Is Your Old Home Being Demolished? Surprising Materials That Can Be Recycled

Most people grow fond of their homes and the little characteristics that make it unique. Maybe there is a cool window upstairs, an antique fireplace mantle, or some really high-quality hardwood floors, all of which you’ll miss when you move into your new home.

In some cases, you might actually be able to take those features with you. If your old home is set to be demolished but you still technically own it, make sure you verify that it will be “deconstructed” first. Deconstruction is a process in which valuable materials are recycled. Many of the materials end up at construction resale warehouses, and you might as well keep them for your own use!

Reuse Decorative Materials

Ask the deconstruction crew to save certain decorative materials for you, such as:HFHLA-10-expo

  • Decorative molding
  • Hardwood floors
  • Doors
  • Windows
  • Plumbing fixtures
  • Electrical fixtures
  • Fireplace mantles
  • Countertops
  • Sinks


If these materials are still in good condition, they can easily be reused in your new home. Think of all the money you’d save on decorative molding alone!

Recycle Building Materials

Did you know that over 90% of most homes can be recycled? The building materials used to construct your home from the ground up can usually be recycled. Let the deconstruction crew transport these materials to an appropriate recycling facility:

  • Shingles
  • Drywall
  • Concrete
  • Asphalt
  • Bricks
  • Copper (from wires or pipes)
  • Wood frames
  • Tiles

workers-recycle-building-materials-salvaged-from-deconstruction-of-cpb4c2These materials are either reused in construction, such as structurally sound wood timbers from the house frame, or are broken down and reformed. Concrete, for example, can be pulverized until it resembles the original powder or aggregate that is used by companies like Houston ready mix. Once water is added, it turns into a concrete mix once more. Copper can be melted and reused, and bricks can be broken down and reformed just like concrete.

Why Should You Deconstruct Your Old Home?

If your old home is structurally sound and functional as-is, why would you want it to be deconstructed and demolished in the first place?

There may be a financial advantage.

How long as your old home been on the market? Is anyone interested? Have you had to bring the price down multiple times? Sometimes the land itself is more attractive as a “ready to build” site, and the existing home puts buyers off. They don’t want to spend all that money buying a house only to demolish it.

So you can do the dirty work for them. But at the same time, you can sell or donate all of the recycled materials. This helps you recoup the cost of deconstruction, and you might be able to earn a little profit as well.

Donating the materials means you can write them off on your taxes based on an appraiser’s price. This appraised price can sometimes be worth a large part of the home’s value. You don’t have to wait around for someone to buy your home; instead, you can get a guaranteed return on investment.

About the Author

~Guest post by Cathy Habas, a professional writer with an interest in the environment, home renovation and social justice. She enjoys writing about things that help people live their fullest lives. You can contact Cathy through her LinkedIn.