Non-profit Opens Building Materials Store

One person’s donated stash of residential building materials, appliances, or home fixtures at Arlington’s new Habitat for Humanity ReStore could be just the thing that another customer can’t live without.

Aisles of home improvement items fill the 23,100-square-foot retail store, which is located on Mayfield Road between Cooper and Matlock. The store accepts new or gently used materials like flooring, paint, tile, doors, windows, hardware, rugs, and light fixtures and then sells them to the public at a discount.

Donations come from homeowners, manufacturers, retailers, and businesses. And the money that customers spend at the store goes directly back into Habitat home-building projects.

“We’ll get a pallet of perfectly good tile that, for whatever reason, wasn’t the right color but is still perfectly usable,” said Cody Hamilton, the senior director of ReStores for Trinity Habitat for Humanity. “Or we’ll get items donated because the packaging color was changed.”

Trinity Habitat will celebrate Arlington ReStore, its newest retail location, this weekend with a Friday ribbon-cutting and a Saturday Grand Opening event.

The group, which covers four counties including Tarrant, already has two similar stores in Fort Worth and one in Cleburne. Officials said Arlington was a natural fit for the next location.

“We had a pretty big Arlington clientele that was driving to Fort Worth,” Hamilton said. “So we’re excited for people to know that we’re here. Word of mouth is our best advertising.”

Hamilton said the stores were born out of the concept that when people can’t donate time to help build a Habitat house or money for projects, they donate materials instead.

The stores started in Canada when Habitat groups began selling overflow material and found that money could be made to finance more building projects. Currently, there are 675 ReStores in North America.

The Trinity Habitat branch is one of only two groups in the country to have four resale stores.  The other is in Florida.

The north Fort Worth store is Trinity Habitat’s flagship. Opened in 2003, the 23,000-square-foot store nets $400,000 a year.

Hamilton said those who make tax-deductible donations of goods to the store feel good about making an environmentally conscious choice.

“This is really quality, donated material that doesn’t have to go into the landfill,” he said. “And often, if a customer donates something, they’ll come in and look around at what we have that day. That’s what makes this place work.”

Hamilton said the stores often receive new or barely used items from homeowners who are renovating.

“We’ve seen a situation where a seller fixes up a home, puts in all new carpeting for the new buyer. Then the new buyer moves in, doesn’t like it and takes up the new carpet,” he said. “That’s the nature of re-sale. Donated goods are random.”

“It’s fun to see what comes in the door.”

ReStore Arlington, located at 905 W. Mayfield, is open Tuesday-Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.