Imagine losing your job one week before you're set to close on your newly constructed house.
A Richmond man shared his secrets for making his home beautiful without spending a fortune.
"The reality had to set in, that I knew I had to switch to survival mode."
Jerry Crayton changed his cell phone provider, cut his cable and started changing his own oil, but he wanted a comfortable, inviting home.
His smart shopping tactics allowed him to buy nice things without emptying his wallet.
"Love of Jesus and Family Thrift. Fan Tastic Thrift is another good one. Every side of town you can find a Goodwill. Most of the paint, I got it at ReStore. I got it for $3 or $4 a gallon.
ReStore had stain for his deck for less than $7. He found his kitchen backsplash there as well.
"The box was about $12."
His toilet would have cost more than $100 — "I paid $10."
The fan came from Diversity Thrift — "$30 to $35."
He adapted $300 custom blinds to fit his windows — "$24."
He bought modern lighting fixtures as well — "about $10."
Old furniture gets new life in Jerry's house.
"The table, I painted it black, got it for about $35. The chairs, I got them at a consignment store in Lakeside — and these are just a slip cover."
An old cabinet became a kitchen island with new paint, hardware and a granite top. A turntable was transformed into a bar.
"Where all the electronics was, I ended up putting a mirror to give it some depth."
He searches second-hand stores for designer labels...
"Diversity Thrift, Salvation Army — Wednesdays, clothes are half price."
...then consigns them for profit.
"You can pretty much find anything you want if you look for it."
Jerry barters on Craigslist and with people he knows to trade items he has for merchandise he wants.
He's found success haggling at thrift stores because the items being sold are donated and the staff is willing to negotiate.
Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.