One of my favorite places to buy cheap discounted house materials is the ReStore – Habitat for Humanity. If you haven’t been to one of the local locations in NOVA, I strongly suggest you do. They have a location in Alexandria, and Chantilly.
ReStore – Habitat for Humanity has donated materials that come from home owners and builders. Materials including tile, cabinets even paint that was used once. You can donate just about anything to them too. Light fixtures, ovens, and dishwashers are available. We’ve found electrical material that my hubby was looking for and couldn’t find at any other store.
For our current house we bought some beautiful Bruce (named brand) hardwood flooring at the ReStore several years ago that we used in our upstairs hallway. Wow! We got it for about $1 a square foot which is a lot less than anywhere else. I don’t recommend this project for a beginner because it is a challenge but it is an example of getting good quality materials for a fraction of the price. It turned out great!