Demolition Versus Deconstruction: What’s the Difference?


[bs_row class=”row”][bs_col class=”col-sm-3″]

[/bs_col][bs_col class=”col-sm-3″]

[/bs_col][bs_col class=”col-sm-3″]

[/bs_col][bs_col class=”col-sm-3″]


Many people don’t even realize that there is an alternative to demolition known as deconstruction. In fact, most people just picture heavy machinery used to knock down buildings when the word “demolition” is mentioned. However, there is another, more eco-friendly way to tear down unwanted buildings.

ELEV8 Demolition in Jacksonville is a residential and commercial demolition company that excels at treating our customers right. We operate a top-notch operation, ensuring our employees and job sites are safe, while ensuring your demolition project stays on-time and on-budget. Below, we’ll go over the difference between demolition and deconstruction. Call us for emergency demolition services today!

What is Demolition?

The demolition that most people think of when it comes to demolishing buildings is mechanical demolition, or the use of heavy machinery, such as excavators, skid steers, and the infamous wrecking ball to knock down buildings. This is the most common way to tear down buildings in use today.

What is Deconstruction?

Deconstruction, or green demolition, is the process of tearing down buildings piece-meal, meaning going through the building materials to see if anything can be salvaged. Common items to salvage are windows, doors, plumbing and lighting fixtures, lumber, roofing materials, and more. These then can be repurposed or recycled, saving on landfill space and on the cost of source materials — both of which help the environment. Deconstruction has been around a long time. It’s been called “hand wrecking” because you can demo by hand.

What’s the Difference between Deconstruction and Demolition?

In truth, there’s not a big difference between demolition and deconstruction. Both involve the tearing down of buildings. However, the methods used can be different. For instance, if you are trying to salvage windows, you don’t want a big loader just bearing into a home. Thus, you may use more gentler methods of demolition, and you may use more hand tools that allow you the ability to salvage what you need. In the end, both types of demolition yield the same result: the removal of a structure.

Are There Different Types of Deconstruction?

There are two primary types of deconstruction:

  1. Selective deconstruction. This is the type of deconstruction where the items that are being salvaged are removed first before the heavy equipment is brought in. Items such as hardwood flooring and appliances are taken and then the rest of the building is demolished using mechanical demolition.
  2. Whole-house deconstruction. This type of deconstruction is used when the whole house is being salvaged, most likely for a future home build. Here, items such as concrete, nails, plumbing fixtures, piping, and wiring can be salvaged and repurposed.

Which is better: demolition or deconstruction?

The answer lies in your goals, so it will be different for every person or company. Demolition is faster because you don’t have to spend time sorting and salvaging materials. However, by salvaging materials, you may be able to get a tax write-off if you donate the salvaged materials. If you are looking to reduce your carbon footprint on the world, then whole-house deconstruction is for you. If you want to save certain aspects of your building structure, then selective deconstruction is for you. If you are knocking down an extremely old, rotten barn, odds are, nothing would be salvageable anyways. Ultimately, you’ll have to weigh the costs versus the benefits of demolition and deconstruction with regards to your demolition project in order to judge which is right for you.


Here at ELEV8 in Jacksonville, we mainly engage in mechanical demolition rather than deconstruction. That being said, however, we do recycle over half of the materials that we demo on most of our jobs. The difference entails whether you are recycling specific items yourself or you are recycling large piles of wood in general.

We offer all types of demolition services in Northeast Florida, from fire damage demolition to government, industrial, and emergency demolition, in addition to the most common types of demolition, residential and commercial. Our mission is to ensure your needs are taken care of, while exceeding your expectations. We handle all of the necessary processes for demolition, from permitting to the clean up stage. We ensure all utilities are disconnected and ensure there are no hazardous materials that need to be disposed of. We offer a safe and efficient demolition site, with daily safety meetings and fences and signage to protect passerbys. We invest heavily in employee training, ensuring operators stay up-to-speed on heavy equipment operation, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our demolition jobs. When we finish the job, our goal is to leave no trace behind, with most of our materials being recycled in some way.

If you are in need of any of our top -rated services, call us today!


Our experience, and know-how means we can handle complex buildings up to 8 stories tall, as well as those in close quarters. We offer a turnkey commercial demolition solution (from environmental testing through permit pulling and utility disconnects) to streamline the process.


From house demolitions large and small to ancillary structures (garages, barns, pools, etc.), we are experienced in demolition of all types of structures, so you can rest assured that no residential demolition project is too much of a challenge for us.



If you need a mobile or manufactured home demolished, our demolition company offers same-day quotes and fast and efficient teardowns. Reach out today.