As a builder, woodworker and general do-it-yourselfer, I’ve been in my local ReStore every week since they opened. The concept behind Habitat for Humanity’s ReStores is a building supply thrift outlet whose proceeds go to funding more Habitat projects. Everybody wins. Everything in the stores is salvaged, used, dontated or surplus, so the prices are incredibly reasonable. I just refinished a garage for well under half of what I would have paid retail by buying most of the supplies from a ReStore — everything from the lighting to OSB board and 2×4′s we used to make the temp walls. We even found some sound-deading insulation which helped sound-proof the place. So you never know what you might find.
The store in Dover has a volunteer demo crew that goes a few times a month on various demo projects and they usually produce a lot of usable material. The stock and materials do vary from week to week, but they have everything from engineered hardwood floors to tools to kitchen sinks. The quality also varies, but really only when dealing with items such as sheetrock and lumber. All the appliances are in working order and, at least at the one in Dover, there’s a large selection of very nice kitchen cabinets. As a carpenter, I also go in during the day just to buy extra nails, joist hangers, and other little odds and ends that add up at the end of the year.
Currently, there are ReStores in 47 U.S. states and 9 Canadian provinces.