This week, Erik and Randal chat with the Communications Director of Boston Building Resources (BBR), Deb Beatty Mel. BBR is a fantastic hidden home improvement gem in Boston. A cooperative company or Co-op, BBR is run by its members with "restoration" as their passion. BBR offers workshops and tutorials to keep your home pristine and proves why repair is always better than "rip and replace." And when you do need to replace, kitchen design services and an impressive selection of products are well worth the whopping $25 a year membership.

About Boston Building Resources

Boston Building Resources inspires, educates, and empowers homeowners to increase the efficiency and value of their homes. As a local social enterprise, we focus on affordable solutions that help all of our neighbors create stronger communities while benefiting the environment.

For the month of February, they are offering up to 10% off kitchen cabinetry. Why? Because it's the perfect time of year to give your kitchen a facelift. The holidays are over and your new kitchen will be completed in time for warm weather entertaining. Smart, aren't they?

Learn more about BBR on their website.


TRANSCRIPT

Erik:

Hi! Welcome back to Stay Focused, Focus Real Estate's weekly video series. I'm Eric Gould.

Randal:

I'm Randal Engelmann.

Erik:

And we have the privilege of being at the Co-op at the Boston Building Resources and we're with Deb Beatty Mel. Who is the Communication Director, is that right?

Deb:

That's right.

Erik:

Thank you for joining us today.

Deb:

Well, thanks for coming by! We're an organization that helps people keep their homes in good shape at prices they can afford. And over here at the Co-op, one of the main focuses that we have is kitchen cabinetry and kitchen design.

Randal:

So, speaking of kitchen cabinetry and all the custom work that you do there, you're having a sale in February, is that correct?

Deb:

That's right. In February, we have a sale on cabinet orders. So, if you're thinking about redoing your kitchen, it's a great time to come and take a look. Check it out. The order has to be placed by the end of February so it's always a good idea to get the design process rolling earlier in the month so that you'd be ready to order.

Randal:

It's always a little more complex than people think it is, too. "I'm gonna go order cabinets today!"

Deb:

Yeah!

Erik:

There are some big decisions involved in that and planning.

Deb:

Lots of choices and our kitchen design services are included with membership in the co-op. We also help people with older windows to restore those windows. If you restore them, weatherstrip them, put a good storm window on you can get very good energy efficiency. And we also have other kinds of unusual products that help you conserve energy, conserve water, keep your older home in good shape. And in addition to the new products that we have, we have a whole building of used materials in our Reuse Center. That's a place where you could donate something that you don't need anymore. Think about, a cross between Boomerangs and your home improvement store and that's what the Reuse Center is all about.

Randal:

That's really interesting. I've been through that a number of times and I've actually donated things there. And I can't help running through there when I donate something because it's like a treasure chest. You never know. From lighting to cabinetry to countertops to everything is over there! and it's all used stuff.

Erik:

Even hardware. Things change all the time.

Deb:

It's always something interesting.

Randal:

But that's the Reuse Center?

Erik:

That's the Reuse Center at the Boston Building Resources Co-Op.

Randal:

And then this is the Co-op. We've been using the Co-op. Sporadically. When we
need things. We've certainly ordered a kitchen from here before. 

Erik:

We have windows on order. A storm door on order now. A big plug for the Co-op. It's a great resource. You mentioned that it's by membership. What's that mean? And what's that mean to be a Co-op?

Deb:

A Co-op is a company that's owned by its members. We have an annual meeting. We elect a board of directors and if the organization is profitable then those profits don't go to a single owner who
just, you know, goes and buys a boat or something. It all goes back to benefit the members in some way usually that is by reinvesting in the company. Helping make a better display, or improving our building in some way, or offering more services.

Erik:

And how much is membership?

Deb:

It's $25 a year.

Randal:

You're kidding me! Hitting us with $25!

Erik:

A whooping $25.

Deb:

I know. Kitchen design services are included with that. If you are thinking about redoing your kitchen, that's a huge benefit. We also offer workshops to our members and if you want to learn different do-it-yourself skills like "how to build a wall", "how to work with a contractor", "how to restore your shingles and clapboards", "how to do exterior painting."

Randal:

Interesting. I love that you guys are an alternative to the big-box stores. You really seem to offer, when we come in here and need things, that you can find at those [bigger] stores. 

Erik:

You have a great selection.

Randal:

It is a great selection of things. It's not a cash-and-carry for most things but you can get, from what I
understand, even better-made products then you can get from the bigger box stores.

Erik:

And we're in Boston here. We have a lot of older homes.

Deb:

 Yes.

Erik:

And that's one of the things that I like about the Co-Op. You guys kind of seem to specialize on the older homes. Not just ripping things out and replacing them with new but how do we care for the older homes and...

Randal:

...maintain that character.

Deb:

Yeah, if you can keep your home in good condition and bring it back to what it was, that is so much better than having to remove and replace.

Erik:

So we're here in your showroom. Where can our viewers find you? 

Deb:

We have our website: bostonbuildingresources.com. We're also on Facebook, Instagram. and Twitter.

Erik:

And you obviously have a YouTube channel?

Deb:

We have a YouTube channel as well.

Erik:

And your permanent address is?

Deb:

We're here at 100 Terrace Street in Roxbury Crossing. We're just over the line from [Jamaica Plain] but close to the bike path. If you're a bike rider, you can ride right on up the Southwest Corridor.

Erik:

Along orange line and then right there at Roxbury Community College.

Deb:

Yeah exactly.

Randal:

Well, thanks so much for letting us bend your ear and giving some assistance to our viewers.

Deb:

We appreciate it.

Randal:

We look forward to working with you some more in the future.

Erik:

Yeah. It's been exciting learning more about the center and we look forward to continuing to support it and
hopefully sharing that with some of our viewers.

Deb:

Thank you so much.

Randal:

And everybody, thank you for watching again today. Don't forget to like us on Facebook.

Erik:

And subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Randal:

And until next time.

Erik and Randal:

Stay Tuned and Stay Focused.