Site offers cost-conscious homeowners a place to buy and sell home improvement items
Charleston-area home improvement do-it-yourselfers who find themselves over budget or headed to the landfill to dispose of surplus material now have a solution to their home improvement hassles.
DiggersList, a nationwide online home improvement classifieds launches June 29 in Charleston, S.C. The website will connect cost-conscious homeowners with discounted new and used home improvement necessities, and allow them to post their own excess material for sale.
And a unique partnership with Habitat for Humanity ReStores will give the new DiggersList Charleston a running start, filling the online classifieds with an inventory of discounted home improvement materials donated by contractors, suppliers, and homeowners that are then sold to fund Habitat for Humanity’s philanthropic home-building mission.
Matt Knox, founder and CEO of DiggersList, said five tractor trailer loads of sinks that were donated to Habitat for Humanity will be going live on DiggersList Charleston when it launches, as well as many other items from the Charleston-area ReStores, which he describes as “half-off Home Depots.” In the Charleston area, DiggersList is working with five local ReStores.
“Our partnership with Habitat for Humanity ReStores has been an amazing success,” said Knox. “We started with one and now there are over 40 across the country. I can tell how successful the partnership has been by how fast the ReStores are contacting us to ask for new DiggersList locations.”
DiggersList is going one step farther to help the non-profit. A recently released “donation center” on DiggersList will allow homeowners, contractors and suppliers to offer their excess building and home improvement supplies to Habitat for Humanity. And DiggersList Co-Founder Johnnie Munger developed a “Good Samaritan option” that allows people selling their items to make donation offers to Habitat for Humanity if it does not sell within an allotted time on DiggersList.
DiggersList also offers a “widget” to Habitat for Humanity ReStores that displays the home improvement inventory directly on the non-profit’s website.
“The widget gives Habitat for Humanity all the capabilities of DiggersList right on the local ReStore’s website,” said Knox
DiggersList reduces landfill waste
As DiggersList gives a second life to light fixtures, sinks and countertops, it simultaneously reduces landfill waste. More than 160 million tons of construction and building waste end up in landfills each year, according to a 2009 estimate by the Environmental Protection Agency. An estimated 44 percent of that waste is created by home renovation projects, according to the EPA.
The items that end up in landfills are often valuable home improvement products that are dumped solely because there is no effective way to re-sell or donate them. DiggersList offers both the re-selling and donation of these products as environmentally friendly alternatives to sending the material to a landfill — both reducing landfill waste and reducing the natural resource consumption that would be required to produce a new product rather than re-use existing items.
“A lot of people think this is only lumber, nails and concrete, but it’s fit-and-finish products as well,” said Knox. “What we offer is the ability to buy and sell these home materials at a place that was specifically invented for that purpose.”
The Economy and Home Improvement
Despite a recovering economy, the $272-billion home improvement industry is forecast to grow an average of 5.5 percent per year between 2011 and 2014, according to the Home Improvement Research Institute.
DiggersList, with its emphasis on discounted home improvement supplies, has seen steady growth as homeowners turn to remodels and other home projects because selling a home and moving up in the real estate market is difficult in the current economy, said Knox.
“What we are finding right now is that more people are convinced that they cannot sell their homes or they don’t want to take a beating on it because they already took a beating in the stock market — so they are fixing up their homes,” said Knox.
Knox said DiggersList’s cost-saving discounts, waste-reducing promotion of re-use, and philanthropic partnership with Habitat for Humanity, will make it a popular resource for Charleston home improvement do-it-yourselfers.
“The pressure that the down economy has put on homeowners makes DiggersList a vital online resource for do-it-yourselfers,” said Knox. “The fact that people can save time and money on the website while reducing waste and helping Habitat for Humanity is the real magic of DiggersList.”
About Diggers List
DiggersList launched in October of 2009 with online home improvement classifieds in nine cities. Since then, the list has grown to include 30 cities, and the site has plans to reach 242 cities across the country. DiggersList has more than 70 specific categories that divide home improvement products and services into easily viewed sections.