Instead of shipping off tons and tons of broken 2x4s, shingles, old toilets and shattered glass, more and more homeowners and developers are discovering the benefits of reconstruction.
Building materials eat up huge amounts of landfill space, and it's a real shame that so much highly recyclable material simply gets broken up and tossed, considering that mining, harvesting, shaping and transporting virgin materials has such far-reaching impacts on our planet. Reconstruction leads to less mining, timber cutting and manufacturing, as well as reduced carbon footprints.
Through reconstruction, you can also salvage vintage hardware, reclaimed wood and more, much of it with high-quality craftsmanship, charm and gorgeous detailing.
These days folks are discovering places like ReStore in Springfield, Massachusetts, a nonprofit home improvement center affiliated with the Center for Ecological Technology in Pittsfield and Northampton, which specializes in salvaged house construction materials. According to the Berkshire Eagle, for a fee 10 to 20 percent higher than the cost of demolition, ReStore will carefully dismantle a house and transport its parts to Springfield.
Deconstruction costs typically range from $7 to $12 per square foot, although a homeowner can get a tax deduction worth from $20,000 to $30,000. According to the Pennsylvania-based Building Materials Reuse Association, 1,000 homes a year are disassembled for reuse or resale, with about 85 percent of the material being reusable.
Currently about 250,000 houses are ripped down in America each year, resulting in nearly 20 million tons of waste.
The biggest drawback to deconstruction? Time. Instead of a day or two to break down a dwelling, it can take weeks. Still, the benefits can be enormous to you and the planet.
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