What is deconstruction?

Deconstruction may be defined as selectively dismantling a structure for the purpose of salvaging valuable construction and architectural materials to resell, reuse, or recycle.

How does it differ from demolition?

Demolition involves whole building implosions or “wrecking ball” dismantling, which is much quicker and usually less expensive.  However, often much of the material is broken in the process, and is hauled off together in a roll-off container to a construction and demolition (C & D) landfill, where as much as possible is separated and recycled.  The process of deconstruction can be compared to “source separated recycling” where materials are carefully selected and separated on site and retain more of a value.  This process is much more time consuming.  Whereas, demolition is more of a quick “single stream” recycling process where everything is thrown together and then separated as best as possible at the construction and demolition landfill facility for recycling.

Why is deconstruction important?

The materials deconstructed often have a higher value and can be more easily reclaimed than salvaged materials from the demolition process. Reselling or reusing them reduces the need to manufacture new materials, thus reducing the need for natural resources.  Deconstruction creates jobs, preserves old architecture, and saves energy.  LEED points may be obtained toward green building certification through deconstruction projects.

What materials are reclaimed in deconstruction?

Typically materials reclaimed from deconstruction consist of doors, windows, cabinets, lighting and plumbing fixtures, lumber, roofing material, flooring, and materials with architectural detail such as crown molding.  Other materials salvaged may include brick, stone, and granite.


These local businesses offer services to deconstruct, preserve architecture and rebuild. Contact them for prices and specifications. 

APOC, A Piece of Cleveland
1310 East 49th Street, Cleveland, Ohio 44114
Specializes in creating furniture and other items out of first cut pine, maple, and oak. APOC rescues old growth wood to keep it out of the landfill.

Deconstruction Management, Inc.
3261 Warrensville Center Road, Suite 304, Shaker Heights, Ohio 44122
Broker and specifications consulting in unbuilding of architectural items and wood material for resale, reuse, and repurposing. Works on both commercial and residential buildings.

Dynasty Deconstruction
15224 Madison Avenue
Lakewood, Ohio 44107
Deconstructs commercial and residential buildings. Sells or donates salvaged materials.

Green Deconstruction Services
4700 Lakeside Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44114 -or- P.O. Box 22338, Cleveland, Ohio 44122 
Cleveland company specializing in the reverse construction, the orderly and selective disassembly of a building, structure, or part of a home, saving select components for re-use or recycling. Materials salvaged include millwork, doors, fireplace mantles, brick and stone, windows, cabinets, sinks, shower doors, lights, hardware, hardwood flooring, structural components and concrete slabs.

Old School Architectural Salvage and Deconstruction
2390 Center Street, Cleveland, Ohio 44113
Remodeling contractor. Deconstruction of commercial and residential buildings. Sells to wholesalers and dealers.

Rebuilders Xchange
5401 Hamilton Avenue, Cleveland OH 44114
Rebuilders Xchange (RBX) buys and sells construction material from the ordinary to the unusual. On the supply end, they work with local contractors and individuals who can access overstock, new or salvaged building material. RBX inventories, markets, and sells dropped-off items. Once an item sells, RBX cuts the 'consignor' a check at the end of the month for 50% of each sale On the demand side, they are OPEN TO THE PUBLIC 4 days a week. Customers have access to an ever-changing inventory of 1,000's of new, unique, and vintage items such as toilets, sinks, lighting, wood, tables, chairs, cabinets, and much more.

Rustbelt Reclamation
1427 East 36th Street, Fourth Floor, Suite A, Cleveland, Ohio 44114
Upcycles old deconstructed wood into furniture and other products.

The Reuse People of America
3261 Warrensville Center Road, Suite 304, Shaker Heights, Ohio 44122
Not-for profit nationwide entity providing consulting on deconstruction and reuse. Deconstruction of residential property for material reuse and resale with the potential for a tax deductible donation.

Wood Stock from the Past
Mailing address: P.O. Box 210, Burton, OH 44021
Factory address: 15651 West High St., Middlefield, Ohio 44062
Salvages old wooden beams, doors, windows, flooring, barn siding, etc. and re-mills. Recycles old barns and houses.

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