Whether you are outfitting a garage workshop, a getaway cabin or your own kitchen, used cabinets can provide the storage and style you want at a fraction of the cost of new cabinets. As homeowners look for green alternatives to waste and increased landfill, new businesses are addressing the question of how to recycle used cabinets and other building materials. These new ventures augment traditional sources of used items in good condition. Take your measurements and start the search. You will be surprised by the variety of used cabinets available.
Things You'll Need
- Measurements of space for cabinets
- Measurements of cabinet dimensions
Measure the area in which your cabinets will go. Separately, measure and write down any specific details that may influence your choice of cabinets: the height of existing lighting, for example, or a door that opens into the space. The more detailed your measurements, the more efficient your hunt.
Visit traditional sources of used housewares and furniture. Both the Salvation Army and Goodwill Industries maintain stores in urban and suburban communities. Items are priced in a range for bargain-hunters and poor families. Buying from these sources supports other work they do with the disadvantaged and disabled.
Go to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore website to find an outlet in your area. Habitat both uses and sells donated building materials that are gently used.
Look for deconstruction companies in your area. These new green businesses carefully remove, salvage and sell or recycle whatever can be taken from buildings that are being torn down or renovated. In Virginia, for example, Rebuild, a sales warehouse for DeConstruction Services LLC, offers roof slates, old brick and antique flooring, along with plumbing fixtures, chandeliers and kitchen cabinets.
Canvass your area for used-furniture and antique stores. Even large antique galleries may carry kitchen cabinets, and you may find a great match for the architectural style of your older house. Unlike the enterprises listed in Steps 2, 3 and 4, these stores are for profit. Especially with very old cabinets, expect to pay the antique value.
If you know local carpenters or contractors, ask them about upcoming jobs. Alternatively, leave fliers at paint and hardware stores. Renovators, whether professional or amateur, may be pleased to sell you what they are removing.
Tips & Warnings
- Be as flexible as possible about finishes on cabinets. Paint and stain can do a great deal to help old cabinets fit in. Remember that custom finishes like lacquer may be costly to restore if damaged. If a fit with existing decor is crucial, take paint samples and fabric swatches with you as you search.
- Wherever you look, a big part of saving money may involve transporting the cabinets from their old location to your new one. Although Internet sales sites like Ebay may offer just what you are looking for, factor the cost of transport into your bargain. The other advantage of local hunting is that you can see and touch before you buy. For what constitutes a long-term addition to your house, close examination of a potential bargain makes sense.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
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