandeliers, to kitchen cabinets, to toilets and appliances, Jack’s is a scavenger’s dream.  I purchased a new fiberglass door with a large glass insert for $120 (retail: $400).  When it’s time to renovate our bathrooms, I will likely source a claw-foot bathtub here.

HABITAT FOR HUMANITY RE-STORE
Contractors and Do-it-Yourselfers will often donate leftover materials or scrapped finishes to the Re-store.  Tax receipts are available for larger donations.  The stores are volunteer-run, and raise money to build homes for deserving families.  They have kitchen cabinets, art, furniture, construction tools and fixtures. I personally bought two light fixtures and some backsplash tiles for our basement ($3 per square foot instead of $8).  Check out Habitat’s website for locations: www.habitatgv.ca.  There are locations in South Vancouver, North Vancouver, and two locations in Burnaby.  I had the best luck at the huge Enterprise St. store in Lake City.

DISCOUNT KITCHEN AND BATH CABINETS
This store, off of Lougheed in Burnaby, has designer-look sinks and faucets, and lots of cabinetry options, at very low prices.  They have paired with some counter-top fabricators as well, so they are a one-stop shop for kitchen and bathroom cabinets.  They are great for basement suite renovations!

UP-CYCLING WITH SELLUTION AND CONSIGNMENT CANADA
Up-cycling is the act of re-purposing or refurbishing something older instead of buying something new.  Oftentimes, this means better quality workmanship, and a better choice for the environment! Stores like Sellution on Kingsway (I believe they have moved from their original Main Street location) and Consignment Canada on Pemberton in North Van have some cool furniture and art to add character and warmth to your home.  You can even use stores like these to sell your current furniture, should you want a change! Even better, Sellution carries chalk paint by Van Gogh.  It’s an easy-to-use, locally-made product that is low VOC and great for refreshing old furniture!  I recently transformed an ugly cane coffee table into a shabby chic piece for our living room. Channel your inner Martha Stewart and see what you come up with.

RESTORATION HARDWARE OUTLET
Those in love with RH’s sleek style may not know that there is a Vancouver outlet at Morgan’s Crossing in South Surrey.  Until recently, Tulalip was your only option for a deal—and that location has closed down!  At the Morgan’s Crossing outlet, they oftentimes have 30% or 40% off the entire store, or they rotate the sale on certain categories of furniture.  Note that everything on the floor is for sale, and you may have to arrange for delivery (they don’t order online for you, stock is added on Tuesdays and Thursdays)!  Contrary to rumors, prices are in CANADIAN DOLLARS, and if you love something, buy it—it may not be there tomorrow.

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