Rethink, Recycle, Rebuild: How Deconstructing a Home Makes Environmental and Economic Sense


The process of taking a home apart and recycling it is called deconstruction. When you deconstruct -- instead of demolish -- an existing home, it means that you essentially dismantle the home piece by piece in an attempt to save and reuse as many of the building's components as possible. Instead of bulldozing a house and adding to landfill waste, a trained crew essentially deconstructs a home, with the home's components then donated or sold. This process focuses on giving materials within a building new life once the building as a whole is no longer viable.

Interested in the steps for deconstructing a house? It's simpler than you think. Here are the five major steps for deconstructing a home.

  1. To begin, find a deconstruction expert in your community.
  2. Arrange an appraisal consultation, where the deconstruction company will visit the home and give a preliminary assessment of the value of the home.
  3. A deconstruction contractor will then submit a bid to carefully deconstruct the home.
  4. The home will then be deconstructed over the course of several days.
  5. Finally, the materials will be donated or sold.

In a deconstruction project, almost everything in a home can be salvaged, save for the sheetrock and plaster. Salvageable items typically include doors, windows, cabinets, lighting fixtures, framing lumber, plumbing fixtures, countertops, copper wiring, roofing materials, brick and flooring.


While it's obvious that deconstructing a home is a greener option than demolishing it, there's another reason you should consider it: money. There are financial benefits available to homeowners interested in deconstructing a home and donating the salvaged building materials. In some cases, used building material donations can actually pay for the costs of deconstruction and contribute some money toward building the new home. Tax credits, which are given in exchange for donations, are another added benefit. Only an IRS qualified appraiser can provide you with the fair-market value of your donation.

10+ years of experience in the appraisal of re-used, recycled, salvaged and deconstructed building materials and supplies