Look Around Before You

Regardless of where you shop, take some time to become familiar with the pricing of certain items. You can't recognize a bargain unless you are aware of a baseline price for comparison. Lumber, for instance, is sometimes quoted by the board foot to allow comparisons between different sizes (a board foot is 12-by-12-by-1-inch, not 12-by-12-by-%-inch). Read widely through flyers, catalogs, and classified ads and visit several building stores. After a while, your ability to assess quality and price will allow you to make better decisions.

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