6 Surprisingly Deconstructable Building Materials

Earlier this month, we wrote about four reasons why deconstruction has several advantages over demolition. One of the benefits was that salvaged deconstructable building materials can be repurposed or salvaged for future use. You may not believe it at first glance, but according to Maura McCarthy of BluHomes, 75 to 90% of  the materials in a home can be repurposed. What that means is that you can deconstruct most of the items in your home or commercial building.

So what are some of the many items in a building that are deconstructable for future use? In this blog, we will go over some deconstructable building components that can be part of a future construction project.

Structural Beams

According to a report by Mark D. Webster and Daniel T. Costello, structural systems account for over half of a building’s mass. If these structural systems can be easily segregated and are not part of a very complex structural system, then it will be much simpler for a deconstruction crew to retrieve these materials when a building has reached the end of its shelf life.

Most structural beams are made of wood or steel. With wooden beams, timber frame lumber has held up very well when they are used for new projects. If these beams were kept in good condition in their previous life, they could be used again as a structural beam for another building again and again.

Steel beams can be reused quite easily when they come from buildings that have bolted connections instead of welded ones. Bolted connections give the beams maximum versatility when they are used again to provide the infrastructure for a new building.


Of all building materials, bricks are one of the most durable parts of any building. They also require little, if any maintenance. Bricks from homes or commercial properties can be repurposed as brick fronts for new structures or as a wall surface within a restaurant or office space.

Though bricks are something that can be used quite easily, again and again, salvaging them is a bit more difficult. The mortar between bricks on a building has to be carefully removed so they can be reused. Although this can be time consuming, some deconstruction crews are capable of performing this work quickly.

Copper Wiring

Copper wiring has a long shelf life and is very recyclable. In fact, according to the Copper Development Association, the United States recycles nearly as much copper as it mines. Because copper is a very reusable and valuable material, even demolition projects take steps to remove the copper from the building before the actual demolition takes place.

Within a deconstruction context, the copper wiring in a building can be used intact for a new building. Even if the copper can’t be reused for electricity, it can still be recycled, which is still much better than disposing it at a landfill.

Nails, Bolts, Nuts, and Screws

The adjoining fasteners in a building like nails, screws, bolts, and nuts are reusable when they are pulled out of adjoining pieces of lumber. Though fasteners are not very expensive to buy when new, these things last for a very long time. Furthermore, costs do add up, even if a box of nails is not that expensive.

Bath and Kitchen Fixtures

Many bathroom and kitchen furnishings can be disassembled and reused for another project quite easily. Within a bathroom, the bathtub, faucet, toilet, sink, and drains can be taken out easily. Within a kitchen, the sink, faucet, food processing machine, and cabinets can be disassembled while all appliances can be disconnected and retrieved for donation as well.

Of course, all of these fixtures, especially those that involve plumbing like a faucet or pipes, must be in good working condition if they are going to be used again. For example, pipes cannot be rusty and be weary of using pipes that are made of lead.

Doors and Windows

Most doors and windows within a building are very easy to remove. This is because doors and windows often have standard sizes, especially in residential homes. With standardized door and window sizes, it is easy to replace them when the time arises. However it does not take much extra effort to retrieve custom windows and doors which are also in high demand.

As long as the doors and windows are in good physical condition, they can be reused again in another building without much difficulty.

Get On The Road to Deconstruction

These are just some of the many deconstructable objects and fixtures within a house or commercial building you can repurpose. Deconstructable components, even old parts or those that you might have thought weren’t reusable, like used plumbing fixtures, really are.

At Green Donation Consultants, let our nationwide team of appraisers help you get the maximum tax deduction you are entitled to for your deconstruction project.

Call today for a free no obligation consultation today with Green Donation Consultants! 

No one else has the depth or level of experience we have in front of the IRS for this specific type of donation.  Don’t roll the dice and play the Audit Lottery by using a less experienced and less qualified firm! Go with the team with the proven track record, Green Donation Consultants!

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