demo vs deconstruct

After demoing the 90% of the basement and the kitchen cabinets (which consisted of molded pressed ply board), we had filled two dumpsters. I had a friend come by who was surprised we used plastic bags to fill the wzste prior to bringing in to the dumpster, rather than wheel barreling the debris to the dumpster. This all too obvious comment was frustrating to me — how did I not think of that prior?

The amount of trash also had me thinking about the waste in general, and what we could do in order to limit it. My first thought was to recycle any metal we could. That resulted in me filling a paint bucket with nails and screws in a matter of days. But then I soon realized a couple pounds of scrap metal did little to make me feel environmentally responsible, so I kept thinkng.

Deconstruction is the removal of each floor board, wood stud, trim and molding, stripped of all nails and screws, within the house, for the purposes to donate/resell. They will also take appliances and the like, anything that can be reused!

The overall idea is that the amount of lumber harvested is worth has an extraordinary value which can be donated to places like the rebuild center, and written off for tax purposes.

We had one contractor come out and received all the details; 20k of work would result in approximately 50k of donation. Given your tax bracket, this actually puts deconstruction somewhat at par with demolition from a cost perspective.

However when investing so much at once, as is common for a massive rehab, it is a challenge to front 50% extra cash output for deconstruction compared to the cost of demolition.

But again, we’re green people here, so how can we make this work, if the numbers don’t make sense to hire it out?

Enter my new nail-snipper-rocking tool!, and many many many hours of patience.

Forged Steel Nail Pulling Pliers, my saving grace.

That’s right, yours truly will make this a daily project to salvage the original wood trim and beam from the 1896 home — one nail at a time.

Stay tuned.

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