Did you know there’s a place in the Twin Cities where you can buy new and gently used home improvement products and building materials for 50-75% off retail prices?
I had heard of the Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity ReStore in New Brighton some time ago, but decided to visit a week ago with my kids to see what it was all about.
I visited on a Saturday, then contacted their staff to find out more. Steve Houle, a sales associate, graciously allowed me to visit on Monday when they’re normally closed (and are busy cleaning up after their busy Saturday!). He and their manager, Pete O’Keefe, gave me some great information and allowed me to take some pictures.
I learned about Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity from my church, which helps build a home for a week every summer. Their mission is to eliminate poverty housing from the Twin Cities and to make decent, affordable shelter for all people. They have helped over 900 families since 1985 and continue to help or rehab over 55 homes each year. The stories of these families are amazing, as I’ve learned from my church’s support.
Their ReStore in New Brighton accepts and sells donations of materials and 100% of their proceeds support Habitat’s mission. Sales have been going up, and their goal is to build an entire home from sale proceeds.
As Steve and Pete told me, what few people know is that you can refresh your entire home with what you can find at a ReStore. Of course, selection varies daily, so you may have to continually check back to find what you’re looking for, but at any given time you’ll find a huge selection of items for less than what you’d pay for at a big box store.
For example, power tools can be a great find here. Many contractors upgrade their tools every year and donate perfectly good ones.
You can find major appliances, lumber, landscaping materials, doors, windows, home fixtures, lighting, electrical, and much more. They even have paints and wood stains, furnace filters, caulk, nails, and other various small items you’ll probably need. One item that’s popular here is sandpaper, which goes usually for about $10 vs. $18 at Home Depot. The only disadvantage is limited quantities; since those items vary, you may find the perfect paint, for example, but not enough of it for your project.
Many people shop at ReStore because 1) it helps support Habitat for Humanity, and 2) it saves them money. It’s a great place to shop if you work as a handyman/woman, or if you work for a theatre that always needs to build things for stages and shows.
We recently found some water damage under our entry way floor, and have various other “to-do’s” around our house, so I found a number of things we could use. For example, a while back our daughter Heidi cut a hole in our screen door with scissors (ugh!), so we’ll probably need to replace the screen itself – I did find a number of screens to choose from.
Like at thrift stores, all sales are final at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. There is a 7-day refund on major appliances and bigger power tools (not small ones like drills).
So if you’re doing any work on your home, check out the ReStore first! You never know if you’ll find what you need for less! And you’ll be supporting a great cause. If you shop on a Saturday though like I did, just be aware it can get very busy. Also, remember to donate your good, used materials there as well. If you’re wondering if they’ll take your stuff, check out their website for a list of donation guidelines.