Busi­ness sal­vages top-shelf cab­i­netry

The Denver Post - - BUSINESS - By Craig Young

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.

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