Bargain Hunter: Lumber Edition

In honor of my 30th post, I’ve decided to regale tales of the Cysouw Bargain Hunters.

They’re known to be a special breed.  They often scavenge about, searching out great deals.  Highly protective of their dollars, these creatures will often not stop until a sufficient deal has been found.  Many times, it is the future project that receives the best score, bang for your buck, or as Charlie Sheen and Courtney from The Bachelor like to say, “Winning!”

Let’s just say… we like a good deal.  Sometimes to a fault.  But I’m gonna go with the age old adage,

“You’d be out of your mind to pass up a deal this good!!”  

– Lisa Cysouw

Let’s preface this post by picking up where we left off.  Busy July & August = very little progress on the house.  However, the following items have been completed !

In no particular order, because that’s how we fly:

  • house purchased and mostly kinda, sorta, basically, partially moved into
  • bedroom ceilings scraped
  • bedroom ceilings patched and retextured with knock-down
  • bedroom ceilings (2 out of 3) painted
  • 2 bedrooms stripped of their wallpaper
  • 3 bedrooms carpeted
  • multiple walls torn out
  • some minor backyard landscaping
  • kitchen designing
  • a gazillion and four furniture moves
  • one closet taken from a room and added to another to create a master bedroom walk in closet
  • lots and lots of mudding and sanding and vacuuming and dusting and pain in the rear cleaning due to said mudding and sanding
  • etc etc etc.

I’m sure there is more that I am missing – but my brain is foggy right now and I haven’t consulted Lee.  He would know better than I considering he does the majority of the work.  I just nod my head, do as I’m told, and am on clean up duty.  I’m also realizing we’re doing pretty good at tackling projects considering we have lived here for a solid 3 months !  (we moved in July 4th, 2012).  Winning !

We obviously have a lot of work ahead of us.  That isn’t a surprise to anyone, considering we bought this house with the intention of re-doing … like… all of it !  Our initial thought process was to do the work, piece by piece, room by room, over the course of the next 5 years or so – tackling projects as we can afford.  Definitely not a full home HGTV reno special.  Because, hey, we’re not made of moola nor do we have a tree that produces twenties.  And we’re down to one income as I didn’t return to work after my maternity leave.  With all that said, that means we have a fairly specific task list with a fairly specific budget accompanying said task list.

HOWEVER – when a steal of a deal sale comes up – sometimes it is better to bite the bullet than to hold off.

A project that is placed on the Things To Do list (down the road) took a few steps forward two weeks ago.  It was like a 4 month old taking their first steps – super premature and exceedingly unexpected, but a joy nonetheless.

We were at one of our favourite local home stores, The Home Improvement Warehouse, early September, picking up baseboard, door trim, and casing for the bedrooms (after doing a butt-load of price comparisons with other home supply stores) and at the check out, I asked my pal, Graham (yup, first name basis… sad or impressive ?!) if they were going to be having any sales on their lumber.

Well – angels sang and fluttered about and my heart strings were pulled and my eyes probably looked like they were going to fall out of my face – because the next words out of his mouth made me so flippin’ giddy.  “We’re actually blowing out the entire lumber yard in a couple of weeks.  Prices will be slashed.  50% off – or more – on our already discounted prices. You save big money. ” Ok – that was paraphrased, but you get the gist.

A discount home improvement store blowing out their lumber yard!?!  Helloooo deck and raised planters yard project – you just won 1st place in the purchasing round.

I could feel it.  This would be HUGE.  Big BIG BIIIGGGGG savings.  Be still my beating heart.

I was politely informed that the sale was coming.  Not on yet.  Put away your credit cards and crazy eyes, Lisa.  Check the website around September 15th.  All will be revealed around then.

Like the deal mongerer I am, I waited.  Mostly.  Who’s kidding who.  I’m fairly impatient.  I checked their website a couple times prior to September 15th – like, whenever I looked outside and started day dreaming about my yard.  However, the most impressive thing I did was put a calendar reminder in my phone.  September 15th.  Beeeeepppppp Beeeeeepppppp…. Look for deals time !!  And look I did.  Refreshed the website a couple dozen times throughout the day.

Nothing.  Nada.  Zip.

I gave them two days.  And then, I emailed the store.  Naturally.

You know, asking politely – no all caps yelling or anything.  An important learning lesson for all of you deal seekers:  don’t bite the hand that doles out the dealios.

Sure enough – the response I got caused waves in the Cysouw house.  Tomorrow (aka September 18th – yes, I am behind the times) the new flyer was coming out and all would be revealed.

Jump to less than 17 or so hours later and you would see Lee and I jibber jabbering on the phone over his lunch break discussing the Home Improvement Warehouse flyer and all the gloriousness that was inside.

This meant doing some final number crunching/comparing to other lumber supply stores.  Determining if this was a good enough bargain to bust a hole in the budget ship to purchase material for a project that wouldn’t come into fruition for over 9 months.  Some hmmm’s and some haaahhhh’s were heard for miles I’m sure.  We don’t take this stuff lightly.  With me not working, money is a hot commodity, so staying to our budget is integral.

With confirmation from Lee’s dad aka Senior Size aka Dale Cysouw – we put our noggins together – a few nights in a row – to discuss what we wanted the back yard (and front yard) to look like one day.  We’ve found that having a plan is the best starting point.  Even if the whole plan doesn’t pan out.  At least there is direction.  Having this plan also helped us know exactly how much lumber we would be purchasing – based on the projects we intended on completing.

Although we have a plan, things could change.  So you get some solid liquid-y, slightly vague-but-fairly-close-to-what-will-hopefully-be-the-finished-project insight.

We will be building approximately 30 feet of raised planters in the backyard and an 8 foot by 20+foot front porch/deck which will be underneath the bedroom windows.

Super informative hey.  Can you see it !?!  Hahaha… sorry.  I don’t even have pictures of our sketches.  Note to self, take more pictures.

Oh – did I mention that we bought cedar ?  The one major benefit of holding off on these projects is the glorious smell of my garage.  Cedar is so very yummy smelling.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, head to your nearest home building store and hang out by some cedar.  It makes me swoon.

Having a bargain hunter post would be incomplete without some evidential “proof” (I say that loosely – you’re gonna have to trust my research) that we got a smokin’ awesome, super spectacular price.  I created a mini spreadsheet for such a moment.  To quickly show you (in a way that makes sense in my brain, ok) the price difference between the Home Improvement Warehouse pricing to the Home Depot for the exact same product.

And as you can tell, we saved some serious moooola.  Hey there cash cow.  We win !  Had we purchased the same amount of lumber next year, we would have paid about 2x as much as we did.  Saving over 1200 buckeroo’s really made sense for us.  Just one way to save butt loads of money.

And, Home Depot, please know that there is no hatin’ on you.  You’re still one of our faves – but this time, the H.I.W. won out.    By $1200!  But perhaps next time, dear store, next time.

Anyone else find some seriously snappy good deals lately ?  On home shtuff ?  Personal belongings ?  Trips ?  Please – how do you find deals ?  We are getting really good at brazenly asking for better prices, researching end of the season deals, comparison shopping, and striking when the iron is hot… or not.

And – wishing all of our Canadian’s a very HAPPY THANKSGIVING !!!!!

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