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Home Improvement Stores

Updated on January 2, 2010
Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet-White is an internationally known food writer, food editor for Texas Living, cookbook author, and food blogger.

Home Improvement is the Trend

Checking out the magazine rack at the grocery store makes it seem like everyone is doing some sort of home improvement project. From Martha to Oprah the magazine covers sing the praises of projects you can do in a weekend, or projects you can do for under fifty bucks.

But where are you going to go to get some of the specialized materials you need for your own project? If you are restoring a vintage home, homesteading, or just want something a little out of the ordinary then it can be more difficult to find what you want locally.

You answer is online home improvement stores. They are the source for everything from an exact replica of a 1902 doorknob to modern light fixtures.

While Home Depot and Lowes are well known, there are other stores that may be more helpful depending on your project.

You can find great products to finish your old house project easily online.
You can find great products to finish your old house project easily online.

Restoration Hardware

Restoration Hardware is one of the best catalog sources for your do it yourself projects, especially if you have a vintage home. They carry everything from furniture and rugs, to faucets and cabinet pulls.

Restoration Hardware is currently branching out into classic furniture and products for babies and children.

Whether you are looking for Victorian or Danish Modern you will be able to find it at Restoration Hardware. They offer no interest/no payment credit for one year with a 750.00 purchase. Another perk of shopping with them is that they do have a gift registry, something that is unusual in home improvement stores!

Van Dykes Restorers

Van Dykes Restorers has more of the tools and materials for actual projects than Restoration Hardware.

If you need a corbel to finish that archway in your parlor, or parts to restore an Alladin lamp to working condition you can find it here. They offer both Heartland and Elmira retro style appliances for the kitchen, including woodburning stoves.

If you are actually restoring plaster and wood moldings in a vintage house then this is the place you will want to check first. They have numerous materials for recreating moldings of all types, as well as some great how to articles.

They have a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and will either give you your money back, or replace any product that is not satisfactory.

Do It Best

Do It Best is a huge online store where you can find everything from roofing materials to hay bags.

They carry paint, ladders, and even kitchen sinks. This store is not primarily for vintage homes but it more of an all inclusive home improvement center. They have an eco-friendly department where you can even find the reel hand mowers.

With project guides, how to articles and more inventory that anyone can imagine, Do It Best is a great resource for your projects.

Vintage Hardware

Vintage Hardware has a huge selection of reproduction lighting, hardware, and items to help you restore you home as authentically as possible.

They make it easy to shop by allowing you to shop by item or by architectural style. So, if your home is a 1917 Arts and Crafts style you will not have to sift through three pages of Victorian Doorknobs to find the door knob you are looking for. This makes it easy to get what you need without getting side-tracked.

Specialty Stores

There are many more stores that are very specialized.

  • Antique Appliances specializes in the restoration of vintage kitchen appliances like stoves and refrigerators. Whether you need a vintage stove to complete your fully restored kitchen or just like the look check here. They don't restore the appliances until you buy them so that they are completely restored to your specifications.
  • Vintage Lighting has restored and refurbished lights. Whether you are looking for an authentic light fixture for a 1910 home or something art deco they have all types from sconces to chandeliers.
  • Revival Lighting has a number of different styles of lighting that has been fully restored and safe to install in your home.

Architectural Salvage

Of course one of the best places to get products for your home improvement project is eBay. There is a plethora of vintage appliances, architectural materials, fixtures, and furniture.

Architectural salvage stores are the best places to find old window glass, old doors, and even vintage wood floors. Not only do they carry the normal stuff you may need, like a turquoise tub for your deco bathroom, but they carry unusual things you just don;t see elsewhere.

Other places besides eBay to check for architectural salvage are:

  • Olde Good Things is an architectural salvage company that carries nearly anything you could be looking for to refurbish an old home. Doors, windows, and even wood floors are available.
  • Architectural Emporium has a large selection of salvage, including pocket door plates.

  • Architectural Salvage Warehouse has a great selection of unusual stuff. If you are looking for an authentic Cigar Store Indian they have one!

By using stores that specialize in architectural salvage you are really involved in the ultimate recycling project!

Finding the items you need to complete your projects can be a time consuming thing as you head to the home improvement store, shop, carry heavy items, and then wait in line to pay. Shopping for these same items online may cost a little more but the savings in time and patience can be enormous. Be sure to ask questions, understand the return policies, and check to make sure you are getting the best deal possible.

Then sit back and enjoy your handiwork.


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    • Josh2008 profile image

      Josh2008 7 years ago from London

      This article really was something. I use Amazon for a lot of my marked spares and they're pretty good as well.

      P.S Marked spares are the ones you know the names/spare part numbers of. Makes it a cinch to look for it.

    • Morris Streak profile image

      Morris Streak 8 years ago from UK

      I was wondering if a hub would list the home improvement stores and then I found yours. Just what I had in mind. It can be a pain when you can't find the items you're looking for, especially when you're doing the fixing yourself. Good hub.

    • midnightbliss profile image

      Haydee Anderson 8 years ago from Hermosa Beach

      good information and resource, because sometimes its so frustrating when you are re decorating or restoring something and you can't find a certain matreial or supply.

    • donnaleemason profile image

      donnaleemason 9 years ago from North Dakota, USA

      That is great info Marye, I am challenged too Storyteller.

    • Storytellersrus profile image

      Barbara 9 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      Fascinating. I wish I were handy... or my husband was... or maybe even my 19 year old son... or daughter... we are all handy challenged. Sigh.