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Rehab the ReStore way

August 20, 2012
By DIANE SPEER - News Lifestyles Editor , The Alpena News

Chad MacDonald of Alpena could well be Habitat for Humanity Northeast Michigan's poster child for best reasons to shop at its ReStore.

A teacher with Hillman Community Schools, MacDonald has spent his summer months rehabbing a rental property at 463 S. State. The ReStore on Chisholm Avenue has served as the source for a majority of the materials he has used on the project.

"I've always gotten stuff from there, even for my own house when I renovated the basement," said MacDonald, who lives next door to the property currently being rehabbed. "I'm just a big recycler. I recycle plastics and paper and cardboard."

Article Photos

News Photo by Diane Speer
Chad MacDonald, standing, cuts a piece of lumber for his remodeling project at 463 S. State. A friend, Iain Cook, is helping to rehab the house. The lumber, paint, ventilation work and bay window pictured above all came from Habitat for Humanity Northeast Michigan’s ReStore.

The ReStore receives donations of good-quality building materials such as cabinets, flooring, lighting fixtures and lumber from residents who either have those items leftover from their own remodeling project or who are demolishing a room or a house and give any usable items to the ReStore.

Those donated items, as well as many household goods such as furniture and home decor, are then resold at bargain basement prices. Proceeds from all of the sales are used to further the Christian-based organization's mission of providing decent, affordable housing to those in need.

"The resources and materials that they buy from the ReStore, those revenues go directly into our Habitat projects and new home building efforts in our community," said Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Mike Wilson.

In MacDonald's case, he has certainly done his part to further Habitat's cause by purchasing numerous items from the ReStore. Though the house he is working on is a rental, he eventually hopes to have his parents move into the place so the finished look is important to him.

"It's a creative project for me," MacDonald said. "I'm seeing it with an open floor plan and the beautiful maple wood floors underneath refinished. In my profession of teaching, I don't get to see the transition as much. With something like this, it is tangible."

He figures he has saved himself thousands of dollars by picking up items at the ReStore. Those items have included paint, both 2x4 and 2x6 pieces of lumber, nails, recessed lighting fixtures, a ceiling fan, carpeting, parts for the house's ventilation system, doors and kitchen cupboards.

One of his favorite finds from the store is a bay window he recently installed in the living room area that opens up the house to an all encompassing view of Lake Huron. Even the trim used on the doors and windows came from the ReStore.

"I got the bay window for $50," MacDonald said. "It's an Anderson. Someone told me they go for thousands of dollars."

He spent about $100 on the lighting figures, which he estimates could easily tally up to $500 if purchased new. Though the ceiling fan, never used and still in the original box, currently looks a bit dated, MacDonald plans to give it a fresh coat of paint.

The kitchen cabinets were purchased for $200, and while they aren't brand new, he knows they ultimately will look good in the place. Two pieces of carpeting that he was able to get are less than a year old. He also figures he saved between $800 and $1,000 on the 15 gallons of paint he was able to get at the ReStore.

"I've save thousands of dollars and it's good stuff," MacDonald said. "And it keeps it out of the landfill."

As executive director Habitat for Humanity, Wilson is extremely pleased that MacDonald has made such good use of the resources available through the agency's store. He encourages others not only to shop there as well, but also to keep the ReStore in mind whenever they are disposing of household items or doing a demolition project.

"If people are looking at remodeling and replacing items in their home, they can contact our staff at the ReStore and we'd be glad to assist in some efforts of demolition and to take those items back to the ReStore so that we can resell them to support the ministry," Wilson said.

This year, Habitat has kept busy with one home repair project and installation of three handicap ramps at three other homes in the area. The agency plans to start a new home build as of Sept. 1 on Long Lake Avenue.

Wilson appreciates the efforts of everyone in the community who supports the ReStore either by donating to it or shopping there.

"I'd like to extend our appreciation to the community for the huge support and amount of donations we get in the ReStore," he said. "We have been increasing what we are receiving from individuals in the community and it really has helped us do more for the mission of Habitat in Alpena and surrounding communities."



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