Killing Me Softly: The Art of Deconstruction


I’m somewhat addicted to HGTV, especially the “Crashers” shows (Yard Crashers, House Crashers, etc.). It could be because I’m secretly wishing someone would offer to come to my house and completely overhaul some part of it. However, I’m always a bit chagrined when they start demolition—sledgehammers flying, cabinets yanked off the wall with abandon. I can’t help but wonder why they don’t deconstruct, instead of demolish.

I understand that demolition is environmentally responsible and may even be safer. But if you haven’t heard of it before, deconstruction is the practice of removing unwanted household construction—sometimes the entire house itself—with an eye toward preserving the old materials for later reuse. While it takes a little more time and consideration, the benefits are tremendous.

In deconstruction, those materials are available for reuse. Not only can that save you money, it keeps literally tons of useable materials out of the landfill.If you’re not willing or able to reuse those materials, Home ReSource will take them off your hands. The extra bonus? If you donate them, you’re eligible to take a tax deduction for their value.

For small projects, you can handle deconstruction yourself. Just go bit by bit, and look for ways to take pieces apart conscientiously, rather than attacking with brute force. For larger projects, you’ll want to get a bid from a contractor who is knowledgeable in deconstruction. Home ReSource offers deconstruction themselves, and there are several other contractors who do it as well.

Want to know what to do with those materials, once you’ve pulled them out (or  up, or off)? Check out a couple of my other blog posts, or visit the Home ReSource web site for photos and ideas. I guarantee that once you start thinking of ways to turn old materials into something new and useful, you’ll be surprised at the possibilities.


Like this ‘Reuse It’  blog post by Lisa Hensley?  Then chances are you’ll also like Going Green Missoula Recycling page,  or other Re-Use It blogs: Building an Urbanite Retaining Wall , Repurposed Lighting,  or  Repurposed Grass Clippings as Mulch.


Click here to see Lisa Hensley’s Reuse It Archive.


Lisa Hensley is a mostly-native Montanan, living in Missoula with her husband, two young boys, two cats (boys), one tiny dog (a girl!) and 4 fish (probably boys). She spent more than 10 years in the Marketing and creative field, but is now Director of Household Operations for the Hensley group. When she’s not herding kids or doing laundry, she’s shooting photos, gardening, baking, reading or taking classes—sometimes all at once. She serves on the Board of Directors for Home ReSource, which fits in nicely with her tendency to repurpose pretty much anything.