Online shopping ain’t just for clothes and toys anymore.
In our case, shopping online has been a huge part of the DIY house building project. And shipping items saved us a ton of time and money (both in short supply) as we built our own house.
As I’ve been posting about house-building projects, you may have noticed how many items I’ve sourced online. We still make regular trips to the hardware store and lumberyard, but shopping online was a giant time-and-money-saver during the building process. We didn’t have the time to make trips to every local and big box store to research and get the best deal. And the idea of having things shipped directly to our door (in the middle of nowhere) was enticing.
I thought it may be fun to share some of the items we’ve purchased online. The vast majority of online purchases were from Amazon (because, duh, free two-day Amazon Prime shipping). But I’ve noted a few other online spots and tips below.
This is probably my favorite and most random thing we purchased online. Both the toilets for the new house came from Amazon and were delivered to our door in two days.
You don’t think of large items like toilets as being good candidates for online shopping, but the prices were lower online and you have your pick of nearly any fixture available.
In our case, Ryan had some pretty strict guidelines for the toilet – namely, something that would NEVER CLOG. (Is this too much information? Sorry. Not sorry.)
After way too much Internet research on toilets (thanks, Terry Love), he settled on Toto. But very few retailers carry them locally. He ended up finding the two toilets on Amazon, and the prices were lower than anywhere else.
So far, we’re happy with the purchases. They came packed well and have performed … ahem … well.
Sinks and faucets
Curtain rods (and other related bathroom needs)
I suppose this isn’t too out of the ordinary. But I never realized how many curtain rods there are in the world. I was able to find better deals on curtain rods, hangers and shower curtain liners online than I could find in the store. Plus, I could find exactly the style and finish I wanted – no compromises.
(Also, these shower curtain liners are my very favorites. I’ve had them in our last few houses and they are such a steal of a deal. They are super cheap, look great, and wash well. I love cloth liners because they are really easy to clean and use forever.)
Bathroom vanity and medicine cabinet
Vintage-inspired medicine cabinet | Vanity/countertop (purchased online from Home Depot and picked up in person)
We actually went low low low budget on the vanities – which were two of the last things purchased for the house.
And after I found a steal of a deal on these at Home Depot, I didn’t buy them right away and they were totally sold out. As a special buy, I thought I was out of luck.
But, behold … they were still online when I searched, and they were closeout at $99 for the vanity, countertop and mirror.
The downside, there were none in my area. But after some stealthy searching. I found several in the suburbs of Chicago (a 2 hour drive). I purchased them online and my in-laws picked them up for us that weekend. When you shop and buy online at places like Home Depot or Lowe’s, they won’t always ship direct but they will pull the item out of stock and hold it for you at the front desk.
This is a great option if you want to skip the crowds or if you are looking for something in short supply.
And the lesson – don’t give up for good deals.
Hinges, hardware and drawer slides
There is nothing worse than running out of nails, screws or bolts mid-project. We tried to order ahead to ensure we didn’t run out of hardware as we worked on the house. The two-day shipping was a life-saver.
It’s pretty amazing what you can find online – we were often surprised that things were cheaper and easier to order online. (I don’t know why this is surprising.)
Lighting and electrical
I think most people look at lighting online, but we went a step further.
We were able to purchase most of the electrical wire, outlet boxes and switches online. The best part was that they arrived at our doorstep without taking time away for a shopping trip. Or loading them in and out of the car. (Sidenote for home electricians: Ryan swears by the ease of these push-connectors when wiring a house.)
Ryan’s had to add several tools to his collection in the process of building a house, and these are a few he picked up online (or was gifted) in the past year.
Phew …. I’m pooped. Once I got going, I just couldn’t stop. It was crazy to find some of the more random items we purchased online. Who would have thunk? A toilet.
Building a house – and shopping for all the stuff – was a pretty big job.
(Happy it’s over.)
Any random renovating or building items you’ve purchased online?
Share your sources in the comments!
Note: There are affiliate links in this post.