by GBGC Expert: Caroline Kostak, GreenHouse Integration

STOP! Before you tear down that next house, take a moment and look at it one more time.  Are there any cabinets left in the house? Any faucets? Doors? Flooring? Siding?  Unique roofing materials? Brick?

There are so many materials that can be reused from a house. Taking the extra time to take them out of the house through Deconstruction is well worth the effort. Not only does removing these materials keep perfectly reusable items out of the quickly-filling-up landfills and make them available for others to purchase, but it also creates jobs, reduces your disposal fees and provides the homeowner with a substantial tax credit.

Deconstruction does cost more than demolition up front, but the materials from a typical house in the U.S. appraise between $30-$80 per sq. ft. That can be a significant amount of tax credit for your homeowner!

Deconstruction also takes longer, it’s true. But with proper planning and enough foresight, Deconstruction can easily fit within the time it takes to get a permit approved. There are several organizations that provide Deconstruction services here in Houston: many of the Habitat for Humanity affiliates have programs, Historic Houston is about to start taking new clients, and The Reuse People of America is starting up their Deconstruction program here in Houston.

So think about it the next time you call for a demolition. Is there anything that can be salvaged from that house first?