Sunday, May 10, 2009

Special on Aisle 5

Don't wait for flashing blue lights at the (mostly gone) K-Mart stores. Hidden gems await at your local big box home improvement store. Walk the aisles on weekends and you're sure to find an unadvertised bargain or two. That's how the Handy Imp found the best deal around on window blinds.

Seems a buyer had "misread" a particular type of window covering. These were custom sizes that didn't fit standard windows. What no one realized so much was the fact they could be easily resized by removing the bottom slats as needed. So, stacks and stacks of them went on sale for $5.99 - that's a big whopping difference from the $39.99-$69-99 for standard versions of the same quality.

So, for the price of interim paper shades, 10 windows received new blinds at a fraction of the cost.

When you're building or renovating, it pays to stalk those aisles. You never know.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Making the Grade with Plumbing Gear

For do-it-yourselfers, fixing minor plumbing problems is no big deal. Repair a leaky valve in the tank or even re-seat the toilet in more extreme situations. Sometimes, the pipes have a few issues and you need to replace a section of PVC. Now, here's where it's not a good idea to save a little money.

The Handy Imp did a compare on purchasing a section of PVC from the big box home improvement store as opposed to a well-known smaller franchise (whose names shall remain unnamed to protect the Handy Imp, mostly). The required parts from the smaller franchise were considerably less expensive, which initially looked like a good deal. However, an inspection of the quality (i.e., thickness) of these parts explained the difference in pricing. Big Box Store (BBS) came out on top.

The Imp's final word: don't get all excited about lower prices until you've made a real comparison in quality. Plumbing supplies are one area you don't want to skimp on. Otherwise, the law of averages applies - you'll be stuck re-doing the job on a nice sunny weekend!

What's in your home plumbing toolbox?