Once More, With Savings

6 08 2007

On a sizzling Saturday, inside a toasty warehouse, Eunice Youmans walks past the vintage fireplace mantels, unhinged doors and light fixtures at Community Forklift, a nonprofit store in Prince George’s County that peddles reusable housing materials.

In one hand is her 10-month-old son, in the other a tape measure. Her two young daughters trail behind her like ducklings. She zeroes in on a used 48-by-17-inch kitchen cabinet.

It needs some work. It has been sitting for months. One door is chipped. The white paint is old. She plans to fix it up, refinish it and put it in her dining room.

The price is $50. She gets it for $30.

“It’s much cheaper and good-quality stuff,” the Cheverly resident says of the store’s products, extolling the benefits of buying used rather than going to the large home stores. “I come here all the time.”

In a disposable society, where new is often equated with better, where big-box stores such as Home Depot have become the temple of home improvers, a growing number of homeowners are turning to reclaimed or reused products. In the past five years, the number of reused-material stores around the country has doubled, from 150 to 300, according to the Building Materials Reuse Association.

Read the rest at Washingtonpost.com

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