Tips for Finding Affordable Building Materials

Building a new home can be very costly. Thus, it’ll help to know how to reduce the costs to save money.

One of the best ways of reducing the overall cost is by searching for affordable home construction materials. In this article, we’ve outlined several secrets that will assist you to get building materials cheaply.

Cheap doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be settling for poor quality materials. It simply means that you’ll go for less expensive materials.

While you’ll need to invest some effort and time, you’ll eventually benefit from the savings you’ll make.

calculating the cost of home construction materials

Here’re some tricks and tips for getting cheap home building materials:

1. Local Community

You should ask around your neighborhood for affordable materials. Local contractors and independent contractors can be of great help.

Request them to allow you to inspect their skip or rubbish for usable materials before they discard them.

Professional builders only use suitable materials based on the requirements of the project and leave out any unsuitable materials.

For instance, they wouldn’t use a piece that’s a bit smaller than what is needed or a stained material.

Probably, your project would be okay with such materials. Be creative and find valuable material from what others view as waste.

2. Friends and Family

Your close friends and family would want to assist you due to your relationship with them. They can assist you with advice about where to find high-quality materials at an affordable price. 

Also, they may have some materials left after a renovation project and can assist you with the materials instead of trashing them.

For instance, a friend who’s upgrading an old pavement can assist you with leftover materials as you’ll do them a favor to get rid of them on their behalf. That way, you’ll both save money and time.

3. Social Media

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Gumtree among others are great sources of cheap materials.

Several people have valuable leftover materials that they’d no longer use. Probably, they want to dispose of them. Check out social media posts and groups, preferably by searching using keywords.

Also, set alerts to notify you whenever new items are posted. That way, you’ll quickly know new postings and might just find what you’re looking for.

4. Posts, Bulletin Boards, and Flyers

Post on popular social media sites asking for the supplies you need. By letting others know that you’re searching for certain items, you’ll likely find the supplies more quickly.

Also, posting what you need might connect you to a retired handyman with items they no longer need and get them at a small cost.

Also, you might get some recommendations of individuals in your locality or some people may want to assist you out of goodwill.

You can also check bulletin boards in your local shopping center. Additionally, put up a flyer about what you’re searching for as it might be of help.

While making posters and flyers, ensure you leave behind a contact that you can be reached on. Retired remodelers and contractors might have lots of stuff that can be of use in your project.

5. Overstocked Products and Discounted Items in Retail Stores

Visit or call local stores and check whether they have any overstocked or discounted stock.

These items are often sold cheaply to clear them to get space for adding new stock. Home improvement, tiling, and flooring stores are some of the best places to ask.

6. Resale Stores and Op Shops

You can find resale stores and op shops in most suburban areas. Take time to visit them and check whether you can find useful materials.

You may fail to find something good the first time, but you may eventually find worthwhile materials after a couple of visits. Items in resale stores and op shops are often found at discounted prices.

7. Incorrect, Returned, or Mismatched Orders

Stores often get returned items. They also have stocks of mismatched products and incorrect orders. These items take up a lot of space and don’t sell fast.

Thus, they’re often sold at a discounted rate. You can check whether such products will work for your project and grab them at a cheap price.

Also, check whether you can find a nearby salvage yard or outlet. You might get lucky to find a stock of good building materials such as timber, nails, and tiles among other materials.

Their pricing maybe a third or half of the price you’d get for brand new materials.

8. Local Markets

Local markets are great places for finding items and products that might be important in your home construction project. You’ll likely find items that can be used in creative designs.

For instance, you might find a mosaic tiling specialist and use their designs in your bathroom.

Also, you might find a carpenter who has leftover pieces of timber that are no longer useful for their projects and sell them off to you at a cheap price.

9. Auction Houses

Check out auction houses near you. Also, check the internet for virtual auctions. Auctions are a great place for finding useful materials at an affordable price.

Items under auction are often sourced from local stores that are trying to get rid of discounted stock, overstock, or a collapsing business.

10. Resale Outlets

Resale outlets are worth several visits. You can find great items such as bathroom vanities, toilets, doors, wall tiles, and windows among other items at low prices.

11. Estate Sales

Check local newspapers and online stores for any sales that might be coming up or are going on in your neighborhood.

Although you might not always find something you’ll want, you can always try your luck. Also, check whether the shed has something useful for your project.

12. Garage Sales

Garage sales are great for finding useful items at affordable rates. Check local newspapers, social media platforms, and bulletin boards for any upcoming garage sales in your locality.

If you find one, stop by and check out the items on offer. You might get lucky to find homeowners or contractors who have items they want to get rid of.

Also, you can find virtual garage sales on popular social media platforms.

13. Demolition Listings

While it may sound somehow odd, you’ve probably seen posts on Facebook or other social media platforms taking materials for free if you can help in demolishing or disassembling them.

When a homeowner wants to disassemble their property or demolish their house, they often give the demolished materials cheaply or for free to people who are willing to do the demolition work.

You can salvage things like flooring, doors, windows, trims, and railings among other items. That way, you’ll save thousands of dollars for your hard work.

14. Trading

You can exchange items or services for something useful. That way, you’ll get useful materials for your project cheaply.

Also, both parties involved in the trade will benefit since you’re getting something useful and they’re also getting something in return.

15. Construction Sites

Visit local construction sites and ask the builder or foreman whether there’s anything they won’t use.

You might get lucky to pick some materials cheaply or for free as they may be unusable in the project.

You can also reach out to demolition companies, independent contractors, and construction companies for any items they’re no longer using.

16. Clearance Products

While specialty stores tend to be expensive, don’t count them out. Check their clearance section as you might get lucky to find discounted products.

Also, if you like doing some tasks yourself, visit retail stores in your area and check items having slashed prices as a result of being dented, scratched, or having repairable issues.

17. Verge Collection

In case there’re upcoming or ongoing verge collections in your locality, visit them and check whether there’s something you might like.

Sometimes, people get rid of usable items just because they want to create space in their homes or they’re just avoiding the hassle of reselling the items.

18. Recycling Centers

If you’re allowed to, visit recycling centers in your area and salvage any usable building materials.

The best thing about collecting materials from recycling centers is that you can get them for free. You’ll only need to organize transport for the materials.

Some items at recycling centers are in good quality since they may have been dumped just because they didn’t fit the owner’s needs and the owner preferred throwing them away rather than the hassle of reselling them.

Other considerations to make when looking for affordable building materials include:

  • Remember to check for cash discounts. There some stores that offer discounts to customers who pay cash. This will be useful when buying expensive materials as you may save as much as 10 percent off the regular price.


  • Don’t shy from asking for bartering or discounts, especially when a store has clearance items that they want to discard quickly. You can also do this on Facebook posts. You might get lucky to find someone who’ll accept to trade their unwanted items with something they’ll value.


  • Get discounted rates on returned or incorrect items directly from a manufacturer. You can try this trick for almost anything.
  • Sometimes, you only need to bargain. For instance, you can request free deliveries when having large orders that have to be delivered to your place.


  • Remember to join many Facebook groups, preferably those that are related to the kind of construction materials you need. Sometimes, you may not see group posts if you’re not a member of the group. Thus, it’ll help to join all the relevant groups to avoid missing any posts.


  • Enable search alerts and notifications from groups to know about new postings as soon as they’re posted. This will give you the advantage of grabbing something on offer quickly before someone else does.


  • When searching for products on the internet, remember to search using synonyms such as wood/lumber/ timber. Someone offering a good deal might have posted “lumber” and if you only search for “wood”, you’ll miss a good deal.


  • Ensure you know the items you need such that you can grab them as soon as they’re on offer.


  • If you order something but fail to use it, you can trade it or sell it to someone who’ll need it and get most of your money back.


  • In case you’ll need to travel or hire transport to collect some items, calculate the time and cost of traveling or hiring transport, and assess whether it’s worth it.

Extra Tricks and Tips

  • Ensure your design is malleable to allow for using items that can be obtained for free or at discounted prices.


  • Cut cost and time by keeping your house design simple. Preferably, use basic rectangular or square floor plans.


  • Use your creativity to reuse items.


  • Understand that searching for affordable materials may take time, but it’ll be worth it.


  • Try as much as possible to source products and materials locally as you can easily access them, unlike importing them.


  • You can save time and get better results by taking advantage of categories when doing an internet search for products and materials. The best categories for construction materials include:
    • Building
    • Home
    • Garden
    • Freebies
    • Miscellaneous
    • Trade/swap

Related Questions

Are there any cheap environment-friendly materials that I can use to build a new house?

Yes. There’re several cheap environment-friendly materials you can consider. They include:

  • Reclaimed lumber
  • Concrete roofing sheets
  • Refabricated shipping containers
  • Prefabricated panels
  • Corrugated iron sheets


What are some of the most common traditional construction materials?

Traditional construction materials include:

  • Weatherboards
  • Concrete and bricks
  • Stone