Where to find used, and sometimes free, DIY supplies in SWFL for your next project

Published: March 21, 2022 2:40 PM EDT
Updated: March 22, 2022 4:05 PM EDT

Families have started to do more DIY and home improvement projects since the pandemic began, and materials keep getting more and more expensive.

We found some local places in Southwest Florida where you can get some materials cheaper, and some are even free.

Now, you may not find everything you want but it’s worth taking a look in these stores first. Before you drop hundreds of dollars somewhere else, try getting used tools, appliances, and furniture for a significant discount.

Shopper Patricia Moore strolls the aisles of her local Habitat for Humanity ReStore almost daily., saying, “You know you’re going to find good stuff in here when you come here.”

LINK: Search locations for local Habitat for Humanity ReStores

Store manager Brandon Eiland said Moore comes in often because there’s new merchandise every day.

They say the used appliances are tested to make sure they work, and all used furniture is inspected and cleaned before it goes on the floor.

“Right now, things are tight.” Eiland explained, “People who are looking to get a bargain”

The money made on sales goes toward building more Habitat homes for the community.

You can find some new stuff too, like mattresses, linens, and paints. Even some donated construction materials, like trim at a dollar per foot.

Over on Topaz Court in Fort Myers, Lee County Solid Waste runs its Reuse Center.

Earnest Outlaw, household chemical waste supervisor, with the county said, “There’s a lot of things that they can take for free that is going to help them with all the things they wanted to get done but couldn’t afford to get done.”

All with the goal of keeping leftover paint, cleaning, and yard supplies out of the trash and in the hands of people who might need them.

You donate those supplies and customers come in and grab what they need for free. He said, “You can come here. Shop. Just walk right in. It’s not monitored.” Helping you save on your next project.

The Reuse Center is only for ordinary people to donate their leftover supplies from their homes, not construction businesses.

But Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore does take some of those construction supplies that might otherwise go to waste.

The organization has locations all over Southwest Florida.

In Charlotte County, you can visit Care’s ReUse store. It’s similar to Habitat’s ReStore but the money goes toward helping sexual assault and domestic violence victims.