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Posted on Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 4:06 p.m.

Habitat for Humanity salvages items from Dexter Village house slated for demolition

By Lisa Allmendinger


Tim Raquet of Dexter, an employee of Habitat for Humanity, removes aluminum from a village-owned home. The removed pieces will be sold to benefit the organization.

Lisa Allmendinger |

Salvageable bits, parts and pieces of a Forest Street home recently purchased by the Village of Dexter were yanked off the exterior by a two-person crew from Habitat for Humanity on Monday morning.

Neither wasps nor heat and humidity slowed Paul Tamoshunas of Ann Arbor or Tim Raquet of Dexter as they ripped and twisted the aluminum off the outside of the home.

They'd decided to start with the outside work first — before the temperatures climbed into the 90s. Later in the day, they planned to carefully remove the cabinets, appliances, copper piping and fixtures from the interior.

“There’s a really nice ceiling fan and cabinets inside,” Tamoshunas said. Neither of the men were sure how much the items would net for the nonprofit organization, which sells reusable materials to benefit its programs.

“We just tear it apart,” Raquet said. “Other people put price tags on it.”

Allison Bishop, director of community development, said she contacted Habitat about the house as a way to reuse whatever the organization could find useful.


Paul Tamoshunas of Ann Arbor removes salvageable pieces while on the roof of the Forest Street home.

Lisa Allmendinger |

The village purchased the home at 8077 Forest Street in May for $56,500. It’s near the old DAPCO redevelopment site on Broad Street.

The home and its small piece of property will be paid for from the village’s restricted building reserve fund and will be torn down.

Next-door neighbor Mary Fialkowski said the home was at least 100 years old and had a series of renters over the last several years.

“I’ll be glad to see it torn down,” she said, pointing toward the sagging roof on the second floor. “As long as there are no flames.”

Once the Habitat crew has removed all the items that can be resold to a junkyard or through the organization’s ReStore, the Dexter Area Fire Department will use the home for smoke training exercises.


The reusable portions of a home on Forest Street in Dexter pile up as a two-person crew from Habitat for Humanity strip off pieces that will be sold for scrap.

Lisa Allmendinger |

“This is the best job ever,” Raquet said of his employment as a team leader working with volunteers building and rehabilitating Habitat for Humanity homes. “Every morning I wake up knowing that I’m helping deserving families and working with volunteers who are laughing and having a good time.”

He said the skill level of the volunteers isn’t important; there’s something that everyone can do.

Both men said they had first volunteered for Habitat before they were hired by the organization.

Since the 1,286-square-foot home and 0.23-acre property is in the village’s Downtown Development District, the DDA will create a repayment plan to reimburse the village for the purchase. This property and one next door were listed as “short sales” by the bank holding the mortgages.

A home inspection in early May determined that because of structural, plumbing and electrical deficiencies, the home needs about $30,000 in repairs to bring it up to code as a rental property.

Lisa Allmendinger is a regional reporter for She can be reached at For more Dexter stories, visit our Dexter page.



Tue, Jul 19, 2011 : 4:48 a.m.

This is a great example of various agencies working together. Generally speaking, we are woefully inadequate at recognizing the value in already-built buildings (think energy auditing and retrofitting) but sometimes there is no economic value left aside from the salvaging that Habitat for Humanity is doing and the training exercise that the fire department will be doing in the end. Both are worthy purposes, and with the building gone perhaps some property value for neighbors will stabilize or improve.