Guest Review: Habitat For Humanity ReStore & HomeSTORE

Credit & big thanks for this review go to Donna Westcott, a long-time friend from church who lives in Mechanicsville. I only recently learned about the Habitat stores and can’t wait to check them out!

Two of my favorite places to hunt for bargains other than clothing are the two stores run by Habitat for Humanity in this area. When you donate to or buy from Habitat, you are helping support an organization which truly helps people to help themselves achieve ownership of safe, decent housing. In addition to individual donations, contractors donate both materials they have torn out as well as their excess supplies, and hotel chains donate furniture they are phasing out.

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habitat ReStore
The Habitat ReStore

Run by Richmond Metropolitan Habitat for Humanity

1901 Roane Street (just off of Chamberlayne Avenue as you head into the city)

This store is a real treasure hunt! It has some furniture out front, a mix of used items and new (scratch and dent) donated items. But the adventure begins when you enter the warehouse area, jam-packed with all manner of items yanked out of houses dating from the 1920s to the 1980s, to judge from the look of things. This includes many, many of the following type items: kitchen cabinets; counter tops with and without sinks; appliances; toilets; vanities with sinks; bathtubs; windows; doors, both interior and exterior; old radiators; light fixtures; electrical supplies; plumbing supplies and fixtures. There are buckets of nails, including those for nail guns; dozens, if not hundreds, of partial cans of paint, stain, adhesive; bags of cement; tubes of caulk. They often have those fiberglass columns and bases, and today there was one that had already been marbleized. I don’t get to this one as much because the Mechanicsville store is only a few minutes from my house. But some fun things I have gotten there in the past are a dozen or two crystal cabinet knobs, and some old-school, army green desk files and rubber stamp holders.

My bargain picks of the day for today: a large mirror—about maybe 3×6, the kind you might just lean against a wall, with beveled edges and a wide plastic frame which really looks like dark would with gold beading. It was $65.

Also, a couple hundred packages of long, shiny, glow-in-the-dark false eyelashes in assorted colors. Only 25 cents a pair.

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habitat homestore

The Habitat HomeSTORE

Run by Hanover Habitat for Humanity

8177 Mechanicsville Tpk (way back off the road, behind the Cold Harbor Restaurant, so you have to watch carefully for it)

This is where I have spent more time and found more of my bargains, since it is only a few minutes from my house. This store is smaller and features much more furniture than the Richmond store, but not as much hardware. It does have appliances, doors and windows, kitchen cabinets, lighting, carpets, flooring, bathroom fixtures, and a few hardware and plumbing supplies. But it also always has a selection of sofas and chairs, dining room sets, bedroom dressers, other cabinets, sewing machines, and many practical and decorative household items.

From this store I have purchased enough of the really nice birch and melamine pull-out drawers for all of my kitchen cabinets for a few dollars a piece (we had to purchase the runners to install them); matching lamps for my living room; and—best of all—a complete set of under-the-bed drawers (not the kind you slide under the bed, but the kind that forms the base for your mattress) for $10! That case was an anomaly. I went by one morning and saw them. They were not priced, so I asked the nice lady how much they were. She said, “Oh, someone left it on the sidewalk last night, and I think there are missing parts, so you can have it for $10. Nothing was missing that we could tell, and the bed hasn’t fallen in yet.

I could not find a brand name on the cabinets that the Homestore carries; apparently they are custom made. But the promotional material claims that they are all wood and cost 50% less than “big box store” prices. There are a couple of sets of cabinets set up in the store, and indeed they are all wood, nice and thick on the exterior pieces, lovely birch on the drawer sides, and very sturdy and smooth-working hardware. It got me thinking about my old 1958 kitchen.

Some new items I noticed today: quite a few brand new stainless steel kitchen sinks. One had a large and deep bowl on one side, and a smaller bowl with disposal mount on the other side- $150.

I saw a sign in the Homestore that announced that on the last Saturday of every month, there will be many items heavily discounted.

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    July 4th, 2009 by