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Deconstruction grants

Salvage, reuse, and recycle building materials

Hennepin County has funding available for building projects that use deconstruction techniques instead of standard demolition to remove materials from the destruction, alteration, or renovation of a building. Homeowners and developers of residential properties can receive up to $5,000 to help offset the additional time and labor costs associated with deconstruction.

Apply for a deconstruction grant

To apply, complete the deconstruction grant application.

Applicants must be a homeowner or developer in Hennepin County and the work must be on residential properties. Projects must meet the reuse and disposal criteria, the structure being demolished or renovated must have been built prior to 1970, and the size of structure or area of renovation must be 500 square feet or larger. See eligibility and requirements section below for more information.

Educational resources about deconstruction

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How deconstruction works

Deconstruction is the process of carefully dismantling or “unbuilding” a structure to preserve building materials intact so they can be used again. In a deconstruction project, a building is taken apart frame by frame, using mostly hand tools, and materials are sorted into categories for efficient recycling and reuse. For example, deconstruction involves removing interior fixtures, such as cabinets, lighting, and wood flooring, and then removing structural components, such as dimensional lumber, for the materials to be reused in another building or project. After building materials are deconstructed and removed, they can be sold or donated to local reuse retail organizations to be made available for the community to use on other projects.

Deconstruction prioritizes reuse

Deconstruction prioritizes salvaging materials for reuse and then recycling what is not reusable. The process minimizes the amount of unusable and non-recyclable materials that end up in a landfill.

Through deconstruction, up to 25% of the materials in a typical home can be reused and up to 70% of the materials can be recycled. Reusing and recycling building materials has many environmental and economic benefits over landfilling construction and demolition waste.

Funding available

Homeowners and developers can receive up to $5,000 ($2 per square foot) for projects that use deconstruction techniques.

Eligibility

  • Applicants must be a homeowner or developer of a property located within Hennepin County. Publicly owned properties are not eligible for funding.
  • The work must be on residential properties, including houses and apartment buildings up to four units.
  • Deconstruction of accessory structures (such as garages and sheds) or commercial structures are not eligible for funding.
  • The structure being demolished or renovated must have been built prior to 1970.
  • Projects must meet the reuse and disposal criteria described below.
  • Hennepin County does not conduct deconstruction work. Grantee must coordinate deconstruction work with contractors and/or salvage outlets and verify project meets reuse and disposal criteria. 
  • Full house moves/relocations are eligible for funding. Projects must meet all eligibility and reuse and disposal criteria.
  • The size of structure or area of renovation must be 500 square feet or larger. For a full structural removal, entire building must be 500 square feet or larger. For renovation projects, total area of rooms being renovated must be 500 square feet or larger (example: 300 square foot kitchen and 200 square foot living room). Accessory structures, such as garages, are not included in square footage.
  • Deconstruction must take place after the agreement to issue grant funds is established. Grant funding cannot be used for deconstruction work that has already been completed.

Reuse and disposal criteria

To qualify for funding, projects must meet the following criteria:

  • Grant projects are subject to a pre-demolition inspection conducted by Hennepin County staff.
  • A minimum of five material types from category A must be removed for reuse (see material list below).
  • At least 1,000 pounds of wood from category B must be deconstructed for reuse (see material list below). Estimate the weight of wood from your project by measuring the total square footage of wood flooring that will be removed and/or amount of dimensional lumber and ceiling/floor joists.
  • Grant applicants must verify viable reuse option for materials by checking that salvage organizations will accept their material.
  • All non-reusable building material generated from the project must be sent to a Hennepin County approved construction and demolition waste recycling processing facility (see tab below for list of options).

Category A includes brick or stone blocks, cabinets, casing around doors and windows, light fixtures, mantels, molding, plumbing fixtures, solid wood doors, stair treads and railings, stone details, radiators, wood-framed windows, and shutter or siding.

Category B includes wood flooring, dimensional lumber, and ceiling and floor joists. Note: many salvage outlets require nails be removed from wood prior to donation or sale.

Notification of funding

Applicants will be notified within five business days of the county receiving the application whether the project is awarded funds. The county will develop a contract with the homeowner or developer outlining the details for reimbursement.

Hennepin County reserves the right to withdraw, cancel, suspend, and/or modify the deconstruction grant program for any reason and at any time. Hennepin County reserves the right to accept or reject any or all applications received and to request additional information as deemed necessary to review any application.

Disbursement of funding

If awarded, funds will be dispersed upon completion of deconstruction work and verification of material being reused, recycled, or disposed. The following must be submitted to receive funding:

  • Itemized receipts from reuse retailers.
  • Documentation showing weight of material sent to a Hennepin County approved construction and demolition waste recycling facility.

Contact us

Hennepin County staff are available to determine project specifications and eligibility and answer questions about deconstruction. Contact olivia.cashman@hennepin.us.

Deconstruction grant projects reuse and recycle building materials to reduce waste going to landfills. Below are case studies of deconstruction projects supported by Hennepin County.

Ard Godfrey House, Minneapolis

The historic Ard Godfrey House, built in 1848, is the oldest stick frame home in the Twin Cities. The house, now owned by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, is named after a man who helped build the first dam and sawmills for waterpower at Saint Anthony Falls along the Mississippi River.

The house has undergone several refurbishing projects over the years, including a few structural moves before finding its current home in Chute Square on the corner of University Ave and Central Ave SE in Minneapolis. Recently, Hennepin County helped with replacing sections of damaged exterior siding around the building.

The project provided opportunities for job skills training, relied on unique community partnerships to preserve the home’s historic character, and prioritized the use of salvaged building materials.

Project highlights include:

  • The siding replacement is being conducted by carpentry apprentices in Hennepin County’s Community Productive Day program, which provides clients with the skills and training to secure meaningful employment.
  • The replacement siding is made from old growth Douglas Fir beams from Bauer Brothers Salvage – a building material reuse warehouse that has been a staple in north Minneapolis since 1960. Not only will the old growth lumber match the current siding, it’s also a valuable building material because of its natural durability and rot resistance.
  • MPLS MAKE, a member-based community woodshop in Columbia Heights, used their sawmill to transform the old growth beams into usable siding of specific sizes for the Ard Godfrey House.

Salvage businesses

The following organizations and businesses offer salvage opportunities for building materials. This list does not constitute approval of any of the firms identified nor do we claim the list is complete.

A Plus Appliances

Accent Store Fixtures

  • Location: Minneapolis
  • Contact: 612-379-2788, asfmn.com
  • Accepts: shelving and storage units, gridwall, slatwall

Architectural Antiques

  • Location: Minneapolis
  • Contact: 612-332-8344, archantiques.com
  • Accepts: building materials, unique/historical artifacts

Art & Architecture

  • Location: Minneapolis
  • Contact: 612-904-1776, artandarc.com
  • Accepts: building materials, unique/historical artifacts

Bauer Brothers Salvage, Inc.

  • Location: Minneapolis
  • Contact: 612-521-9492, bauerbrosinc.com
  • Accepts: building materials including: cabinets, commercial items, doors, lighting, plumbing, windows

Better Futures Minnesota

  • Location: Minneapolis
  • Contact: 612-351-8659, betterfuturesminnesota.com
  • Accepts: appliances, cabinets, doors, lighting, lumber, plumbing, tile

Bridging

  • Location: Bloomington
  • Contact: 952-888-1105, bridging.org
  • Accepts: Furniture and household items

City Salvage

  • Location: Minneapolis
  • Contact: 612-627-9107, citysalvage.com
  • Accepts: building materials including: cabinets, commercial items, doors, lighting, plumbing, windows

Furnish Office & Home

Guilded Salvage

  • Location: Minneapolis
  • Contact: 612-789-1680, guildedsalvage.com
  • Accepts: building materials, unique/historical artifacts, hardware, lighting

Habitat for Humanity ReStore

  • Location: Minneapolis and New Brighton
  • Contact: 612-588-3820, restore.tchabitat.org
  • Accepts: building materials including: cabinets, commercial items, doors, lighting, plumbing, windows

Historic Stone Company

  • Location: Minneapolis
  • Contact: 651-641-1234, historicstone.com
  • Accepts: various stones

No Boundary Tiny Homes

  • Location: Eau Claire, WI (willing to travel to Twin Cities)
  • Contact: 715-533-0255, facebook.com/noboundariestinyhomes
  • Accepts: Building materials including lumber, plumbing, windows, wood flooring

Northwest Architectural Salvage

  • Location: St. Paul
  • Contact: 651-644-9270
  • Accepts: building materials, unique/historical artifacts

Second Chance Recycling

  • Location: Minneapolis
  • Contact: 612-332-0664 ext.14
  • Accepts: mattresses and box springs

County-approved construction and demolition waste recycling processors

The companies listed below accept loads of construction and demolition materials from residents. They can also provide roll-off boxes to keep onsite to collect materials throughout the project at a comparable price of sending these materials to a landfill. Plan ahead to coordinate recycling.

Atomic Recycling

Dem-Con

  • Location: Shakopee
  • Contact: 952-445-5755, dem-con.com
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