A Car Crash Interrupted Sam’s Success Story. Building Value Is Racing to Get It Back On Track.

Sam, as a construction trainee with Building Value. Sam is one of the youngest participants ever to graduate from Building Value’s training program.

Sam was driving home when the other driver pulled into his lane unexpectedly, veering into his side in the middle of the intersection.

“I was surprised the airbag didn’t pop out,” Sam insisted. “She hit me pretty hard.”

After the accident Sam felt numb, and his side hurt. He was shaken up, but he was okay. His car was another story.

“It messed it all up pretty much. To the point that,” Sam sighs. “I couldn’t even drive it.”

One week into his pre-apprenticeship with CinFab, through no fault of his own, Sam was in danger of losing his job.

With his car gone, Sam didn’t have many options for getting to work. Taking the bus would require Sam to leave the house by 3AM, a full two hours before his shift started. With no car he could borrow, he had no choice but to depend on ride share services if he wanted to get to work. The costs quickly added up, and before long Sam was running out of money.

When David Daniels, Workforce Development Manager for Building Value, found out about Sam’s situation, he stepped in to help. He started picking Sam up for work, and Messer chipped in by paying for his Uber rides. Sam was able to get to work, but the situation wasn’t sustainable. He needed a car.

Serendipitously, David Daniels discovered that a vehicle from Wheels Transportation Inc. had suddenly become available. Wheels Transportation Inc. is a local nonprofit that reconditions donated cars for people facing critical transportation issues. Reggie, another Building Value trainee, was next in line to receive a vehicle, but determined the truck, a Dodge Dakota, was too big for him. So he decided not to go through with the deal. It was one of Wheels’ nicer vehicles, it wouldn’t be long before someone else took it.

 Building Value leadership reached out to Wheels Transportation Inc. and told them about Sam’s situation. They knew this was an essential opportunity for Sam. Because transportation issues are so prevalent in Cincinnati, this high demand creates a backlog for these essential services. With any luck, they hope to have the details sorted out by May 20th.

“Normally he would have time to figure it out. He’s not in that situation, so we’re going to do something to help him out,” affirmed David Daniels. He is also looking into contingency funds to help with the cost of ownership. Whatever they need to do, Sam’s success story is going to get back on track.

As of publication, Building Value’s leadership team is anticipating they will have the car secured for Sam within the next week. Subscribe to Building Value Bulletin to receive updates on Sam’s story.

Cincinnati Thrift Experts Swear By 5 Building Value Shopping Tips

Select items curated by Carol and TJ from their recent trips to Building Value

You don’t need to be an expert to find a great deal at Building Value. Residents of Cincinnati’s Northside neighborhood and beyond know Building Value as the first place to turn for gently-used refrigerators, beautiful reclaimed windows, and locally hand-crafted cabinets.

For Cincinnati thrifting experts, Building Value is also a hidden gem for antiques and unique décor. Two of Building Value’s biggest supporters (and most successful treasure hunters) shared their insider tips for finding gold at Building Value. Read more and see pictures of their favorite discoveries below.

Carol and TJ’s insider tips for shopping at Building Value

1. Chart a course

Carol and TJ always begin their search to the right of the register, making the architectural treasures their first stop before circling back through the appliances, doors, and lumber.

2. Choose different days of the week to visit

New merchandise comes in to Building Value all the time, sometimes multiple times per day. If you only visit on Saturdays, you are missing out on many of the best items the social enterprise receives each week.

3. Keep an open mind.

Carol and TJ both agree that their best discoveries come when they aren’t looking for anything specific. Perhaps their favorite find, an oversized metal M&M, seemingly fell into their lap during one of these visits.

“I was holding the door open for a guy who was coming in with something wrapped up in a sheet, and it looked heavy,” TJ recalls. “The guy said I’m donating this, my boss told me to drop it off here and left.”

4. Use your imagination.

Many items can have creative new uses beyond their original purpose, like the terracotta pipes that TJ and Carol turned into planters.

5. Don’t skip the yard.

The next time you visit Building Value, ask a sales associate to show you to the back lot. The outside lot has a great collection of stones, claw foot bathtubs, and granite countertops.

Hire a Building Value crew to work on your ‘honey-do’ list!

Building Value is well-known for the unique mix of salvaged kitchens, plumbing, hardware, shiplap, and lumber at our retail store in Cincinnati’s historic Northside neighborhood.

What you may not know is that we are also a construction training program for Easterseals Serving Greater Cincinnati. Building Value has helped under-served young adults in the city’s urban core launch successful careers in construction industry for more than 15 years.

Due to the unprecedented circumstances of COVID-19, most of our scheduled work experiences have been put on hold. That’s where we need your help!

You can hire a Building Value crew at very affordable prices – including heavy equipment and tools! It’s a great way to knock out projects at your home or business – while also making a positive impact on someone looking for their breakthrough moment to launch an in-demand career in the construction industry.

Our construction trainees are able to complete:

  • Architectural salvage and deconstruction
  • Interior and exterior demolition
  • Property clean ups and clean outs 
  • Landscaping
  • And more!

All Building Value trainees have completed OSHA safety training and are supervised by an experienced foreman. Our crews are also insured and bonded.

Check out these great rates:

Bobcat + Operator starting at…

$200 for 4 hours

$300 for 7.5 hours

Diesel charge: $25 per 4 hours

5 yard dump truck with driver starting at…

$200 for 4 hours

$300 for 7.5 hours

Bobcat, truck, and operator starting at…

$500 per 7.5 hours

Mid-sized excavator (35,000 lbs) starting at…

$150 per hour (four hour minimum)

fuel cost will be pro-rated but will not exceed $100 per day

Crew lead, 3 general laborors, and hand tools

$500 per 7.5 hours

Hourly rate includes travel time to and from project site

Give us a call to discuss your project and get a quote TODAY.

For more information contact:

Chris Miday
Deconstruction Manager, Building Value, LLC

Wood from Ohio’s largest tobacco barn now available at Building Value

The drive east from Cincinnati along U.S. Route 52 is something everyone should experience. The city yields to picturesque views and an intimate closeness to the Ohio River. Small communities and little cottages dot the banks, stirring the imagination of relaxing days watching the world slowly floating by.

The landscape changes quickly if you detour off the Ohio River Scenic Byway in Point Pleasant near the birthplace of President Ulysses S. Grant. The land rises up with gently rolling hills. Farms stretch to the horizon. The roads twist and narrow.

It is down one of these roads in Brown County’s Lewis Township where we reach a hulking relic of Ohio’s agricultural history. It’s said to be the largest tobacco barn in the entire Buckeye State. But it won’t be there much longer.

The barn is coming down. Board by board. Piece by piece. And you can help preserve its premium, old-growth timber.

The land where the barn sits was purchased by the Greenacres Foundation, a nonprofit rooted in education and conservation. It is developing the 413 acre site to bring their educational programs to a new demographic, as well as using it to conduct some of their agricultural research focusing on soil health and carbon sequestration.

close-up view of old lumber

The old barn’s wooden posts and beams create a regimented systems of more than 100 individual stalls under the massive roof. It was an ideal setting for drying tobacco, and could have been an interesting teaching tool.

That was until a wind storm tore through the property this past spring. Engineers determined the structural damage to the building was too great, so the barn was condemned.

Cross beams inside the wooden barn

Greenacres recognized the incredible history and value within the white maple, cottonwood, and poplar that makes up the structure. So it contacted Building Value to deconstruct and salvage as much of the barn as possible.

The work is slow. Preserving the beams and boards requires them to be removed almost entirely by hand. Heavy equipment would quickly turn the wood in to little more than a pile of splinters destined for a chipper.

Wood from the barn is being removed one board at a time.

This wood is far too valuable for that. Barn wood has become a hot commodity for interior designers, makers, and artisans who want to bring a touch of rustic warmth into modern spaces.

As the wood is salvaged, it is transported to Building Value’s retail outlet in Cincinnati’s historic Northside neighborhood for resale. The store is open to the public, so anyone from an amateur crafter to a professional builder can purchase this historic barn wood and give it new purpose.

Old nails protrude from the poplar siding.

Building Value also has available kiln drying for the wood. This process removes moisture from the wood being in the elements so it can more quickly be used for projects.

detail view of the old lumber

For information about current selection, pricing, and kiln services, please visit Building Value at 4040 Spring Grove Avenue in Cincinnati. Building Value is open Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

DIY Workshop: Farmhouse-Style Rustic Mirror

Thursday, October 3
6 – 7:30 pm
Cost: $20

Cheryl would want this for her new she-shed…

The perfect blend of simple, charming, and functional. This farmhouse-style mirror will add a touch of country living to your home of office. It can even make a great gift!

You can make your own farmhouse mirror at the next Building Value DIY Workshop! Instructor Vickie McKee will lead the class as you upcycle reclaimed wood and galvanized metal accents into the perfect piece for self-reflection.

Tools used in this workshop will include a jigsaw, drill, and screwdriver. Our Building Value DIY Workshops include all materials and tools. No previous woodworking or power tool experience is necessary.

Bring a bottle of wine and friends – and be prepared to get creative!

DIY Workshop: Garden Shutter Light

White and brown garden shutter lights

WHEN: Thursday, June 13 | 6 – 7:30 pm

WHERE: Building Value | 4040 Spring Grove Ave | Cincinnati, OH 45223

COST: $40

Add a touch of warmth to your home or outdoor seating area with this adorable garden shutter light! This on-trend design provides a soft, ambient light while adding to your overall décor. Best of all, you won’t be able to buy this design in stores! So impress your family and friends – tell them YOU made it!

Our Building Value DIY Workshops include all materials and tools. No previous woodworking or power tool experience is necessary.

About Our Instructor

Chrissy Lipp works in the construction field by day, but describes herself as a “thrift repurpose-eur” in her free time. Chrissy loves finding second-hand treasures and giving new life to previously discarded gems. She enjoys combining unrelated elements to create unique, eclectic ARTifact conversation pieces with funk and style. Chrissy was one of our featured artists at this year’s AMORE designer challenge.

Brown garden shutter light
White garden shutter light

DIY Workshop: Beer Caddy

Honoring Cincinnati’s Brewing Heritage

WHEN: Thursday, May 9 | 6 – 7:30 pm

WHERE: Building Value | 4040 Spring Grove Ave. | Cincinnati, OH 45223

COST: $40

Cincinnati has a proud history of brewing craft beer. At our next Building Value DIY Workshop, you can build your own wooden beer caddy to carry your craft beer to your next party! This crate is designed to hold six, 16-ounce bottles (not included). This is a great addition for any beer lover’s home!

Our Building Value DIY Workshops include all materials and tools. No previous woodworking or power tool experience is necessary.

DIY Workshop: Leaning Door Shelf

Leaning Door Shelf decorated with plants

This is the DIY project that will make your friends jealous!

WHEN: Thursday, April 11 | 6 – 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Building Value | 4040 Spring Grove Ave. | Cincinnati, OH 45223

COST: $65

Reclaimed wood and upcycled materials are all the rage thanks to a certain fixer-upper couple starring in renovation television.

At our next Building Value DIY Workshop, you can create your own leaning bookshelf out of an antique door. These on-trend pieces can retail for hundreds of dollars online. When your friends ask where you got it, you can proudly boast that YOU made it and saved a lot of money!

Our DIY Workshops include all materials and tools. No previous experience is necessary.

Due to the scale of this project, space is extremely limited – so reserve your space soon!

About our Designer & Instructor

Ryan Ridgley of Barn Rat Studio is a maker running his own humble little studio in the Cincinnati area. He became a maker when he and his wife decided they wanted a few yard games for their backyard wedding. By the time the night was through, he had three orders from guests for yard games. When it comes to his style of building, he likens it to bull riding – quick, dirty and a little rough around the edges. But in the end, it is beautiful to look at. He loves palette wood, digs antiques and reclaiming, and does amazing things with casework meant for a demo dumpster.

Leaning Door Shelf decorated with plants detail view

DIY Workshop: Seed Starter & Garden Carrier

Completed DIY Seed Starter and Garden carrier shown with plants

WHEN: Thursday, March 7 | 6 – 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Building Value | 4040 Spring Grove Ave. | Cincinnati, OH 45223

COST: $40

It’s time to shake away those gray days of Cincinnati winter and THINK SPRING! Join Building Value’s next DIY Workshop to build a seed starter and carrier using reclaimed materials. Maker Andrew Setters returns to lead the course, which includes all materials and tools. No previous experience necessary! A great project for anyone with a green thumb or as a gift for the gardener in your life.

Proceeds from Building Value DIY Workshops benefit Easterseals workforce training programs for people with disabilities, disadvantages, and veterans in Greater Cincinnati.

All materials will be provided. No prior woodworking or power tool knowledge is required. All sales are final. No refunds or exchanges. Please note that plants shown in images are for display purposes only and are not included with purchase.

About Andrew Setters: Andrew Setters may be a familiar face for his work as a reporter with WLWT News 5, but he likes to spend his free time in the workshop. Andrew likes to make stuff out of wood, metal, and just about anything else, often using recycled materials. He’s always working to learn new skills, tackle new projects, and encourage others to try it too.

AMORÉ celebrates upcycling and second chances

Graphic for AMORE Art Made of Reusable Elements event

Thursday, April 25 from 6 – 10 p.m.

Rhinegeist Brewery

1910 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202

Some people may look at a stack of wood planks, twisted metal, and old home fixtures and wonder, “What good are those?” To artists and visionaries, however, they see potential and possibility.

Upcycling old materials into beautiful new forms has been a growing trend in contemporary art and design. It’s also the central theme to AMORÉ, an upcoming exhibition and auction about to make its debut on the Cincinnati arts scene.

AMORÉ is Art Made of Reusable Elements. The event at Rhinegeist Brewery on April 25 will feature unique art and home décor created by some of Cincinnati’s top artists from reusable and recyclable materials.

Much of the material the artists will use will be sourced at Building Value, a retail outlet in Northside that gives salvaged building materials new life.

Building Value, which celebrates its 15th anniversary in 2019, obtains these reusable materials through contracted deconstruction services and donations. Deconstruction is an environmentally-friendly alternative to standard demolition. Building materials are manually removed for reuse or resale, rather than going to a landfill.

Building Value, a social enterprise of Easterseals, uses the deconstruction program to provide workforce development to people facing economic challenges. They receive on-the-job construction skills training and a second chance to build up stable, sustainable careers.

The art created for AMORÉ evokes the spirit of Building Value’s workforce development and the beauty of second chances. In Building Value’s 15 year history, more than 400 people have found employment and more than 20,000 tons of salvageable material has been diverted from landfills. 

AMORÉ will feature Rhinegeist beer pairings with food from some of Over-the-Rhine’s most popular restaurants, including The Eagle, Bakersfield, Krueger’s Tavern, and City Bird. The eclectic band Anna and the Deeper Well will perform live.  And, the best part, all of the unique art created for AMORÉ will be available to purchase at auction that will be conducted online through a mobile bidding platform.

Tickets to AMORÉ are $75 and can be purchased online at BuildingValue.org/AMORE. Proceeds from the event and auction will benefit Easterseals and its programs, including Building Value.