is there a way to sell/donate house fixtures before demolition?
October 4, 2020 7:44 AM   Subscribe

my house is going to be undergoing some renovations, including the demolition of a perfectly good chunk of house. Is there a way for things like windows, bathroom cabinets, tub, sinks etc to find a good home, rather than just go to the junk pile?

what it says on the tin.

I don't have the physical strength, knowhow or space to start removing bathroom cabinets or windows and trying to get them to where someone else could use them. Do services or orgs exist that could come to my house, assess what could be either salable or donatable, remove those things, and handle the transfer (whether by sale or donation)? I hate the prospect of all this waste.
posted by fingersandtoes to Home & Garden (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Are you in the Bay Area - looks like there is a ReBuilding Center nearby. Ours takes windows, doors, cabinetry, sinks, toilets, etc..
posted by amanda at 7:51 AM on October 4, 2020

Best answer: This is definitely a service that exists - I think “salvage demolition” or “demolition and salvage” (plus the name of your locality) are going to be useful search terms for you.
posted by mskyle at 7:56 AM on October 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The ReBuilding Center in Portland is what I'm familiar with, I know for sure they would do it (this is also called deconstruction and I believe it's required for old buildings in Portland instead of demolition) but there's also a Habitat for Humanity chain called ReStore that probably does deconstruction.
posted by aniola at 7:58 AM on October 4, 2020

Best answer: I notice you're in the Bay Area; if Urban Ore doesn't do this they probably know who does.
posted by madcaptenor at 9:00 AM on October 4, 2020

Habitat for Humanity often has a place called Restore for this kind of thing. It's a thrift store for housing components and supports Habitat.
posted by NotLost at 10:45 AM on October 4, 2020 [2 favorites]

On closer reading, I don't know if they do all of what you want.
posted by NotLost at 10:46 AM on October 4, 2020

Best answer: Ohmega Salvage in Berkeley. They also have a list of local salvage resources.
posted by niicholas at 11:16 AM on October 4, 2020

In some places Habitat for Humanity has volunteers who will come do the demo for you to donate the items to them. If not, some church or civic groups have volunteers to do this for their charitable venues. I totally commend you for not wanting it to end up in the dump. One of my big gripes with the HGTV shows is where they blast kitchen cabinets to smithereens instead of donating them.
posted by serendipityrules at 11:28 AM on October 4, 2020

Best answer: In addition to “deconstruction,” you can also try the search term “green demolition.” “Unbuilding” is another less common term I have seen. These services are becoming more available as some jurisdictions around the world are recognizing—as you have—the wastefulness and environmental costs of traditional demolition and starting to require that certain percentages of demolished buildings must NOT go to the landfill.

(And, because you are obviously interested in sustainability and waste reduction, you might also be interested in this: The article I linked to has a section with tips on making your renovation more friendly to future deconstruction:
Techniques are being developed that assist in unbuilding and salvaging materials, even down to basic principles such as ease of access to pipes and wires, modular components, and simplified connection practices.

The logic is that clarity of building structure and services makes retrieval simpler. Less complexity of materials and components means a building can be untangled more efficiently.

Fastening devices can be simplified and mechanical (rather than using glues and sealants), toxic materials avoided, materials selected with an afterlife in mind, and structures designed for simplicity and accessibility. Also important is a clear set of as-built documents that map the original building so it can be disassembled.)
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:33 AM on October 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The term I hear used is demolition sale.
posted by slidell at 10:49 PM on October 4, 2020

Best answer:
Looks like this company does what you are looking for.
posted by zdravo at 10:09 AM on October 5, 2020

Note that you may have some nice tax advantages by donating materials for salvage. We did so with our house here in Maryland. Second Chance salvage, out of Baltimore, came down with a crew and stripped it bare. Ducts, pipes and some wiring for recycling, 50's era oak wood flooring, cabinets, bathroom fixtures (including tub), toilets... even the roof framing. They left only the exterior brick-on-block walls and barely enough framing to keep them from falling in.
posted by wkearney99 at 3:58 PM on October 6, 2020

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