From the NYT:
When Jonathan and Barbara Pessolano began renovating an 1850s three-family house on Staten Island earlier this year, they didn’t intend to make it a model of recycling. But a search for a deal on a Miele dishwasher led them in an unexpected direction.
After admiring a high-end dishwasher at a Manhattan appliance store, and being shocked by the price tag of about $1,300, Mr. Pessolano turned to the Internet in search of savings. He soon stumbled upon the website of Green Demolitions, a store in Fairfield, N.J., that sells used luxury kitchens and other fixtures collected by the nonprofit donation program Renovation Angel.
Browsing the store’s inventory online, Mr. Pessolano, a hospital administrator, and Ms. Pessolano, a teacher, saw complete kitchens, including cabinets, countertops and appliances, priced for a fraction of what they would cost new.
“We couldn’t believe it,” Mr. Pessolano said. “We thought, ‘Really, you buy the whole kitchen?’ It seemed impossible, or incongruous.”
But after visiting the store, they bought an enormous used kitchen from a house in Upper Saddle River, N.J., this past April for $11,100. Green Demolitions estimated the kitchen would have set them back about $60,000 new.
“The appliances alone would have cost a fortune,” said Mr. Pessolano, noting that the kitchen came with two Miele dishwashers, a 42-inch-wide GE Monogram refrigerator, a six-burner Viking range top, two Viking wall ovens and a Viking warming drawer. It also included seven lengths of granite countertop, under-cabinet lighting and more cabinets than they know what to do with. (Some leftovers may wind up in the laundry room.) “It was an unbelievable deal,” he said.
Inspired, they searched for more recycled building components, and soon discovered other stores with a similar mission to capture and divert construction materials that might otherwise end up in a landfill. At the Paterson Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Wayne, N.J., they came across two new surplus windows for $100 apiece. “It cost me more to rent the U-Haul than to buy the windows,” Mr. Pessolano said proudly.
Construction is ongoing, but Mr. Pessolano said that using so much salvage is allowing them to do far more than they expected with their renovation budget of $100,000. “It has enabled us to achieve a certain look and style that we would not have normally been able to afford,” he said.