ReStore offers surplus home supplies

Posted March 31, 2009, at 7:20 p.m.

HOLDEN, Maine — Most building contractors buy supplies in bulk to save money and then have leftovers that go unused.

Those leftovers are the meat and potatoes of the new ReStore, a surplus building supply resale store that will open to the public Thursday under the umbrella of the Habitat for Humanity of Greater Bangor.

Shoppers will find donated lighting and electrical fixtures, kitchen and bathroom cabinets, doors and windows, paint and building supply odds and ends on the shelves and donated reusable appliances along the store’s aisles, said Valeri Marsh, executive director.

“It’s basically for somebody who is a fixer-upper who doesn’t want to spend an arm and a leg” for building supplies, she said. “They’re perfectly good things.”

All of the items for sale are donated so all of the funds raised go towards building affordable, low-income housing in the area. The local Habitat branch was founded in 1988 and over the years has constructed a dozen homes, nine in Bangor and three in Brewer, for needy families.

“We’re been building one house every other year,” Marsh said. “We’d like the ReStore revenues to pump it up so we build at least two, possibly four or five” every year.

The local affiliate’s 13th home will be started this year and will be located on land already acquired on Fifth Street in Bangor, adjacent to another Habitat home, the agency’s Web site states.

“Habitat for Humanity works in partnership with local people in need to build and renovate decent, affordable housing,” it says. “The houses are then sold to qualifying families at no profit and with no interest charged, allowing many to enjoy the pride and dignity of home-ownership.”

The ReStore provides local people with access to new and “lightly used” building materials at discount prices and provides individuals, contractors and businesses a place to donate unneeded items, preventing any from ending up in local landfills.

The only criteria for donations is that “it has to be reusable,” Marsh said.

Habitat representatives have met with area construction companies, including Nickerson & O’Day of Brewer, to establish recycling relationships, she said.

Contractors big and small are “always ripping things out and don’t know what to do with it,” she said, adding now they have an option.

Each donation is tax deductible and receipts are given. Once items have been pre-screened, they can be dropped off at the store or can be picked up in the new 16-foot box truck, purchased with funds donated by the Stephen & Tabitha King Foundation.

“A woman just came by and dropped off a low-flow toilet,” Marsh said. “She said it worked perfectly well, she just got a new one.”

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Bangor, which recently relocated next door to the ReStore, is hosting a three-day grand opening April 2-4 at its new location in the Holden Plaza at 231 Main Road.

For the grand opening, the ReStore will be open 4-8 p.m. Thursday, 2-8 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday.

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