Sunday, May 18, 2014

How to Make the Most of your Next Home Improvement Shopping Trip!

Today, I installed the toilet and wall-mounted sink in my half bath and I went to the hardware store 3 times!  3 times in 1 day...  Just imagine how thrilled I was to find that I had bought the wrong sized toilet flange..twice...only to find that the existing flange would have been good enough for the project.  

I came up with this list of tips while I was driving home from Home Depot.  Hopefully it will help you on your next DIY shopping trip.  You, know?  So you don't have to go to the same store 3 times in the span of a couple of hours for the same project?  Your welcome!

1.  Thoroughly research your project before leaving for the store.  This way, you can take all the necessary measurements of the items you need and of the space you have. 

2.  Measure twice, buy once.  Similar to the saying "measure twice, cut once", this saying applies to everyone as well.  I mean, unless you like the practice of returning and exchanging items multiple times in one day or you've mastered the art of "eyeballing it"...

3.  Save your receipt.  Of course, you can return most items at most bigger company stores without a receipt, but it's so much more of a hassle.  Also, I believe some stores have a limit as to how many times you can actually make a return or exchange without a receipt.

4.  Most companies have features on their websites that allow you to locate the item in the store.  I would do this while you are at home to be sure that the store has your item in stock and to decrease the amount of time you have to aimlessly wander around the store looking for what you need.

5.  Bring your tape measure with you (if your project requires any kind of measuring).  This includes making sure the items will fit in your car.  

6.  Take your time.  Examine the items you are buying.  Are there any missing parts?  Are you getting the most bang for your buck?

7.  Ask questions.  The truth is, sometimes when I'm in a home improvement store I feel really self-conscious and shy about being in there.  I'm usually apprehensive about asking questions because I don't want to look like the woman who doesn't know what she's doing.  But you know what?  I'd rather ask a question and have it (hopefully) answered correctly than return to the store 2 more times to exchange items for 1 project, which is way more embarrassing. Trust me.

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