How to Shop a Reuse Center
Score a deal and save like-new building materials from the landfill
Items for sale at reuse centers range from roof tiles to windows.
These warehouses are filled with gently used—and some new—building materials, such as kitchen cabinets and bifold doors, that might otherwise go in a landfill. These items, which are sold at low prices, end up at centers in different ways: Homeowners donate castoffs from renovation projects, contractors bring in surplus materials from job sites, and sometimes people donate entire houses so that they can be delicately "deconstructed" in order to salvage and resell all their parts.
How to find them
Most centers are nonprofits with proceeds going to social or environmental causes. The best known are the ReStore outlets run by Habitat for Humanity, which posts a national directory on its .
Treasure hunting tips for reuse centers
Dig deep. Reuse centers specialize in newish house parts, but they do have old stuff, too. I once found an early 1900s five-panel solid-oak door buried in a stack of hollow-cores.
Go often. The stock at reuse centers is priced to move, so there's new stuff coming in daily.
Make a friend. If there's something specific you're after, ask an employee to let you know if one comes in. I got a used 24-inch pro-style gas range for my remodeled kitchen by putting in a request for apartment-size appliances.