By Laura Firszt, Networx
Reusing, recycling, and repurposing have caught on among Americans in a big way. Recycling usable materials, especially large, high ticket items like kitchen cabinetry, cuts down on waste and keeps our landfills from growing. In fact, recycling kitchen cabinets is a win-win proposition that offers many benefits to the present and future owners.
Why Sell (or Donate) Cabinets
Most people who are looking to find new homes for perfectly good – or even luxurious – used kitchen cabinets plan to upgrade their house or condo with still more lavish versions. Certainly making a few dollars on their old cabinets can’t hurt. But beyond the appeal of cold, hard cash, there is the advantage of stress reduction. A home renovation is a tense time, no matter how cushy your budget may be. Having a qualified team to dismantle everything and haul it away is a huge convenience. (Should you be in this position, be sure to confirm with the kitchen recycling company how long the whole process is expected to take.) If the kitchen is being donated to a charity such as Green Demolitions, you will have the added incentive of a tax write-off.
When you are dreaming of a big ticket home remodel like a kitchen renovation, choosing “new to you” recycled kitchen cabinets is potentially a fantastic way to get the look you want at a price you can afford. As well, you will increase your chances of finding cabinets that coordinate with the style and period of an older home. Because kitchens are often sold as complete sets, you may be spared the hassle of matching your cabinets with countertops, appliances, sinks, islands, wet bars, and so on. You might even hit the recycling jackpot and come up with brand new cabinets – floor models or ones that were ordered and either never installed or never used.
How It Works on the Original Owner’s Side
Ask your architect or designer about resale or donation possibilities, or contact one of the recycled building materials middlemen. Find out from them what types of cabinets and other kitchen essentials are in demand. Everything should be spotlessly clean and in very good to excellent shape. Their age is not as important as the amount they have been used; obviously, the less the better. Items that you wish to resell will normally be taken on a consignment basis, meaning you won’t receive any payment until a buyer has been found.
The Buyer’s Side
Recycled kitchens are generally sold as is, with neither a warranty nor refund or exchange privileges. Your shopping will be simpler if you are well-informed and flexible as to what your cabinetry needs are. You also need to know where to look. Try to find a remodeling contractor who is willing and able to work with recycled materials to inspect the cabinets before you confirm the deal. Move quickly though, as materials are usually sold on a “First come, first served” basis.
Don’t blow your entire remodeling budget on the cabinets themselves. It pays to set aside some funds to adjust them to fit your kitchen, as well as other considerations. For example, cabinets that were built on site may need backs added.
Keep an open mind and use your imagination to envision how the cabinets available within your price range could be utilized to create your new kitchen. If there are some units with less-than-perfect fronts, for instance, the doors could be removed to create stylish open shelving.