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New kitchen: Giving your old furniture a new lease on life

These days, people are more and more conscious of the impact a renovation project can have on the environment. A simple and cost-effective way of limiting the ecological footprint of a new kitchen is to give the furniture you're replacing a second chance. Here's all you need to know to recycle a kitchen and limit the waste generated by your project.

The importance of a second life in renovations

During a renovation project, it’s impossible to remain indifferent to the big waste disposal container filling up at breakneck speed. Before demolishing everything, it’s to our benefit and that of the planet to reuse elements that could have a second life, not only to limit waste, but also to save on demolition costs.

Moreover, did you know that the trees used to build your house and furniture are generally about sixty years old? Before they can be used, they spend many years growing and absorbing a significant amount of CO2 generated by human and natural activities. When the wood is collected and transformed into a construction product, the CO2 remains trapped until the product is thrown out, buried, and starts decomposing. Prolonging the existence of our furniture therefore also allows us to reduce pollution related to CO2 emissions generated by our project.

Reuse to furnish a new space

Many options are available when it comes to giving your kitchen a second life: a cottage that needs sprucing up, children renovating a first house, a neighbour seeking a low-cost new kitchen, or even a donation to a person in need.

If there are no takers around you, there are several ways you can sell or donate second-hand permanent fixtures. Here are some of the most commonly used:

  • Marketplace de Facebook
  • Craigslist
  • Ebay
  • Kijiji (Ontario and Quebec only)
  • Lespacs (Quebec only)

Prices generally vary between $800 and $1,500, but a second-hand kitchen can even be worth up to $10,000 depending on its age and condition.

8 key steps for recycling your kitchen on a high note

Once the renovation project is confirmed, you can begin the process of giving your current kitchen a second life. Here are eight steps to plan the sale of your kitchen in the best possible way:

  1. Thoroughly clean the inside and outside of the cabinets, as well as the countertops.
  2. Take clear photos of the kitchen as a whole.
  3. Measure the height, width, and depth of each cabinet and countertops.
  4. Set the price according to the kitchen's condition, age, and materials. Your designer can help you determine its proper value.
  5. Set an ideal time for disassembly, according to the new kitchen's installation date.
  6. Confirm the person responsible for disassembly (yourself, your contractor, buyer, or other). Please note that this step must be carefully carried out to avoid breaking anything; we recommend dedicating an entire day to the task in your calendar.
  7. Post the kitchen for sale on the chosen platform(s), by including as many details as possible.
  8. Be available to answer questions and plan visits for potential buyers.

A success story

Pierre-Luc, a District Cuisine client, chose to put his old kitchen up for sale, above all to limit the environmental impact of his project, but also to avoid having to take his kitchen apart himself. This had the additional benefit of collecting proceeds from the sale.

"When we got to the demolition stage, it felt like such a waste to throw everything out. Isabelle, our designer, suggested we try and sell our kitchen. After three weeks and a few visits, we found our buyer, a contractor looking for a second-hand kitchen for his son. They completed the disassembly in a day and left with a trailer full to the brim!" - Pierre-Luc Bérubé, consumer