Being deliberate about the deconstruction phase of building pays dividends in multiple ways.
Real estate investing transforms neighborhoods, breathing new life into rundown homes and revitalizing communities. House flipping not only reduces neighborhood blight but also extends the overall reach of home ownership, transforming lives.
But, do you realize there’s even more positive change that can come from house flipping? And that it will still contribute to your bottom line?
An often-overlooked part of the rehab process where you can make a positive difference is the deconstruction phase.
Instead of filling up dumpster after dumpster, be methodical and considerate about the deconstruction process. You might be surprised to learn just how many building products can be reused or recycled.
According to ConstructionBusinessOwner.com, the most common recyclable construction materials are concrete, wood, drywall, asphalt shingles, asphalt pavement, metal and cardboard. Disposing of these materials mindfully can make a material difference to the environment and your profit margins. These items typically account for 70 to 95 percent of discarded material at a residential or commercial site. Even beyond these basic building materials, easy-to-remove items such as doors, hardware, appliance and fixtures may be salvaged for donation or reused during the rebuild or on other jobs.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
We know what you might be thinking—that recycling all these products sounds like a hassle. But in many cases, there are systems already in place for processing these building components. For instance, asphalt, concrete and rubble are often recycled into aggregate or new asphalt and concrete products. Wood can be recycled into engineered-wood products like furniture as well as mulch, compost and other products. Many metals are also in high demand.
Often, having these materials retrieved is as simple as calling your local waste hauler and scheduling a pickup. Check with your waste management representative to see if separation is even necessary or whether your hauler will pick up a load of mixed materials.
Locate Local Resources
As green building practices gain popularity, it is becoming easier and easier to find homes for your discarded and surplus construction materials. To find a recycler near you, visit the Construction and Demolition Recycling Association (CDRA) for a searchable directory.
In addition, many cities now have stores that accept and resell donated surplus building materials and appliances. For instance, Habitat for Humanity runs “Habitat ReStores” which are retail outlets where quality used and surplus building materials are sold at a fraction of regular prices. There are also many independently operated nonprofits with a similar mission. In Baltimore, specifically, Second Chance salvages and resells reusable building supplies, providing job training and employment resources to those in need in the region.
Boosting the Bottom Line
If safeguarding the environment and supporting your local community doesn’t provide enough motivation to participate in recycling efforts, consider the potential financial benefits to you. By recycling or reusing materials on-site, you can significantly reduce your overall expenses by avoiding purchase and disposal costs. These savings can add up quickly. Keep in mind, too, that your donation of recovered materials to qualified 501(c)(3) charities may also provide a sizable tax benefit.
As you can see, taking a deliberate approach to the deconstruction and building process pays dividends in multiple ways. Reusing and recycling as much material as possible not only reduces your environmental impact but may also provide support to community-based organizations in your area and produce significant personal financial savings. ∞
About the Author | Debbie Fales
Debbie Fales serves as the communications and marketing director for Navigator Private Capital (NavCap), a private lender offering fix-and-flip and buy-and-hold financing. NavCap serves several states (Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Georgia, Minnesota, Wisconsin) and Washington, D.C.