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What to do with leftover building materials

You’ve just finished a construction project or remodel and feel a deep sense of satisfaction. Then you look around and see all the stuff you didn’t use: long pieces of lumber, unopened boxes of tile, lengths of PVC and metal pipe, a new patio door the homeowner didn’t like, coils of electrical wire, and a few boxes of shingles. Maybe there are other things left behind.

Measuring lumber next to a circular saw.

The job is done but dealing with leftover construction materials is your next challenge. Before lining up trucks to haul it to the landfill, think about donating to the Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

When you donate construction, you help keep perfectly good materials out of the landfill, shoppers get usable items at an affordable price, and you get a tax deduction. Plus, you’ll be helping Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity create and preserve homes for local families. Most thrift stores benefit local charities, but few will take construction materials, especially in large quantities.

What to Donate

ReStore accepts clean and mold-free: 

  • Building Materials

  • Architectural Pieces

  • Doors

  • New Bathroom Fixtures and Plumbing

  • New Electrical Supplies

  • New Flooring

  • New Carpets and Rugs

  • New home exterior materials such as gutters and shingles (accepted April 1 through October 1)

  • New HVAC items (accepted seasonally)

  • Kitchen Cabinets

  • Landscaping Materials

  • Lighting and Fans

  • Paint, Stain, and Paint Supplies

  • New Boxes of Tile

  • Tools and Hardware

  • New Windows and Screens

  • Patio Furniture

  • Office Furniture 

  • Appliances 

Cabinets at ReStore.
Cabinets on the sales floor at the New Brighton ReStore.

How to Donate

Once you have sorted through it all, you can donate in one of two ways. You can drop off your usable construction materials yourself or schedule a pickup on site. ReStore has a convenient online form to schedule a pickup

There are some items, however, that you must drop off yourself. Those are full cans of paint and stain, home interior items, and hardware.

Some items should also be specially marked. For example, the size of tile should be written on the box with a permanent marker. When donating doors or light fixtures, remove any hardware and bag. If there are decorative lamps that go with the light fixtures, include those, too.

A look at the inside of ReStore home improvement outlet. Including lumber, tools, trim and more.
A look inside ReStore where materials, tools, and other materials are on display.

It’s Tax-Deductible

Before you donate any construction waste, make sure you determine the value of it so you can get a receipt for your taxes. If the value is $500 or less, your receipt is sufficient for the IRS. If the value of your donation is over $500, fill out the IRS Form 8283. Make sure you retain all paperwork for your records and as proof for the IRS.

Leftover building materials.

Unwanted Items

If you happen to have items ReStore won’t take, consider donating those to a thrift store, community center, church, a shop teacher at a local school, or even your local community theater. Those donations may also be tax-deductible, and they will benefit your local community.

ReStore doesn’t accept all items you might want to donate. ReStore won’t take the following:

  • No Commercial Refrigerators

  • No Wall or Double Ovens

  • No Microwaves

  • No Garbage Disposals or Cooktops

  • No Gas Fireplaces/Fireplace Inserts

  • No Commercial Doors

  • No Hollow-core Doors

  • No Painted, Mirrored, and Exterior Wood Doors

  • No Garage Doors or Openers

  • No Countertops

  • No Hand-painted or Non-kitchen Built-in Cabinets

  • No Toilets

  • No Cast Iron or Jetted Tubs

  • No Factory Molded and Cast Iron Sinks

  • No Shower Doors

  • No Unframed Mirrors

  • No Water Softeners 

  • No Marine or Oil-based Paint

  • No Laminate or Vinyl Flooring

  • No Partial Boxes of Tile

  • No Track Lighting

  • No Fluorescent Fixtures

  • No Brass Ceiling Fans

Unusable Construction Debris

Make sure you dispose of unusable items or hazardous materials the right way after your project too. The Green Disposal Guide for Hennepin County is a good place to find out how. Minnesota’s Pollution Control Agency also has a list of where to dispose of hazardous items for each county in the Twin Cities metro.

Donate household items and support affordable housing! Learn more

Topics: Donate, 2021