How to Donate Building Materials

Donating Building Materials

When remodeling, cleaning, downsizing, demolishing, or deconstructing, property owners wind up with an abundance of building materials that are on their way to a local landfill. You don’t want to create waste and let those repurposable materials unnecessarily be thrown out when there is still value in them. Instead of looking for landfills, start looking for ways to donate these building and repurposable materials.

When trying to extract value out of many of the leftover materials from your project, you should also look into deconstruction versus demolition. Demolition is inherently wasteful, and the goal of it simply is to destroy an existing structure to make room for something new. The result is a rapidly torn apart structure with an abundance of waste being shipped off to landfills in dumpsters. Property owners can avoid creating all of this waste by considering deconstruction.

Deconstruction is the process of carefully and selectively disassembling a building to salvage its components for reuse and recycling. With deconstruction, you salvage materials that can be repurposed and donated to charities. When you donate, beyond diminishing waste, the donations can entitle you to a substantial tax deduction, making your whole undertaking much more affordable.

Whether deconstructing or demolishing property, owners often look for ways to donate the old furniture, fixtures, or other unnecessary materials lying in their homes to get it off of their hands. There are specific 501(c)3 charities like Habitat for Humanity that will take all of these items and repurpose or sell them. These charities will even take building materials salvaged in the deconstruction process, from large pieces of wood and framings to wires and nails. Property owners book a meeting with these charities through their websites or on the phone and wait for these charities to actually travel to their homes and pick everything up. These charities will take almost anything as 90% materials and furniture can be repurposed and reused.

The advantages of working with these charities are that you are benefiting your communities and a number of people around you. Once charities like Habitat for Humanity receive the materials, they immediately look for ways to reuse and resell them. They use the materials to build quality, energy-efficient homes at a lower cost, and they also use these materials for disaster relief organizations.

Many of these deconstruction and green demolition projects are conducted by a local workforce development program. Disadvantaged workers are working with these projects to take apart structures piece-by-piece, gaining incredibly valuable knowledge. Even if a property owner decides to work with a for-profit deconstruction company, they are still supporting a local business with a lucrative contract worth two to three times what a demolition contract can be worth. In the end, they are paying less because of the massive tax incentives. Ultimately through deconstruction, property owners can build up their local communities with more labor opportunities, materials support for non-profits, and recirculated materials that can provide value elsewhere.

Demolition crews have begun working to recycle demolished materials through “green demolition,” but recycling already destroyed materials only means that these materials are at a lesser value than they were before the demolition. Before the demolition, 90% of the materials in a building or project can be deconstructed and reused. The only materials that lie outside of this category are drywalls, rotted wood, and broken ceramics. Through deconstruction, property owners drastically reduce the number of materials going to landfills and incinerators, producing valuable and reusable materials.

See how much you can save with deconstruction and donating your materials. Request an initial estimate: