Dear PoP – Community Forklift Rocks

by Prince Of Petworth September 28, 2010 at 11:30 am 13 Comments

“Dear PoP,

I went to Community Forklift in Hyattsville this weekend – its pretty awesome and I’m sure that fellow PoP readers would enjoy.

It is heaven for a those renovating a house on a strict budget. Cheap wood floors, doors, windows, appliances, tile…

they also have a very reasonable antique section. I got a trunk for $100 and a door that will soon be a headboard for $20.”

When we have spoken about renovation projects in the past, many readers bring up this great spot. I’m long overdue in giving them a separate post. Their Web site says:

“Community Forklift aims to:

* Lift up communities by making repairs and renovation more affordable for everyone in the community – homeowners, small businesses, charitable groups, etc.
* Reduce construction industry waste, keep reusable materials out of the landfill, and reduce the mining and harvesting of dwindling natural resources.
* Promote environmentally-friendly building materials and methods
* Develop career opportunities for nearby residents.”

You can find directions here.

  • JenDC

    Also good to note they will accept donations of all kinds of cast-offs from renovations projects (detailed on the website.)

  • DT

    I agree that it’s a great place. Always worth a look there first for a big project to see if there are pieces that you might be able to incorporate.

  • La Niña

    I’ve gotten several items here and super prices, great place to look

  • My experience

    I have found that a lot of what they have is garbage. If you want 20 crappy pieces of tile for every good one you find, or if you want stuff from the 40s – 70s its good. If you want something from 1900s-1910s, its not as good. Door knobs, doors, hardware, tile from that era are few and far between. If you want vintage 1970s cabinetry, CF is the place to go.

    • Matt

      I completely disagree on the hardware. You have to do some digging, but you’re able to get any 1900 lockset and accompanying brass, glass or porcelain knobs from like $5-$30. It provides a lot of the same stuff as the Brass Knob warehouse but is much cheaper. It can just require more time to search and probably some manual labor on the back end.

      I am also not sure that the antiques are reasonable, but I am not familiar with that stuff. Most of the items in the salvage arts section are priced much higher than you’d expect and in some cases higher than the same item would be on Craigslist.

  • Tim

    You definitely have to be patient and know what you plan to do with the materials. No, you’re not going to refurbish a 1900’s rowhouse from Community Forklift, but I have found many bits and pieces over the years that have made my renovations much cheaper. Great old sinks show up there regularly.

  • Ed

    It doesn’t hold a candle to Second Chance in Baltimore. Community Forklift has some decent salvaged stuff, but I disagree about the antiques pricing. In my experience, the prices seem high for what’s offered.

  • Sara

    This is so exciting. I was just wishing I could visit the Green Project in New Orleans, and it turns out we have a similar place here!

  • StubsDC

    I second the love of Second Chance in Baltimore (who got a cameo role in Extreme Home Makeover on Sunday). And they also do job training for low income residents of Baltimore.

    Our best score? The gorgeous old wooden lockers from a Masonic building that got torn down. The details are great, they are 8ft tall so the storage is great, and the Masonic temple was built in 1933, same year as our house.

  • loveCF

    I went to Community Forklift for the first time this weekend too! There was an anniversary celebration complete with refreshments, raffles, and live music. I scored a new-in-box IKEA domsjo sink, which I’d been considering buying for my kitchen, at half the price! Amazing.

  • H street resident

    CF is the shizzle. But you have to treat it like a clothing thrift shop: you go occasionally hoping to find something but with pretty low expectations that you’ll find the precise thing you want. Then, when you walk out with something you didn’t know you needed, you’ll feel great. Then you go back another time, and presto-there’s the first thing you were looking for! Lose the “just in time” mentality (a.k.a. I have to go to the store and find X part immediately today ) and you’re golden. Awesome spot and better yet that it’s non-profit.

  • Cottage City

    CF is a great store. Some of the prices are too high, some are too low. Some days you find awesome stuff, sometimes you don’t. The fact that it exists in our community is a wonder at all considering the mentality of much of this area. They need to be supported so they can keep doing what they do. The rest of the world is so far ahead of us on this recycling and reuse stuff, we have to catch up!

  • MaggieMay

    I’ve only been there twice and iot is a nice place to shop but more importantly they have a free pick up that I have used several times. Once when I remnovated my kitchen, once they came and took three of my old steam radiators (I couldn’t move them myself!) and again when I replaced the old washer and dryer. That is a great service.


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