Do It Yourself, Saving Money, The Piggy Bank

Construction Auction Junkie

I know, I know… It’s been forever.

I apologize for the lengthy intermission ya’ll. Life got busy, and when my writing schedule got away from me I did a poor job of coming back from it. A really poor job. But here I am, with plenty of new insights, knowledge and experiences to share!

Since my last blog post we’ve been officially approved for our construction loan and our new home already has a floor, 4 walls, a roof, sheetrock and insulation! It has been an intensely crazy ride since last September when all this really got rolling. The weather has held us up a bit as the drought decided to turn into a weekly monsoon the week the papers were signed, but still we found ourselves occupied trying to save money on this process.

Two words: construction auctions.

Yes, people, that’s right. They have auction houses that auction off everything home construction. I’m talking sub-flooring, ship-lap, tile, engineered hardwood, cabinets, siding, decking, trim, windows, EVERYTHING. Let me tell you, THIS is where it’s at.

We have spent several weekends driving to and from auctions in Baxter Springs, KS, Kansas City, MO and Stockton, MO and it has been 100% worth it. We’ve cut the cost of all the materials we purchased there by half if not more. So what have we purchased here? Tile, engineered hardwood, siding, decking and a sink.

As far as flooring goes, the tile we were able to get for $0.30/sq ft. If you know construction you know that a decent, mid-range price for tile is $3. Talk about a whopping savings! The starting bid for the engineered hardwood was $1/sq ft but another couple bid us up to $1.65 before bowing out.

Our outdoor materials we did not get quite that cheaply, but still a huge bargain for what they were. Certainteed fiber cement siding we got for $3.75/stick at the first auction and $4/stick at the second, which is about half the current market value at $8-$10/stick. Our Genova PVC decking we got for $2/linear foot, with $8/stick for trim. So I paid $24 for a 12 foot deck board instead of the retail price of $67.44, $8 for a piece of trim instead of $31.99 AND they threw in the starter and finisher pieces for free!

I really could have kicked myself on the decking, though. We were the only people who bid and I started at $2 thinking they were pricing it per stick, not linear foot. Ugh. Lesson learned. My suggestion? If no one else is bidding, ALWAYS start at $0.50 for a linear foot or a square foot. Heck, you could even try to start that low for a stick!

So, where did we find these auctions?

We found some by craigslist, some by Facebook, and some by newspaper (thank you Cedar County Republican). However, after we got to searching, we found where several of those we found previously had detailed lists of stock and photos.

And just like that, I’m now addicted to that auction life.

You’re welcome my friends… and happy hunting!

A Piece of Work, Do It Yourself, Gifts, The Piggy Bank

Grow with Love

Photo By: Devon Garton Photography

Almost everything about our wedding was DIY and centered around nature. We both love being outdoors, love living in the country and attempt to participate in practices that limit our footprint on this world. So what better gift to give our guests than something to grow?

Initially I’d thought of giving small starts of my own African Violets. However, that was a bit time intensive and would be a bit more costly since we’d need pots. Given the fact that we were also trying to keep the wedding costs down, I preferred not to do that.

So I decided upon seeds. But what seeds? Daisies are my favorite flower and would be the centerpiece of the bouquets, not to mention they grow easily. So they were the clear choice. Now I just had to decide on a cute saying. I searched Pinterest, but didn’t find anything that I loved.

So I came up with my own. “Grow with Love.”

The next step was to actually create it. I already had an HP 4500 printer, which would work for the project. So, I only needed ink, seed packets and the seed. Oh and of course, a design. So I whipped one up. Painstakingly whipped one up, I should say, as I used trial and error to find out how to get all aspects perfectly centered when it actually printed on the packet.

The supplies I used for my project, are as follows:

Daisy Seeds-3

Blank Seed Envelopes -3


Seed Packets for Favors Free with Subscription (enable editing)

After I printed off all my envelopes, my mother and I funneled 1/2 oz of seeds into each envelope. We prepared 100 packets and still had a large amount of seed left over. In fact, 3 years later, we STILL have seed left over, including one whole 1/2 lb package that had never been opened. This should give you a vague idea of how many packets you could make with this particular amount of seed.

For final touches, we placed them on the guest book table at our wedding in a cute little galvanized bucket. I think the turned out pretty great, even if I do say so myself.