We're far along in the construction process for the new house, but I realized I had never touched on demolition vs. deconstruction. This can be a hot topic up for debate these days in the construction industry not to mention the public and public opinion. Demolition is now required to be recycled in many if not all cities in the Bay Area. There's a particular program the City of Palo Alto uses called Green Halo. As opposed to a fairly quick demolition process, the deconstruction process takes longer for the obvious reasons that a team of workers will disassemble a building piece by piece. In demolition, it's more focused on bringing down the building and then hauling its pieces off site to a recycling center.
We decided to demolish our existing structure for several reasons. Time was actually not as big a factor since we've been living on the property, but it was more about the complexity of the building or lack thereof. There was very little to actually demolish (much more garbage we'd been storing in the garage that we wanted hauled away) and the lack of building materials and salvageable items contributed to our decision to demolish and recycle the building waste.
After the garage was fully demolished, we had the tree removed as well. While it was a pity to cut down the tree, it was actually already sick partly because the tree roots began to grow under the side of the existing garage. Another thing many people don't realize is the lifespan of trees. While we'd like to think we should be able to keep all trees forever, each species of plants have a lifespan and when a tree gets too old or beyond the end of its lifecycle, it can become a fall hazard. While it can be valuable having trees nearby, too close to a building can be a bad idea as in this case. We were sad to see it go, along with the treehouse...
One of the unforeseen issues that came up with the tree removal, was the extent of its roots. Again, it was at the end if not already past its lifecycle, so you can imagine how many roots were spread in the ground – like wrinkles on an old person's face. Okay, not the most pleasant analogy, but it's true!