Recycling and deconstruction
Donations, Recycling

Help! What do I do with the leftover building materials from my contractors working on my home?

Have you taken on or had a contractor take on a project at your home and then have either removed or leftover building materials? Most major cities now have a place to donate “deconstructed” materials. (If you need to find a location, try google search for “deconstruction” or “deconstruction companies” and then contact the companies to find out where they take their deconstructed materials.)

In the MetroDC area, my favorite location is Rebuild Warehouse ( They opened on St. Patrick’s Day in 2009, right as I was beginning a major project at my home. I had seen fliers for the opening and went to visit them and was HOOKED! One of the founders, Paul, was a real sweetheart of a man and had this dream in his heart from having owned a deconstruction firm, that there was a missed opportunity to recycle materials from businesses and homeowners versus filling landfills. The other part of his dream was to use the funds raised to train workers in the deconstruction industry. Sadly Paul passed away unexpectedly but his wife and his business partner are continuing to keep Rebuild Warehouse going. They are located in an industrial park and currently are only open two days a week, unless an appointment is made. I have been an avid supporter of this business and thanks to their vision/dream, I was able to purchase materials to build 600SF, two level, geometric cut flagstone patio – with only $600 spent on the flagstones! Wow! (I reused pulled up brick for edging and for lining the second tiered patio). When I was done, what was valued at $25,000 by our insurance company for under $6,000 – and that included new siding for a shed, a new large gate installation, a smaller gate installation, grading the entire backyard, laying sod, plants and mulch. (Note to self: if you spend that much time, labor or money having an outdoor room built – aka a patio – you should get it covered under your insurance in case anything were to happen.)

I stopped by there last weekend since I had a few items (new in box) that I wasn’t able to sell on Craigslist of Facebook yard sale pages, so decided I would donate them (you get a tax donation form), and I stopped by one of my clients and took two sinks that had been removed during her current kitchen remodeling job. I picked up two bricks for $.25/each for a project at home – that a home improvement store or garden center would have charged more for each brick. They had a French door stainless steel refrigerator, plus an antique tiger oak wash cabinet, you know the one with the towel bar on the back side – even with dovetailed drawers – for $150.

Check out their website, plus their Facebook page and if you’re in the MetroDC area, stop by and see what goodies they might have for purchase or projects in your home.


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