Shopping Suggestions For Your Construction Project

Most people like to see and touch the possibilities for items to include in their projects. Lowe’s and Home Depot have large selections of different brands in one place, but I find I can’t stay in either place for more than about five minutes. Here are a few suggestions for smaller places to go, along with people to talk with and things to look at. Most of these items the contractor or subcontractors will buy – from these places in fact. Some places prefer that you make appointments – I’ve noted which – and the others it’d be good to make one, just to be sure someone will be available to help you. Call us, and we can call ahead and let them know to expect you. Essential trips are marked with an asterisk. Most clients find 90% of what they need at these few places.



Materials & Finishes





Materials & Finishes

Green Home Solutions

1210 W. Nickerson Street
Seattle, WA 98119
(888) 447-9877

(206) 284-2281

Small friendly store, members of the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild.


Green Depot

1950 6th Avenue South
Seattle, Washington 98134

(206) 315-1974

Pretty much one-stop shopping for green building projects. A veritable eco-home depot: Neil Kelley kitchen cabinets; sustainably harvested and reclaimed wood (including oak, fir, cherry, bamboo), “Marmoleum” natural linoleum; cork; AFM Safecoat & Best paints; low-toxic exterior and OS interior stains and finishes; Richlite; Phoenix biocomposites, including “Environ” and “Dakota Burl”; recycled glass tiles; “Ironwood” for decks and trellises; Miele vacuum cleaners.


Second Use Building Materials
3223 Sixth Ave S
Seattle, WA 98134
(5 miles south of downtown near the Transfer Station, call for directions.)
(206) 763-6929

Used lumber, bricks, doors, cabinets, plumbing fixtures & fittings, electrical fixtures and more, at very affordable prices. A nice used bathroom sink here might cost $10, versus $150 for a new one. Used single-glazed windows aren’t long-term bargains for heated spaces, but they work well for unheated sunrooms and garden cloches.

Ballard Reuse

1440 NW 52nd
Seattle, WA 98107
(3 blocks south of Market St., 1/2 block east of 15th – next door to the Bardal Oil sign and next to Louie’s Restaurant)
(206) 297-9119

Reusable building supplies. Stock varies but includes lumber, light fixtures, appliances, plumbing fixtures & fittings, electrical fixtures, cabinets, hardware and more. If looking for a specific item, call to see if it currently is in stock, or go in and look around at what they have available.

Bedrock Industries
4021 13 Ave W.

Seattle, WA 98119
(206) 283-7625

Their primary products are tiles made from recycled glass. We were the first people to use Maria’s tiles, back when she made them nine at a time by melting down glass bottles. Bedrock also has an interesting changing selection of salvaged ceramic tiles and stone slabs. We found a granite cut-off from Paul Allen’s private gym here, which became a nice vanity top. Tiles are available all the time, but like Second Use, you may have to come back periodically to check for stock of salvaged material that will suit your project.

Ann Sacks Tile & Stone
2201 Westlake Avenue, Suite 103
Seattle, WA 98121
(206) 441-8917

Exquisite ceramic and stone tiles for bathroom floors, shower surrounds, kitchen backsplashes, etc. Once you see these tiles you may find it difficult to restrain yourself from using them, so before you go steel yourself to spending, at minimum, an additional $500-$1,000 on your project. (Standard American Olean ceramic tiles run $3 to $12/SF, tiles here range from $19/SF to $45 per tile – up to $300/SF.) They have recently added high end sinks and faucets, along with commercial grade faucets and such. A dangerous place for the frugal! But so tempting….

Meta Marble & Granite
410 S. Front Street
Seattle, WA 98108
(3 blocks south of the Design Center and 1 block north of Michigan)
(206) 762-5547

A warehouse full of huge slabs of marbles and granites, travertine, limestone, onyx and malachite from around the world. Most available in both slab and tile form. Lovely, durable, and expensive material. (Granite & marble runs $60 to $90/SF finished – about the same as Corian.) A visit here is a must if you are considering stone countertops.



Albert Lee Appliance Co.
1476 Elliott Ave W
Seattle, WA 98119
(east side of the street, across from the Magnolia Bridge exit)
(206) 282-2110

A large selection of appliances in many different brands and energy-efficiency levels. Conveniently located for many people. I’ve worked with Albert Lee forever. 


* Keller Supply
3209 17th Avenue West
Seattle, WA 98119
(just off Dravus, west of Elliot Avenue, not far from Albert Lee.)
(206) 270-4724

Down to earth place, where the plumbers shop. Need to make an appointment. Caroma, Toto and Kohler low-flush toilets, the full line of Kohler sinks and faucets, along with just about every other brand except American Standard.

Also, while we’re on the subject, here is a link to the web site of a local champion of low-flush toilets, Terry Love.

The Fixture Gallery

4302 Stone Way North
Seattle, WA 98103
(Fremont/Wallingford, just north of Lake Union.)
(206) 632-4488

Toilets, sinks, faucets, cabinet and door hardware. Definitely need to make an appointment here. (They have been known to be snooty, according to reports from one client.) They have a more exotic (and more expensive) collection of European fixtures and fittings, as well as the classic American Standard range.

Old & Elegant Distributing
10203 Main St
Bellevue, WA 98004
(In Old Bellevue at 102nd and Main, a few doors down from Masins)
(425) 455-4660

High end antique and reproduction plumbing fixtures, cabinet hardware, door hardware. If you don’t see what you are looking for on the showroom floor, they have over 40 ft. of catalogs. They specialize in period style–old and elegant as they say. This is the place to go for those deep porcelain “country” kitchen sinks. They also take trade-ins that are older than 1950.



Builder’s Hardware & Supply
1516 15th Ave West
Seattle, WA 98119
(near Albert Lee Appliances and the Magnolia Bridge)
(206) 281-3700

Large selection of cabinet and door hardware. Primarily a wholesale operation for contractors, but they do have an extensive showroom. A must for seeing and feeling hardware in person. As a hardware geek I can spend hours here.

Restoration Hardware
Chris McGoldrick, manager
4619 26th Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98105
(located underneath Molbacks Nursery on the west end of the Mall)
(206) 522-2775

Retail cabinet hardware, bathroom fittings, Craftsman furniture.



Lighting Supply
2729 Second Ave
Seattle, WA 98121
(near Denny)
(206) 441-5075

Many decorative and “architectural” (built-in, such as recessed cans) light fixtures, as well as lighting controls. A smaller selection than Seattle Lighting, and so less overwhelming. Very helpful folks!

Rejuve Seattle
2910 1st Ave S.
Seattle, WA 98134
(at Forest St.)
(206) 382 – 1901

If you’re doing a Craftsman (or any other traditional-style) house, this is the place to go to find excellent antique reproduction light fixtures for it. They will make most of their fixtures in LED versions, which is cool. Save energy, and keep your period look!

Have a look at the beautiful modern, minimal fixtures from local rep Stephen Stoller.

For recessed and track lighting (which does have a place in many homes, but not all) I prefer Lightolier (which I think is better quality with more sophisticated options) or Juno (which is somewhat less expensive and widely stocked locally).

You must, of course, consider lighting controls, (in other words, switches and dimmers) which have gotten much more sophiscated (some would say complicated) in the last few years. My personal favorites for non-integrated systems are Lutron and Lightolier. In my own home I’m using the Philips Hue system, which works well with the Apple and Amazon (Alexa) Smart Home universes, and allows voice control of both light level and color temperature. Years ago I had our electrician install samples of each dimmer I thought I might like in my home, and lived with them for a while. The spiffy multi-function tap-once-for-preset dimming-tap-twice-for-full Lightolier Onsets turned out to be less than intuitive for almost everybody, but I have grown to appreciate the way they fade on and off, and in rooms with multiple lighting circuits they integrate really well with lighting control systems. I had Lightolier Sunrise Presets in my office. The Lutron Skylarks have been around for years, and are perfectly “legible” if a bit clunky. I’ve also used Lutron Novas and Nova T-Stars for at least 30 years. They’re both nice looking and easy to use. Very reliable. I’ve done a LOT of lighting design. Other architects used to hire me to do that part of their work. I can help you develop an intuitive and useful plan for lighting your home.