Where do home furnishings go when they die? Well, in Pittsburgh if they have any remaining value and have the potential of being salvaged, it is highly likely that they'll end up in Construction Junction in Point Breeze North.
I ended up in Construction Junction the same way I visited Artifacts in the West End a few weeks prior. Angie and I were on the hunt for some home furnishings and were checking out the odd stores in Pittsburgh to see if we could find the perfect pieces we're dreaming of.
But where Artifacts caters to high-end items imported from around the world, Construction Junction's showroom is all reuse items that could use a little love and attention.
If there was a store that could save me from the seemingly inevitable trip to Ikea, it had to be this one.
Construction Junction Has Everything and the Kitchen Sink
The only way I can describe Construction Junction concisely is by saying it is a Goodwill of home furnishings.
The massive showroom is filled with every item you'd expect to find in a home or business with toilets, doors, piping, light fixtures, oven ranges of all ages and sizes, and cabinetry being some of the largest collections in stock.
Other oddities include a wide array of storage lockers (think high school lockers of various colors and sizes), partially completed dining room table sets, and so much more.
There were several items at Construction Junction that caught my eye, but I was hesitant on purchasing them for two reasons, neither of which were price related (those were incredible).
First off, nearly every item at Construction Junction has been worn well beyond its years and could use a bit of rework and polishing- neither of which I am equipped to do. Second, the items I thought were interesting were massive, and I had no way to take them home with me at the time.
If you add up the time, effort, and work needed to get these items to where I'd want them to be and the value they are offered at is lost on me. But if this kind of purchase and work sounds like it has your name all over it, Construction Junction is worthy of a visit.
The Oddities at Construction Junction
Ignoring the big items that Construction Junction prides itself on having available, I was actually blown away by some of the smaller items and oddities in their warehouse.
Although their stock turns over consistently, meaning you'll never know what is available at any given time, during my visit I found several items that are worth noting if you are in the market for some home repairs. They include discounted carpet swatches, individual door knobs and light fixtures, and even small mosaic tile sections at some pretty incredible prices.
I went in to the store thinking I'd find a piece of furniture to add to my collection, and left with the knowledge that the future purchases I'll likely make at this store are the small items that are far too unique to find anywhere else at those limited quantities and prices.
At some point in the future I'm certain that Construction Junction will be getting my money. But for now, I'll stick with looking at their weekly ‘e-blasts' and watching the inventory from a distance.
The Neighborhood is Reuse-Centric
One additional point worth noting is that Construction Junction is not the only reuse store in the neighborhood.
In fact, the entire warehouse is now a complex of reuse and other eclectic stores with Free Ride, a bike repair and education shop; The Space Upstairs, a warehouse-style events and art center; and Creative Reuse, an art reuse store all located in the same complex.
I spent some time exploring Creative Reuse and felt like I was in a budget artist's dream. Much like Construction Junction, you don't really know what you'll find in this store at any given time, and I found myself gravitating to their bulk cork collections, old Kodak camera slides featuring photos of Europe from the 1960s, and their glass jar shelf (which, sadly, did not have the kind I was looking for).
Overall, these stores are odd, totally unexpected, and a great starting place to explore Pittsburgh's re-use scene.
I still don't know if I ever will buy anything from these stores, but I have a little peace of mind knowing such an awesome set of businesses exist within our city.
When the day comes that I go on a quest to find something completely out there and off-the-wall, I know exactly where to check first.
Construction Junction is located at 214 N Lexington Street and is open seven days a week.