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Shopping Re-Stores

Shopping Re-Stores published on 1 Comment on Shopping Re-Stores

After having hit every Habitat Restore in the Tri-State area and beyond, I’ve come to a conclusion. Ready for it? They suck. No they don’t. But perhaps they aren’t worth the travel time and expense.

Here’s the thing. Local used building material shops are a great thing. You can hit them everyday and they may or may not have new inventory, but what have you got to lose? Traveling to multiple second hand shops miles away because you want to build green is the antithesis of green building.

Case in point. Yesterday I hit two Restores in Westchester. The Mount Vernon one was pretty good. The SOLD $600 fridge mocked me as I walked in the door. I so would have grabbed that. Also, check out the pinball machine that I wouldn’t have bought anyway. That was already sold too.

All that was left was crap. Meh. So, I hit the one in New Rochelle. That was just like a Salvation Army with clothing and small housewares. Determined not to let my shopping day end without a purchase, I set off to the Danbury shop. It was ok, but nothing for me. Well since I was up there, I went to Newburgh’s Restore where I found sconces for $5 that the woman didn’t want to take down for me. U Might Find It, a favorite antiques shop, didn’t have anything I needed either.

So, the day ended with an empty tank of gas and an empty car. I used a tank of gas in an attempt to salvage a few pieces of material. Doesn’t make sense.

Don’t get me wrong. Habitat Restores ARE a great resource for materials. If I was focused on the next project, I would be collecting electrical and plumbing supplies when I see them so I don’t have to purchase those new, but I’m not much of a multi-tasker. Restores are great for windows, doors and toilets, but the lovely antique details are more readily found at proper architectural salvage shops.

So my choice today is to buy inexpensive yucky Home Depot tile for the bathrooms or spend money I don’t have on nice tile. Decisions. Decisions.

1 Comment

Hi Chris,

a friend of yours, Kristi Roberts recommended your site to me. I’m a sucker for old architectural stuff and hate chucking it out.

Question: do you have any ideas on who might purchase Greek Revival window sashes. I renovated an old Victorian from 1858 and didn’t have the heart to chuck them out (also roofline brackets). The wood is old and thick and worked (beveled mullions, ornate brackets).

I’m reading your blog and will call / visit places you write about.

But wondered if any particular place jumped to mind.

I could also foresee selling (donating?) them to small woodworkers who could turn window sashes into those fancy-smancy wall decorations with mirror insets at Pottery Barn, Crate&Barrel and the like.

Funny blog; you don’t mince words!

Regards, Sheila

PS….I just moved to brooklyn and have the items in storage.

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