Building Value Is Best Of The City!

Building Value has been named a “Best of the City” by Cincinnati Magazine. In the December 2016 issue, the publication named the Northside retail outlet as “Best Supplies for Rehabbers: Doors.”

Building Value’s extensive selection of reclaimed doors is “a perfect fit.” The doors are salvaged from deconstruction sites serviced by Building Value’s full-service deconstruction firm. The inventory changes almost daily, but will often include aluminum screen doors with complete frame, residential security doors with or without frame, hollow core pre-hung doors in reusable condition, commercial doors, staff discretion, solid wood doors, hollow core panel doors, and more!

Building Value is a multi-faceted social enterprise of Easterseals Serving Greater Cincinnati. Deconstruction services divert thousands of tons of useable building materials from area landfills. Materials are tax-deductible, making the process more affordable for clients. Materials are then resold in the Northside retail outlet, with revenue supporting Easterseals’ programs that break down barriers to employment. Hundreds of individuals have received job training with Building Value’s retail and construction businesses, with many graduating the program and moving on to fulfilling careers with local construction firms.

Citybeat Highlights Building Value’s Employment Success

With the successful expansion of the Construction Career Pathway program, Building Value became one of three partners working with the City of Cincinnati Employment Pipeline Pilot Project. The initiative started this spring with the goal of getting homeless Cincinnatians into stable jobs and housing. Six homeless individuals from the Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless have been placed in jobs with partner organizations. CityBeat recently featured the successes of two Building Value training associates.

Read the CityBeat story about Building Value.

Building Value keeps thousands of tons of old household items out of landfills and makes them available to the community for a second life. It offers on-the-job training to people ready to restart their lives and careers. Sustainable living, sustainable jobs, sustainable community – that’s Building Value.

ReUse-apalooza! 2016

A fun and funky fundraiser! Building Value celebrates “Building with Re-Purpose” at the annual ReUse-apalooza. Live music, wandering circus performers, craft beer, and local food vendors make this a night you won’t want to miss! Plus, you could head home with a one-of-a-kind masterpiece for your home from our Designer Challenge, where earth-friendly artisans create something cool from practically anything.

Designer Challenge Kickoff 2016

Join us on Saturday, March 19, 2016 from 1-3p.m.!

Put your design skills to the test with the ReUse-apalooza! Designer Challenge! Join us at Building Value for your first opportunity to register for the challenge. Individuals, teams, and companies can combine their unique design skills with the benefits of re-use. Participants will receive a $125 credit for Building Value products to be used in their designs, which must be made from a majority of reused or repurposed items. Completed designs will be available for bidding and purchase at ReUse-apalooza! on Friday, May 20, 2016 from 7-11p.m.

-Cash prizes will be rewarded.

Unable to attend the kickoff? No problem, you can register and pick up materials from Building Value until Monday, April 18.

For more information contact

Winter Is Coming, Let’s Clear The Lot!

Winter is coming so we want to clear out the lot!

Saturday, November 7,

30% off EVERYTHING outside as well selected cabinet SETS inside.

Large selection, come see us!

Wow! What a find! -Claw feet tubs

Wow! What a find! -Claw feet tubs

Agencies Target Hard-Core Jobless

Cincinnati Enquirer

By Mark Cornutte

He’s a former drug and alcohol abuser, too, who went through almost five months of treatment with social service agency Talbert House in this Brown County town.
He now works 30 hours a week for the agency in its in-house business, DocuPro, a document conversion and destruction business in the back of Talbert House’s storefront on North High Street.

“I am able to support myself,” said Mullen, 50, who earns minimum wage, $7.75 an hour, to run a shredder and is learning to scan paper documents into the company’s computer. “The good things I learned in treatment are still going on in this job.”

The practice of social enterprise – agencies starting up subsidiary companies to create jobs for hard-to-employ former clients and find new sources of revenue – is not new. Yet the idea is catching on in a bigger way in current economy to help agencies combat shrinking and often iffy sources of money.

Nationally, more than half, 54 percent, of nonprofits working in social services operated a similar in-house business, according to the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship, and 60 percent of these agencies say they plan to launch another social enterprise in the next three to five years.

“Some people need work histories,” said Andrea Milani, director of Talbert House’s Brown County Recovery Services, which treated 300 people for drug and alcohol abuse and 700 for mental health issues last year.

Other job providers say the chronically unemployed need help to reach full employment. Teaching-oriented workplaces such as DocuPro – Talbert House’s first social enterprise venture – work as entrance ramps into the job market. DocuPro plans to grow from four employees to as many as 15 within a few years.

Then, there’s the need for revenue to invest back into the agency.

Bolstered by start-up money for equipment from the Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati, DocuPro expects to break even in its first year with revenues of $125,000, Milani said.

“In our area, mental health, (social enterprise) is getting more and more common,” said Janice Bogner, health foundation program officer. “Traditional funding from the government is flat or declining, but demand for our services is up.”

Brighton Center, the largest social service agency in Northern Kentucky, which serves 72,000 people in 35 programs, has expanded its Clothing Closet in Newport. A used clothing store that sells donated items, Clothing Closet turned $75,000 back into Brighton Center’s Community Investment Department – about 16 percent of its budget.

“We’re very interested and looking at social enterprise opportunities for the agency,” said Wonda Winkler, Brighton’s associate operating officer. “It’s an idea that provides more diversified funding in these uncertain times.”

Two other agencies have been involved in social enterprise for a long time.

One is Power Inspires Progress, a nonprofit that operates Venice on Vine Pizza in Over-the-Rhine and Venice Catering. Both offer training and jobs for ex-convicts and people without high school diplomas.

“Nonprofits step in when the market fails,” said Rina Saperstein, Power Inspires Progress executive director.

Easter Seals Work Resource Center operates Building Value, a three-prong business that consists of salvage services, recycling and retail of used household building items – such as entire kitchens, bathroom sinks, mantles and light fixtures – out of its store on Spring Grove Avenue in Northside.

More than 100 people earned wages and received job training, and 4,000 tons of materials have been recycled.

Building Ability is a work-based social enterprise for people with severe disabilities who are interested in learning basic woodworking skills; it uses scrap materials donated to Building Value or salvaged by a Building Value team. About 10-12 people are employed in wood working and another 10-16 in Building Value. Another 50 people work in Easter Seals’ packaging business in its Walnut Hills headquarters in jobs that last six months to a year and prepare inexperienced workers for the market.

“Nonprofit is a tax status, not a business strategy,” said Lisa FitzGibbon, president and chief executive of Easter Seals Work Resource Center. “It’s all about generating revenue to plow back into the agency to further its mission.”

Building Value Deconstruction Is Ohio Nonprofit Excellence Award Finalist

The expansion of Building Value’s deconstruction services was named a finalist for the Ohio Association of Nonprofit Organizations Nonprofit Excellence Awards. The Ohio Nonprofit Excellence Awards recognize creativitiy, execution, achievement and overall excellence of a specific project or program completed by an Ohio nonprofit in 2009.

Easter Seals Work Resource Center was nominated for the expansion of deconstruction services at Building Value. The expansion of deconstruction services means more materials are kept out of local landfills and more people with disabilities and disadvantages receive paid work experience.

In the first seven months of fiscal year 2009/10, Building Value has more than exceeded amount of material diverted from landfills and people trained in all of last fiscal year through deconstruction. Additionally, this expansion has resulted in creating community partnerships and involving more participants from Building Value and Easter Seals WRC programs.

Building Value’s deconstruction services were one of three programs of similar size in the Southern region of Ohio.

Making Treasures Out Of One Man’s Trash

Clever folks find project materials at Building Value reuse store

Cincinnati Enquirer – May 22, 2010

By Amy Howell Hirt

Over the past few years, the idea of using recycled materials – from clothing to flooring – has evolved from a second-hand necessity to the first choice for many consumers looking for unique, low-impact goods.

Building Value, a reuse store in Northside that stocks material from deconstructed or remodeled homes, has developed a bit of a cult following among crafty customers who have a knack for seeing things in a different way: how a light fixture could become a candle holder, how an old TV screen could become a window or how roughly worn wood cabinets could shine like diamonds with a little polishing.

“You have to be willing to look beyond what you’re seeing at the surface,” says Kathy Farfsing, who got a custom look in her laundry room by giving a facelift to used cabinets that cost about $30.

These resourceful shoppers make it look easy – and interesting – to give new purposes to old materials.

Haute headboard

Nancy Bilek of Milford likes old things. She is open about the fact that she misses her previous home, which was 200 years old, and wouldn’t mind someday moving on from her new home.

“I’m not using (salvaged material) to replace things in my house. I use it for stuff I can take with me,” Bilek says.

The accessory queen is a pro at simple projects that make items with single-digit price tags look like intentionally distressed luxury-brand pieces: She connected French doors with hinges to create a room divider and salvaged an unstable but well-loved cabinet by stabilizing it with a shelving system made of used cabinet doors.

“I’m a big believer in not using something for its original purpose,” Bilek says.

Her greatest find is a red five-panel wood door which she transformed into a headboard for the master bedroom – although she didn’t have a purpose in mind when she bought it.

“I thought, ‘I’ve got to have that door, but what am I going to do with it?’ ” Bilek says.

All the door needed was a good scrubbing before going on the wall. Bilek installed screws in the wall studs, put D-rings on the back of the door, hung it so that the side painted a green-ish hue was toward the wall, and pushed the bed back to meet it.

Chic cabinets

Although many features in Kathy Farfsing’s College Hill home – like patches of brick flooring – are leftover materials from a previous owner’s family construction business, she wasn’t thrilled when her husband brought home a set of old wood cabinets for refurbishing their laundry room, which didn’t have a sink or any cabinets.

“I’ll be honest, I was just disgusted,” Farfsing says. “They looked like they were pulled out of a rental property. They were about as dirty and disgusting as you can get.”

The couple sanded, cleaned then power-sprayed paint onto the cabinets, added new milk-glass handles and accented the 1950s feel with curtains that Kathy made with vintage fabric purchased on eBay.

Her husband built a cedar closet beneath a new maple cabinet purchased at Building Value – distributors infrequently donate new items that are being discontinued – built a countertop and added maple trim to tie it all together. Four inexpensive bins under the counter help them sort each child’s clean laundry.

Sensible storage

Technically, the two storage sheds at Salem Community Church in Anderson Township are less than a year old, but only a few materials were purchased new.

Last summer, Steven La Count, 17, his father, John, and members of Steven’s Eagle Scout troop put in more than 1,000 hours to build the 12-by-12-foot sheds almost completely out of reused materials.

The previous shed for the lawn and garden equipment was “pretty dilapidated,” La Count says.

After seeing the prices of new material and kits, the La Counts went looking for second-hand stock at Building Value and purchased 200 pieces of cedar siding for the walls, oak trim and molding for the exterior corners and even stained glass windows that crown the doorway.

They cut material and permit costs by building onto the existing concrete pad, and used glass from an old television screen for the windows. The completed project cost about $2,000 total, funded by church donations and a car wash.

La Count says he enjoyed the process – with the exception of installing the roof in the summer heat and sorting through the siding, which came from an old barn – and earned a leadership badge for his hard work.

Valueable Deconstruction recently visited a Building Value deconstruction site in the City of Wyoming. This video explains the benefits and highlights how Building Value leads the way in deconstruction and training.

Read More