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Let’s go look in your "home Home Depot!”

That’s what my friend said to me one day when we were looking at a broken sprinkler pipe in my yard. He knew I had a storage area full of useful hardware, small amounts of building materials, and plenty of tools. We could probably find what we needed there without going to the store. We did!

Whenever I start a project, I recall words of wisdom from an Architecture professor of mine: "Start where you are with what you know.” I extend that to mean, start with what you already have. So, it’s off the storage room to see what I do not have to go buy. Often, there is no trip to the store.

That’s how it was last weekend.  We are making a gym out of a shop in our garage. For paint, we used old trim paint from former owners to paint the ceiling and trim. We also found blue and yellow leftover paints - strained with cheese cloth since they were lumpy and the can lips had rusted - and mixed up those to get a nice bright color (and enough paint!) to paint the walls.

Then, I wanted a sturdy shelf to hold iron weights. Well, there had been shelves made out of sturdy stair tread material and I cut that and reused metal brackets along with a couple scraps of wood to make that. Screws were found in the screw bin.

Finally, I needed to make a platform for the little air conditioner. Found some old plywood in my stack (Aisle 2, top shelf ?) along with some 1 x 1 scrap for a border, then painted that with the old primer, and finished it with the same wall color.

It’s not all done yet, but moral of the story is to first look for what can be reused. Then reuse it! It all adds up, and it may save you a trip to the store.