Business salvages top-shelf cabinetry
LOVELAND» A Loveland schoolteacher says he is making average homeowners’ dreams come true by selling them kitchen cabinetry fit for million-dollar homes.
The trick is that he finds whole kitchens’ worth of cabinets that the owners of those houses think are no longer fit for their million-dollar homes.
“There are wealthy homeowners taking out nice kitchens that have nothing wrong with them,” said Ben Laning, owner of Ben’s Repurposed Cabinetry. “The waste in the construction industry is mindboggling.
“We mere mortals would sure like to have that stuff,” he said.
As he pursues his “sole goal of recycling million-dollar-home kitchens,” he’s easing some pressure on landfills, he said.
Laning, who teaches fifth and sixth grade at a small church school in Loveland, stumbled upon the idea for his business a few years ago when he and his wife, Becky, bought their first home. The house needed a lot of work, and they thought about moving the kitchen.
In the midst of the remodel, with everything gutted, they took a trip to The Home Depot to get a ballpark idea of what kitchen cabinets would cost.
“We were surprised by how much it was, even for the very cheapest stuff,” Laning said. “It was a big shock.”
As he started researching alternatives, he found someone online who had taken out a nice kitchen. So the Lanings put those cabinets in their kitchen and started thinking about the other people who are stymied by the cost of kitchen cabinetry.
Ben’s Repurposed Cabinetry was born, and has been growing since. In addition to the Lanings, the company has five employees from the church’s high school.
He said locating suppliers takes a lot of time and effort. He is building relationships with custom cabinetmakers, kitchen designers, contractors and real estate agents who have reasons to know people who are tearing out existing kitchens to put in new ones.