Deconstruction vs. Demolition

Many people are quick to demolish old properties when they’re falling apart or in need of serious work. However, deconstruction is a great alternative to demolition and should be considered by all homeowners. Rather than tearing down an entire building and wasting potentially reusable materials, deconstruction allows materials to be salvaged and recycled or reused; a sustainable solution to your home contracting needs.

© TreeLine Homes, Inc.

The process of deconstruction involves selectively disassembling a building to salvage reusable parts. There are two types of deconstructing techniques: non-structural and structural. “Soft stripping” refers to dismantling and recycling valuable non-structural materials like flooring, ceiling fans, light fixtures, cabinetry, hardware, toilets, sinks, or interior door panels. “Whole house” deconstruction not only recovers easily detachable materials, but also removes reusable structural and more fixed elements, like pipes, bricks, lumber, steel, windows, and roofing. Regardless of the exact method, residential deconstruction allows for reclaimable resources to be saved rather than completely wasted.

Unfortunately, demolition creates a large amount of refuse so it’s not the most ecologically sound option. Construction waste contributes up to 40% of the content in landfills every year. Still, many people choose to demolish rather than deconstruct because it’s speedier and generally much cheaper. Demolishing a property completely is both a faster and less labor-intensive process than dismantling it; wrecking or flattening a building is a relatively speedy procedure that relies more on heavy equipment than manual hand labor. Since it takes less time and man power, demolition sounds like a better option ­– if you ignore the environmental costs.

When deciding which contracting course is best for your property, it’s important to take into account both economic and environmental factors. Besides being more sustainable, deconstruction may also have a major financial benefit in the form of a tax deduction.


© TreeLine Homes, Inc.

Contributing your home’s reusable materials saved during deconstruction can be written off as a tax-deductible donation; there are many non-profit recycling organizations that gladly accept different types of used materials. The tax-deduction you’d receive by making a charitable donation can help offset some or all of your rebuilding costs, making deconstruction not only eco-friendly but also cost-effective in the long run.

Homeowners should take the time to evaluate whether deconstruction or demolition is best for them. Reaching out to different contractors will give you a chance to understand the benefits of alternative or sustainable rebuilding options.  TreeLine Homes is one of Colorado’s leading deconstruction and custom homebuilding firms and can help you determine which green building methods are suitable for your property. Contact us today and we’ll be happy to answer your questions: [email protected]

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