This post will give all of my clients, past, present and future, a look into the unique ways I source my materials for a job.
Most tradesmen have their secret sources for materials. Places where you can find the super deal on building supplies or the products which are not stocked at your big box stores. I don’t feel it should be a “secret”. It doesn’t benefit me any way to keep little known merchants hidden from public eyes. Most of these business would welcome the extra clients.
- Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore Used building materials. When I find something there that works, you, the customer, save money. Money raised at the store goes towards building affordable housing for families in need. Why buy new when you can re-use?
Tim’s Reusables, Calgary AB. They mainly stock windows and doors. They preform salvage operations on many building in Calgary and sometime the store has some serious antique architectural items.Oct. 2021 update: Tim’s Reusables was bought and renamed Good4U. Since then the business has gone downhill. I stopped going to their new location and it looks like they are closed now.
- Lumber King, Calgary AB. Lumber materials. If you give me a job that requires some serious lumber solutions, I call these guys first. They source their stuff directly from small family run mills in BC and Ontario. The product is very high on quality.
- Black forest Wood Company, Calgary AB. Exotic wood, and I mean exotic. I think if they charged a small admission to walk into their store, I would pay it! they differ from Lumber king in that they have more variety in the species and cater more to fine woodworkers, not framers. They custom cut pieces.
- Northland Construction Supply, who merged into https://www.nca.ca/ – National Concrete Accessories. Concrete and masonry products. They have tile brick and concrete supplies like the admixture that colours the concrete.
- Princess Auto Ltd. They carry mostly tools for tradesmen of all kinds but their surplus area is where I go first. I would call this area an inventors boutique. If your asking me to take a lawn mower and make it into a water fountain, the missing parts will likely be at PAL.
- KMS Tools. Every tradesman has his favorite tool store, and this is mine. I have certain tools in my arsenal that are so valued that when they become lost, I will stop working until they are found! Between theft and tool deaths, I spend a lot of my income on tools. Price is the top reason I shop at KMS but the staff are a close second. They actually know something about the tools they sell. Lastly, KMS stocks good brand tools.
This list is not complete, but it’s a start. One thing that happens to me quite often is seeing advertisements for cool products that are not available in Canada. For these products the company rep will help you out if you contact them directly. You can also contact me if there is any challenge you have finding that special product.