A lot of people have asked me about why we just don’t have a bull dozer coming in and plowing over the house. It’s a great question. The answer is fairly complicated. First off, as I mentioned before, we are keeping 2 walls. Structurally, it is hard to have someone come in haphazardly and just start bulldozing away. Secondly, the permit process to get approval to bulldoze a house is much more complicated than a manual tear down. The reason for this is because San Jose requires that re-modelers recycle a good percentage of their home (that is a lot of ‘re’s in that sentence. points for alliteration).
When we got our permits, one of the fees was a recycling fee. The price was about 0.75% of the total estimated cost of the project, though I don’t think that it was figured that way. However, we get that money back if we recycle / donate all usable material in the house. Is it a huge sum of money? No, but it is a sofa.
What is considered usable material? Pretty much everything that didn’t go in the garage sale is going to this program.
In our case, it will be doors, some of the windows, sinks, faucets, piping, brick, flooring, cabinets, the oven, the range, studs, joists, anything that could possibly be reused elsewhere will be donated (think Habitat).
While I’ve written about how sad it has been to see the get demoed, it is nice to know that the good parts are going to people who need them more than we do.