Wednesday, May 4, 2011

How I Get the Material I Need and Make Money Tearing Down Old Houses

Last week a friend of a friend told me about an old house that the owner wants torn down. I went over and took a look. It's small - about 24 feet by 18 feet - single story home. It was built back in the 1930s and is in very poor shape, but the lumber is good.

I did some figuring on its value - the cost for materials at today's prices and came up with the following:
  • The house is all douglas fir. It has shiplap siding that can be used as is or planed. The subfloor, ceiling and inside walls are all solid 1x12. It's a stick frame house so there are lots of 2x4 in walls and roof. There are 2x8 floor joists and the roof is solid sheathed in 1x12 lumber. All in all I come up with about 4400 board feet - today's value on the West Coast is about $1600.

  • I actually want to use quite a bit of it to enlarge my shop at home so I'll be using a sawzall and taking portions of walls intact, but if I were to tear down the entire building piece by piece, I figure one person could do it in 4-5 days. 2 good workers could do it in 2-3 days. So, if I were to hire labor to do it, I'd be looking at about $800 -$1,000 cost for lumber valued at $1600. Note though that this is used lumber, but also of much better quality than is available today. If I tore it down myself, the cash out of pocket would be much less.

  • The house has heavy corrugated aluminum roofing over the solid wood sheathing. Scrap value of this is about $200. The wiring is the old style single wires on posts - very easy to strip - worth about $150 - $250.

  • And then there are the fixtures, switches, hardware, windows, doors... worth many hundreds of dollars.
The way I figure it - it's a good money maker. Most likely enough in scrap metals and miscellaneous non-lumber items to pay the labor costs so the lumber is basically free and can be used (what I'll do with most) and/or sold quite readily. I could price it for about 25% less than market value and it would sell quite quickly - in these times, everyone is looking for a bargain!

So, check out your friends, your town, start looking around. I'm in a very lightly populated county of only 20,000 people and I find more deals like this than I can handle - mainly just through word of mouth.

If you want to learn more about this and how I got into and stay in the salvage and recycling business, check out and my ebook, How to Make Money in the Home Based Salvage and Recycling Business.

Best of Luck

Mike for Free Home Based Salvage and Recycling Information Including: Metals, Deconstruction and Used Building Materials, Gold and Precious Metals and E-Waste.

Check out: How to Make Money in the Home Based Salvage and Recycling Business

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