When you need to get rid of a structure, you have two options: demolition and deconstruction. While you’re probably familiar with the first choice, you might not know much about the second. To help you choose the right method for your structure, here’s how demolition and deconstruction differ. 


Demolition uses machines like excavators and bulldozers to knock down a structure, usually to clear the land for a new building project. Before demolishing, the crew must remove any hazardous material like asbestos and lead from the structure and safely dispose of it.

That’s because hazardous material should not be buried or burned, and after the demolition, the debris will be crushed and sent to a landfill. 


demolitionDeconstruction, also called “unbuilding,” occurs when a crew carefully disassembles a structure piece by piece instead of simply knocking it down. There are two types of deconstruction:

  • Selective Deconstruction: In selective deconstruction, the crew salvages highly valuable and accessible materials like appliances, doors, windows, lighting fixtures, and hardwood flooring. They then complete a typical demolition. 
  • Whole-House Deconstruction: While selective deconstruction only removes certain materials, a whole-house deconstruction salvages as many materials as possible, including wall studs, joists, nails, wiring, piping, and plumbing fixtures. The crew aims to disassemble the entire structure right down to the foundation. 

In both types of deconstruction, the salvaged materials are donated, resold, or used for future projects. Because deconstruction relies more on manual labor than machinery, it generally takes longer than a standard demolition and poses more safety concerns.

However, salvaging and repurposing a building’s materials is much more environmentally friendly than sending them to a landfill. 


When you need to remove a structure, turn to the team at Gillum Excavating and Demolition. This family-owned-and-operated company has been serving Chillicothe, OH, and the surrounding areas for more than 50 years. Specializing in a variety of construction services, including demolition, land clearing, and gravel hauling, they complete every project with precision and efficiency. Learn more about their comprehensive services online, and call (740) 773-3425 to discuss your needs with a friendly team member.