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“Save Your Money! Don’t Shop at the Big Box Stores” with Jeff Thorman

rockies63 | Posted in General Questions on

I found this Youtube channel and the owner, Canadian home renovator Jeff Thorman, has a couple of excellent videos on how DIYer’s can save money renovating their houses.

Save Your Money video.

Have any homeowners ever set up a cash account at a wholesaler and received contractor pricing?

In this video he compares what you get for your money when you shop at various retailers.

Home Depot vs Amazon vs Professional Plumbing Fixtures. At minute 17 he finishes the presentation and then answers a lot of viewers questions with some great tips,

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  1. Expert Member
    DCcontrarian | | #1

    I'm sorry, I just don't have the patience for most YouTube videos. The signal to noise ratio is too low. I'd much prefer a well-written article.

    1. gusfhb | | #4

      Oh good lawd yes

      shut up[FFWD>>>] shut up[ffwd>>] dammit shut up[FFWD>>]

      instructions to replace an iphone screen, youtube videos are priceless
      everything else, please no.

    2. handyhomehacker | | #5

      I agree. Most of the time these days I prefer a written article if it's available.

  2. scottperezfox | | #2

    I've been a subscriber to Jeff for years. It's definitely a recurring theme on his channel that Home Depot, et al. are a rip-off. He often equates them to a supermarket, where you get limited selection and inflated prices. If you want real fish, go to a fish market, so to speak.

    But he also admits that buying 2x4s and dimensional lumber in general is actually cheaper at his local hardware stores and chain stores like HD, because of the time savings, and because softwood is plentiful in Canada. So for a few select items, it's just as good as any speciality wholesaler.

    Lately, he's also taken to doing a few things that are almost more like "challenges" where he'll very honestly approach a project in the style of "I'm going to replace my screen door in one afternoon for only $200" and will work to replicate the experience of the average homeowner, and will distinctly say that he goes to Home Depot for that. It's a different sort of project than trying to properly remodel a room, where a savvy homeowner will shop around for the best products.

    The only grain of salt to consider with Jeff is that he is a Passive House denier — who knew such a thing existed! — and has repeatedly said that PH is a waste of money and that there is "no way" to heat a house in Canada without the use of a gas furnace. He does not trade in high-performance building methods, but rather the channel and its projects are framed through the lens of a homeowner who wants to put in money and sweat to get equity in their home for a future sale. I don't think I've ever heard him discuss the embodied carbon of a certain product or talk about energy modelling. Aside from a general "insulation is better than no insulation" he's a pretty 20th-century builder.

  3. boxfactory | | #3

    Rockies63, as a real person, can you please tell me more about Jeff Thorman? Does he have any hobbies? How does he prefer his coffee? Who does Jeff Thorman turn to when he needs advice?


  4. rockies63 | | #6

    Boxfactory: I don't know Jeff Thorman. I assume that he is a carbon-based form of life occupying three dimensional time and space on this planet but then again.......

    Gusfhb: ???? Huh???? Ok.......

    I do enjoy his "saving money" videos though. Whether you are strongly "Passive House" or "Anti-Passive House", a DIY'er or a professional contractor I'm sure we can all agree that we all like saving money. I like saving money.

    Here another one of his videos on how to save money.

    You Can Renovate on a Budget in 2023.

    And a couple on how to hire the right contractor.

    1. gusfhb | | #9

      Youtube 'personalities' are way too amused with themselves and fond of their own voices, such that I frequently give up before they get to the point

  5. boxfactory | | #7

    Rockies 63, what evidence do you have that Jeff Thorman is a carbon based life form, and exists in three dimensions?

    Does he have any videos about spending extra money on a project?


  6. rockies63 | | #8

    Boxfactory: I'm just assuming he's carbon based.......

    As to your video request, I can't find a specific video on spending "extra money" per se, but here's a video on making money with your renovations you might enjoy - three dimensionally speaking :)

    Make Money With These 10 Renovations

  7. DamiaSolar | | #10

    I found this discussion and the linked videos by Jeff Thorman to be incredibly insightful. As the owner of, I can attest to the importance of making informed decisions when it comes to home renovations and improvements, especially those related to energy efficiency and sustainability.

    Thorman's advice on considering different retail options and potentially setting up a cash account at a wholesaler for contractor pricing is a valuable tip. It's a reminder that there are various avenues to explore when sourcing materials, and it's not always the big box stores that offer the best value.

    In the solar industry, we also see a similar trend. It's crucial to research and compare different providers and products to ensure you're getting the best quality and value for your investment. At, we strive to provide our customers with high-quality solar solutions that meet their specific needs and budget.

    Thank you for sharing these resources. It's discussions like these that help homeowners make the most of their renovation projects and contribute to a more sustainable future.

  8. friedmanadam | | #11

    Jeff Thorman makes some excellent points about saving money and supporting local businesses in his article. It's crucial to consider the economic impact of our choices when shopping.
    In addition to the tips shared in the article, I'd like to recommend exploring advance payday apps. These apps can provide a helpful financial cushion when you're looking to make more sustainable choices with your spending. They offer quick and convenient access to funds, which can be especially useful for supporting local businesses or investing in energy-efficient home improvements.
    By using advance payday apps wisely, you can ensure that your budget remains flexible while still making environmentally responsible choices. It's a win-win situation that allows you to save money and contribute to sustainable living practices.

  9. sayn3ver | | #12

    I can say for mineral wool batts my local lowes and home depot are on par with the supply yards Lowes does bulk pricing and delivery.

    Most of the lumber or insulation supply houses don't stock or special order rockwool or owenscorning mineral wool products and have been on par with pricing for the quantities I've been inquiring about for my detached shop/garage project.

    I work commercial construction (electrical) and see large orders of both on sites before in both batt and board flavors. However most of these larger builder geared establishments simply don't want to deal in 1 or 2 pallet orders. And they pass along any surcharge for bringing in non standard sizes or thicknesses (r30 on 16in centers isn't apparently common for them).

    Getting an entire framing package delivered at once for a DIY or a home addition can also be overwhelming for a small project. or remodel 1) the large single cost up front 2) you don't get to pick the framing members so you get what you get 4) the lack of space.

    Things like caulk and air sealing materials i can see online or at a supply house worth purchasing cause its typically unavailable at a box store anyways and the cost is better. Boxes of framing nails, adhesives, etc.

    But sometimes the hours of operation of lowes or home depot make it appealing to a DIY or small project. Any money saved at a yard could be lost due to having to take time to leave work early to get to the yard before closing due to their typical business hours, increased delivery fees etc. For a small contractor the same applies. Its difficult to get to a yard before closing if you are working business hours the day prior and need some material for a new job the following day.

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