You’ve found your dream home or are getting ready to sell but the home could use some updating/refreshing. How do you make upgrades to your home without breaking the bank? There are some great options in the Greater Portland area for finding building materials and borrowing (or renting) tools for cheap!
Habitat for Humanity ReStore
659 Warren Avenue, Portland, ME 04103
According to their website, approximately half of the items at Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore are brand new, but they also have many really nice used items like kitchen and bathroom cabinets, doors, sinks, and even granite countertops for a fraction of what these items would cost new. Many people purchase more materials than they need for larger projects and have leftover, so if you have a smaller tiling or flooring project, it’s a great first place to check for tile and other flooring materials. They also carry furniture and working appliances.
Portland Architectural Salvage
131 Preble Street, Portland, Maine 04101
Looking for a clawfoot tub, cool old doorknobs, radiators, fireplace surrounds, doors, lighting, plumbing, and other antique features to add to or restore your home? Then Portland Architectural Salvage is the place! Some of the prices are steep but the quality of the old building materials can’t be matched in today’s building material stores.
Maine Building Materials Exchange
102 Lisbon Road, Lisbon, Maine 04250
From antique hardware and architectural salvage to newer lighting, furniture, plumbing and hardware, and even heating and cooling supplies, Maine Building Materials Exchange is a great place to help make your house a home. According to their website: Anyone is welcome to shop at the Building Materials Exchange. Low- and moderate-income individuals and families receive a significant discount on our already low prices. Just bring in proof of your income (a copy of your most recent tax return is best) and start shopping.
Tool Libraries and Rentals:
Maine Tool Library:
The Resilience Hub, 224 Anderson St., Portland, Maine 04101
Maine Tool Library is a volunteer-run tool lending library in Portland, Maine with a seriously impressive supply of tools, including tools for automotive, bike, carpentry and woodworking, electrical and soldering, home maintenance, lamps/lighting, metalworking, plumbing, presses, remodeling, stoves and burners, sustainable living, yard and garden, and even kitchen appliances. It’s a membership-based organization and you can become a member by either donating (they suggest $50/year, but also offer a sliding scale) and/or donating your time by volunteering.
Local Hardware Stores:
Many of Maine’s local hardware stores (and most of the large, not so local ones, too) offer tool rentals. I particularly love the folks at Maine Hardware on St. John Street in Portland http://mainehardware.com/ as their staff is always really helpful (plus they have free popcorn).