Nothing is more frustrating than trying to find the exact piece of hardware you need for a job and coming up empty handed. You’re faced with the choice to replace all existing hardware to match what’s available or find something that’s close enough and hope it goes unnoticed. But have you really exhausted all your options for finding hardware for your preservation gig? If you haven’t checked these five spots, then the answer is a firm “no.”
If you’ve somehow missed out on this auction house-style website in the past two decades, you wouldn’t know that, along with Amazon, it’s one of the biggest online marketplaces. You can find everything from small hardware pieces to large architectural features for sale on eBay, either in true bidding format or as a fixed price sale. Much like an online thrift store meets antique store meets flea market meets junk store, you never quite know what you’ll find. If you need it, chances are it or something comparable can be found here.
If you need a piece of hardware that’s “close but not quite,” stop by the Restoration Hardware website or check out their catalog. While the store prides itself on offering authentic reproductions, they also do updates and modern takes on classic styles.
Houzz is an online community focused on all things design. But they also have a shop that allows you to search for exactly what you want by broad category (for example, you can browse hardware or narrow it down to something specific like drawer pulls or nails and screws.) They also allow you to filter your results by style – so whether you’re looking for a piece for a midcentury ranch house or a grand San Franciscan Victorian-style home, you’re able to find it. You can also sort results by material and finish, making this one of the easier websites to scan for much needed hardware bits and bobs.
Habitat for Humanity ReStore
If you have the space to stock up on hardware that you MIGHT need later, you’ll have a field day in the ReStores run by Habitat for Humanity. Much like a standard thrift store or architectural salvage yard, you never know what you’re going to find. But if you’re tuned into your local construction activity, you might have a pretty good idea. Builders and contractors donate unused materials and salvage items to Habitat for Humanity for a tax deduction and Habitat resells them to the general public to help fund the charity work for which they’re known.
Local Architectural Salvage
Not all salvage shops and yards are created equal: some require professional credentials and certification to enter (for example, some salvage houses cater exclusively to general contractors, while others are aimed at pleasing electricians). Still others are open to the general public and a broader base of professionals. Scope out your local architectural salvage house, yard or shop for a chance to find what you’re looking for, but just like Habitat’s ReStore, eBay or your local thrift store, be prepared for an exercise in futility. These spots stock from what they can find rather than a standard wholesaler.
Finding preservation hardware is sometimes a frustrating task. You may have to search multiple websites and brick and mortar shops for what you need or might need in the future. By staying tuned in to trends, local construction gigs and the offerings of your local salvage shops and restoration stores, you’ll improve your chances of finding exactly the right hardware for the job.