It is so easy to spend money, more money than you ever intended, when restoring an old house. I recently faced this fact yet again while looking for period ball tip door hinges. I found them for $28 a piece at an antique hardware store. Considering that we needed 9 hinges, that would have set us back $252.00 plus tax for DOOR HINGES.
I found the same hinges for around $20 a hinge at a salvage yard. I love historical accuracy as much as the next restoration buff, but there is no way I can justify dropping that kind of dough on a door hinge. Reproduction hinges would have cost around $150 plus shipping and handling.
eBay is usually a great resource for finding old house parts at reasonable prices, but doesn’t always work well when you are looking for larger quanities (such as 9 matching hinges).
What to do, what to do? Hot foot it over to our local big box store and drop $48 for modern hinges. We could have purchased them for half that price except that I insisted on the more expensive bronze finish.
Is it period perfect? No. Will anyone even notice the difference? Other than every member of the local historical society, I doubt it.
I subscribe to the more bling for your buck restoration philosophy: Keep expenses down where possible and invest in one special item that has “wow” factor.
With all the money we saved on the door hinges, we had enough money left over to buy an antique doorknob and lockset for the French doors. Double wow!