Parts of one old Rollinsford home will have future in many others
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By Leslie Modica – Fosters Daily Democrat
ROLLINSFORD — Nothing but a simple frame, staircase and pile of lumber was left of what was a more than 100-year-old four-bedroom Silver Street house Monday morning, and by the end of the day it was expected to be only an empty lot. Typically, the roughly two tons of lumber would have gone straight to the dump, but because the homeowner contracted with the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, about 60 percent of those materials will go back into other construction projects.
The Silver Street project, which took volunteers five days to complete, was the first major deconstruction project completed by the 6-month-old ReStore, Store Manager Tom Boisvert said.
photo: courtesy of EJ Hersom/staff photographer at Fosters
And before the project was even completed, about two of the three 24-foot truckloads of lumber, doors and windows had already been sold, Boisvert said.
In addition to having a busy day of business Saturday, he said, the materials sold quickly because they were architecturally unique, including the 16-inch wide pieces of pine. “You don’t see that kind of lumber anymore,” Boisvert said. “They don’t build them like they used to.”
The entire project was completed by an all-volunteer force, and for many on the job Monday, it was their first time volunteering for Habitat for Humanity. Charlie Daniels, of Greenland, said he decided to volunteer as a way to keep busy after he recently retired from his job working for an airline. And although he thought he would be building houses rather than taking them down, Daniels said the project proved to be a good starting point for him.
Judi Viola, of Strafford, also said it was her first time volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, but she does not plan on it being the last. “I’ve been back every day,” Viola said. “It’s rewarding knowing that what you are doing is helping.”
And for others, the benefit was also in what was learned at the site.
“I learned how to take out a nail properly,” Liz Hewson, of Dover, said.
Although the Silver Street project was the first major deconstruction effort, it will not be the last. Boisvert said the store has already lined up five similar projects stretching from Massachusetts to Alton Bay.
The Habitat for Humanity ReStore opened in the former Holmwoods building on Fourth Street in October and has since promoted its “win-win-win” philosophy of raising money to build houses, offering low-cost alternatives to shoppers looking to do home-improvement projects and keeping used materials out of the dump. Since it opened, Boisvert said, the Dover store has kept about 100 tons of materials out of landfills.
The store accepts donations of used materials, such as cabinets and appliances, and also receives donations from private businesses which may be clearing out their inventory to make room for a new product line. The store then sells those items at a discount price, with all the proceeds going to Habitat for Humanity.
The Dover store is the only ReStore location in the state, with the closest one located in Portland, Maine.