Scoring your very own urinal at Habitat ReStore

Habitat ReStore sinks

You can get a sink without throwing a bunch of money down the drain.

By Amy Brozio-Andrews

Like me, you've probably heard all about Habitat for Humanity -- you know, they build houses, help people find homes, keep Jimmy Carter busy. But I had no idea there's also a retail arm of the org -- a store called Habitat ReStore that sells new and used appliances, cabinets, tables and chairs, sinks and toilets, light fixtures, and building materials. There's one right here in the Capital Region on N. Pearl in Albany.

OK, but is there anything there you'd actually want in your house?

Well... that depends. Are you looking for substance or style?

At the Capital Region location, there are bins and bins of vintage wallpaper, some just plain old fashioned and others more kitsch than cool. But for $5 a roll, maybe you could learn to like chintz stripes.

Habitat ReStore wallpaper

Stacks of interior and exterior doors are lined up against one wall, while a garden of sinks and toilets bloom in the center of the room. Ever wanted a urinal of your own? You can get one here, brand new from Kohler, and all yours for $50.

If you're looking for the basics on sinks and toilets and such, you can probably find something to make do with. You can find a sink for as little as $15. It may not match the rest of the bathroom, but it will work. It's also worth a look if you have an older home and want stuff that will blend in -- a small pedestal sink for a small bathroom, a old stainless steel double sink, maybe or an interior door that looks similar to what you already have.

There's a pretty good mix of new and used items. The cabinets are worth checking out; they're just about all in sets, instead of one-off pieces. There was a nice maple set for $400. Another set of white cabinets included the countertop and dishwasher (no sink base) was even less expensive. The only tough part is, what are the chances that someone else's cabinets are the right size for your kitchen? If you want to scope it out before committing to driving downtown, you can also usually find some Habitat ReStore items listed on Craigslist.

ReStore manager Emily Collins says most of the customers are first-time home buyers and landlords. Real do-it-yourselfers can pick up lots of bits and pieces, like paint, ceramic tiles, roofing shingles, and paving stones -- enough for odd projects and small jobs but not always enough for big home improvements. (Unless you're really into terra cotta ceramic tile; last week, Habitat ReStore received a donation of about 10,000 square feet of terra cotta ceramic tile, 6 tiles/box, $6/box.)

You really have to plan ahead before you go, and it's best not to set your heart on finding a particular item -- the store relies on donations from homeowners and local businesses so you never know what you're going to find. If you've got something to donate, Habitat ReStore will pick it up -- call 275-6638 for more information.

The ReStore folks don't do formal inspections on this donated merchandise, but if you buy something like a stove, and it doesn't work, you can return it for store credit. Otherwise though, there are no returns or exchanges. In other words, don't forget your tape measure.

The hours are limited, Fridays and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. At noon on a Friday, the store was pretty busy. It's all on-street parking and they don't deliver, so keep that in mind when you're shopping -- you can't buy it if you can't get it home.

Habitat ReStore wide shot

Find It

Habitat ReStore
454 North Pearl St
Albany, NY 12204

Open Friday and Saturday 9 am - 2 pm

(518) 275-6638


Wow...I stopped reading after seeing "scoring" and "urinal" in the same sentence.


Enjoyed your article on the Habitat for Humanity Resale shop. We have one here near Cincinnati OH. You're correct you have to go in with an open mind. We bought a brand new drop in bathroom sink(beautiful) for $30.00. Our other trips have yielded nothing, but an enjoyable browse through the store.

Wow, my heart just went pitter-pat at that picture of wallpapers for sale. Between that and the Warehouse, I don't even care that we don't have an Ikea up here.

Who am I kidding? I still wish we had an Ikea.

i know where i'll be spending my lunch hour this friday! oh that wallpaper - it would make my cluttered craft room look so much more cute!

Don't forget that there is a ReStore in Schenectady as well!

from their site:
The Habitat ReStore, located at 1957 Foster Ave, Schenectady, NY is open Thursdays and Fridays from 10 am - 5 pm and Saturdays from 10 am - 2 pm (Closed August 30). Items to choose from include used building supplies, windows, doors, upholstered furniture, and much, much more. Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organization that works in partnership with people in need to build and renovate decent, affordable housing. See Craigslist for a sample of what we have available. On the Craigslist web site, our listings may be located by typing Habitat for Humanity Schenectady in the "search Craigslist" feature.


I would give them more but there prices are so ridiculously high they cannot get rid of what they have, mo. after mo. they have same items and never move them, to me this is real poor management. Get it all rolling out the door and more will come in. You dont have to charge 2/3 of price of new stuff. E=GET IT??

Ridiculously high??
Some stuff doesn't move fast, but so what? Appliances, cabinets and fixtures are always turning over, and the prices are garage-sale low!
Doors - 5.00, vanities 18.00,knobs a quarter, toilets 20.00.
Every time I go, I get something good for a good, fair price, AND support Habitat: win.

I Love this place. Not only are you helping a great cause but every now and than you come across a "find"!!!!
I "scored" a urinal Ha Ha for a great price. A Kohler designer model with the flush handle in the center of the tank. Try pricing that one out in your local DIY. They start at $250+ I also found a beautiful screen door with all the Victorian scrolls and curlicues my antique-loving heart could hope for! These too go for the big bucks. I have seen all kinds of deals on new stuff and old it all depends on what your needs are and what your budget will allow. Even if you don't find anything--drop a donation in the keep this wonderful network going....and keep visting... or put the item you want on a "wish list" and they will notify you.

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