What is deconstruction?
We’ve all probably seen the popular new show on ABC called Extreme Makeover where 40+ guys stand at the ready with sledge hammers to go in and knock an old home to the ground – that’s defined as wasteful demolition. Deconstruction is where you go in and consciously remove items from the home to ensure that our landfills are not full up on materials that can be reused. Another alternative to deconstruction is cherry picking. Cherry picking is an industry termed used to describe a process where all the easily removable items of a house (doors, windows, cabinets, appliances, etc.) are removed before demolition of a house commences. We always encourage full deconstruction whenever possible to salvage as much as possible from going into the landfill.

Where are the materials in the 1909 House that are being taken out going to?

  • Vinyl siding, old deteriorated fiberglass insulation, and old carpet padding will be going to the landfill. (Since doing this we have found another resource for the vinyl siding called Quantum Resource Recovery out in Beaverton that will take the siding and chip it for reuse in different products. Unfortunately this information came to us AFTER we’d tried to find some place for it.)
  • Wood ­ Metro Recycling Center
  • Plumbing and cabinets ­ ReBuilding Center – where people can purchase them to reuse in their homes.

What is the benefit of deconstruction?
Valuable landfill space is saved, as the average deconstruction project will salvage between 60 and 85% of the materials encompassing a home from going into the landfill.

Are there services that can do this?
YES! DeConstruction Services here in Portland does this. The ReBuilding Center’s Deconstruction Services can help you with your next remodeling project. The way they work is that you or your general contractor hires them to deconstruct your residential structure. Their licensed (CCB# 145799) and bonded crews are capable of both small and large jobs including kitchen tear-outs, garages, roof to foundation deconstruction, partial salvage, and more. When they complete a job, you receive a detailed portfolio including an itemized written and photographic documentation of the salvaged materials that you can use for tax purposes or for historic record. They are happy to give you a free estimate and to discuss all your removal options with you. You can reach their Program Managers at 503-331-9875 or e-mail for more information.

Where can I take my construction/deconstruction debris?
Metro has a GREAT SITE with tons of information on what to do with building waste.


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