When I see an older home being torn down, it always makes me a little sad.
I’ve lived in several older homes over the years and live in one built in the 1920s. Yes, it’s a bit drafty, and the wood floors creak, and the walls and trim have at least eight layers of paint on them.
When we’ve done our own home projects, I’ve seen those paint colors from years past and find myself wondering about the folks that lived in our home before us.
When I see that pile of rubble at a teardown site, I feel like memories are being crushed and lost in the wreckage.
In this issue, we write about a nonprofit that salvages material from older homes as they are torn down. It takes longer and cost more (upfront) than a standard demolition, but you get a tax benefit from doing it this way.
The ReUse People of America got its start back in 1993 with a building-materials drive to aid flood victims in Tijuana, Mexico. That project demonstrated the need for used building materials. It also, of course, made a beneficial impact on the volume of materials going to the landfills.
The ReUse People operate across the country, provide materials for other nonprofit building projects, and partner with organizations like Habitat for Humanity.
We’re looking to retile a small bathroom in our home, and our son just moved into an older house near San Antonio and was in search of replacement door knob mechanisms. We visited several Habitat for Humanity ReStore shops and Discount Home Warehouse Architectural Salvage and found both.
If you are planning a home project, look to buy salvaged material, and if you are planning a teardown, consider using a company that will recover the usable material – that way those doorknobs, cabinets, light fixtures, and wood floors from that older home will live on for someone else to enjoy.