Although I would love to someday have my own design TV show, one criticism about many of them is the “demo” that they do. Granted it makes for good TV to see people tearing a house apart and ripping everything out to throw it away, but in reality they are also throwing away money!
Not only is it environmentally important to reuse things, but it’s amazing how much money you can save too. When I start to design a house, I always look for things that can be salvaged and reused. Doors are one of my favorite things… The saying “they don’t make ’em like they use to” is so true! Solid wood doors are beautiful and a good coat of paint (or stain if you’re daring!) with new hardware makes them better than new!
The other thing that I love to save are cabinets. Good quality, solid wood cabinets with dove tailed drawers are expensive, but they weren’t years ago. Granted they might have years of grease on them or be painted pink – But with a good scrub, fresh paint, and some always important kitchen reconfiguration… Those cabinets can look good as new and make a much bigger impact than the standard stock cabinets many flippers buy at Home Depot.
Other good finds to save money: Light fixtures (Spray painted if necessary), Built-in’s (Always important to keep the original charm), Bathroom fixtures (People have a tendency to update these themselves, so sometimes you have an ugly house – But a nice bathroom faucet!), Failed projects (People have ambition, but occasionally not enough… Piles of patio pavers, extra baseboards, stacks of tile – Turn that trash into treasure). Be creative! And use what you’ve got! It’s a lot cheaper to make something “look new” then it is to buy brand new!
MY FLIP TIP: If you’re reusing old cabinets (obviously clean and paint them) – But don’t forget to add trim! Crown molding on the top and light rail molding on the bottom with new hardware makes cabinets look custom and expensive while adding a touch of elegance to any style!