Photo: courtesy Advanced Focus Photography
Trade professionals looking to bid on a luxury kitchen remodel now can add an incentive that’s sure to sweeten the deal: free removal of the existing kitchen and a tax deduction for the homeowner. That’s the idea behind Renovation Angel, a nonprofit organization that offers homeowners free white-glove removal of their luxury kitchens for donation, and a tax deduction to boot.
Remodelers save on labor and materials associated with demolition. Savings can be passed on to homeowners, who could then reinvest those savings into more remodeling projects.
“Kitchen recycling didn’t really exist until we came along,” says Steve Feldman, who launched the company in 2012. “The luxury kitchen market didn’t really have a viable way to recycle.”
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Renovation Angel accepts kitchen donations based on several factors, including age, condition, countertops, cabinet style, and appliances. Company employees dismantle the kitchen—usually in one day—then pack and ship it to Green Demolitions, Renovation Angel’s parent company, with a brick-and-mortar showroom in Fairfield, N.J. Employees also help homeowners with tax-deduction–related paperwork, including finding an independent appraiser. Resold kitchens are shipped to homeowners across the country, where local remodelers can retrofit and install them.
In 2005 Feldman launched Green Demolitions as a way to offer consumers access to donated home items in several categories, including kitchens and baths, home décor, plumbing fixtures, appliances, and more. And he founded Kitchen Trader in 2012 as a way to sell and ship luxury kitchens directly to consumers. In launching Renovation Angel, he added the element of a tax-free donation and white-glove service.
Feldman, who recovered from drug and alcohol addiction and two bouts of suicidal depression, left a high-pressure sales job in 2010 to raise money for the outreach programs he credits with saving his life. He says the addiction recovery gave him a sense of personal responsibility that later became one of his company’s core values. “Our company helps us give something concrete to the community,” he says. “We create jobs for remodelers and movers, reduce environmental impact in landfills, and give tax savings to homeowners.”
To date, Feldman estimates that Green Demolition, Renovation Angel, and Kitchen Trader have accepted 4,600 kitchens and donated more than $2 million to outreach programs. Renovation Angel currently donates to programs that help troubled youth and the homeless.