I decided pretty early on that I wanted to use this blog to recognize some of the many great people and organizations I get to work with in my real estate career. For my inaugural "shout-out" post, I'm focusing on Boston Building Resources.
I'd already decided to write this post about BBR when I found out that their founder, John Rowse, passed away just last week, 40 years after he founded the original organization. I never met John, but he sounds like a wonderful guy and the organizations that he founded have changed the neighborhood for the better in a multitude of ways. I wish I'd gotten the chance to get to know him.
Boston Building Resources started out in 1978 as the Boston Materials Co-Op, a member-owned store that "provides new materials for home improvement with a special focus on kitchen cabinetry, windows, doors, energy-saving products, and green products," according to the website. It's a small shop with a selection of specialty tools that are useful to any homeowner working on projects in those areas. They have since expanded to offering kitchen and bath design services, custom cabinets, and replacement windows, and they also offer a variety of low-cost workshops on how to do simple home maintenance. One area where they particularly shine is in their focus on saving, not replacing, old windows, with both classes on how to do repairs and all the materials you will need to keep your old windows working like new.
In 1993, they added the Reuse Center, a nonprofit where you can donate surplus building materials or buy them at a steep discount. Over the course of renovating two houses in Fort Hill, I've used them for both services. It feels good to be able to keep surplus items out of a landfill or avoid Craigslist headaches while also supporting a local nonprofit, so I donate whenever I can. And for small projects, I often stop in to see if they have what I need. They have an extensive selection of doors and windows, and often have entire sets of kitchen cabinets, and also accept gently used appliances. There's usually a wide variety of tile in small lots and you can also find a decent selection of trim and other odds and ends. It's a fun shop to browse and the pricing is great.
We've been members since we moved to Fort Hill in 2008, but you don't have to be a member to use their services. But considering what an incredible resource they are and how lucky we are to have them right here in our neighborhood, I recommend that every homeowner in Fort Hill join.
Both organizations operate out of a shared lot on the corner of Cedar and Terrace, just across Columbus Ave and a few steps from the Roxbury Crossing T station.