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How to Salvage Building Materials During Home Deconstruction

How to Salvage Building Materials During Home Deconstruction

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When you’ve got a home deconstruction that requires you to knock down some walls, or you want to tear down an existing structure to build a new home, what happens to the building materials when you’re done?

According to a 2018 study done by the EPA, 600 million tons of construction and demolition waste are produced in an average year. Of that, 175 million tons are sent straight to landfills, never to be used again, regardless of the condition the materials are in.

To counter all that waste, we suggest looking into reusing and recycling reclaimed building materials. This allows materials to be bought at a slightly lower price than brand new materials, which is only good news in this economy.

The Difference Between Deconstruction and Demolition

To put it simply, the goal of deconstruction is to save as many materials as possible while the goal of demolition is to tear down the building as quickly as possible. Traditional demolition can take 2-5 days while deconstruction can take up to two weeks.

With deconstruction, you can save up to 90% of materials, most of which can be sold. These materials include nails, concrete, wall studs, wiring, piping, and plumbing.

With demolition, most, if not all, materials will go to the landfill, creating more permanent waste.

Deconstruction also tends to be around 2.5x more expensive than demolition.

Why Bother Recycling Construction Materials?

So why would you choose deconstruction over demolition, given the initial price tag?

First off, reusing materials reduces the environmental impact of city and suburban growth. Sending your construction waste to a donation center that sells or repurposes your materials can reduce your energy use, limit waste, and minimize emissions. A typical 2,000 square-foot home can produce up to 6,000 feet of reusable lumber.

Buying and selling recycled materials can also give you a return on your investment. When you donate materials, you get a tax write off. Depending on the amount you donate and the quality of the materials, you could make back the price of deconstruction and more. Meanwhile, demolition means you lose all the money spent towards the demo.

Sold on the idea? Here’s how to start your deconstruction process.

How to Salvage Building Materials During Home Deconstruction

An infographic on how to salvage building materials during home deconstruction
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1. Contact a Contractor

You can DIY a lot of things with a deconstruction, but it’s important to hire a contractor to handle the tricky parts that require heavy machinery or more experience. The most important part of any project is your safety, so be sure you know what you’re doing or can call someone who does.

A contractor will also be able to help you asses what kinds of materials are able to be saved. You don’t want to get halfway through your project only for someone to come in and tell you that all your time and effort was wasted.

2. Get Necessary Permits

Many cities require deconstruction permits and have different regulations for deconstruction projects. You’ll need to get your home inspected to make sure that no hazardous materials, like asbestos, are present.

You can check with your local builders’ association and environmental agency for best practices while deconstructing your building.

You’ll also want to contact all utility companies on your property to make sure that proper shutoff takes place. This prevents accidents and keeps your neighbors safe and fully powered.

3. Decide Which Items can be Saved

Most items, if removed carefully, can be reused or resold. These items include windows, copper wiring, bricks, appliances, cabinets, bathtubs, hardware, doors, and more. You can speak with your contractor on the best way to save these materials and where they can go.

Typically, you can bring items like this to a non-profit organization like Habitat for Humanity. Habitat even offers deconstruction services to certain areas. Your donation will help Habitat for Humanity provide cheaper home furnishings and build new housing for local residents in need.

4. Start from the Inside

You’ll want to start with the interior, non-structural items, such as doors, windows, sinks, and carpet. Then, you can move on to drywall and plywood. Make sure you locate the load-bearing walls so your home can maintain structural integrity.

Then, we recommend you start at the top and make your way down. Get to work on the roofing shingles, insulation, and other materials on the top exterior of your home. After you take down the roof, you’ll be able to collect the structural framework of your home safely.

You can then break up the concrete and dispose of broken or unusable material in a dumpster.

5. Rent a Dumpster

Speaking of which, even with aiming to salvage home materials, you’ll end up with some waste. In cases like this, you’ll need a C&D dumpster to toss it in.

There are many nonprofits throughout the country that accept salvaged construction materials, such as:

You can also reuse the materials yourself!

Recycling Sets You and Your Community Up for Success

Recycled building materials allow for less waste and environmental impact. Many non-profits use salvaged materials from other buildings when building affordable housing.

By deconstructing your home instead of demolishing it, you are allowing organizations like Habitat to help underserved populations and reducing the amount of waste that gets tossed in landfills.

Call Discount Dumpster for Your Home Deconstruction Efforts

When you’re in the process of clearing out your home, reach out to Discount Dumpster. We make junk and waste removal easy and affordable!

We have different sizes that can help you tackle small 2-bedroom homes to large family estates. No matter your project, we can help you get rid of your trash.

We are dedicated to environmental sustainability and do our best to make sure that our communities stay safe, clean, and thriving for all.

Give us a call to get started on your home deconstruction!

Call Today for a Home Deconstruction Dumpster! - (888) 316-7010

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