Kind of goes along with this story from last week.

In these tough times, you don’t just throw stuff out.

Even if that stuff is a house.

So, when Al Emmons, 71, needed to tear down an old two-story, four-bedroom place at the corner of W. 90th St. and Plainfield Ave., he decided to “recycle” it.

“The contractor wanted $10,000 to demolish the place,” Emmons said. “I figured there must be a better way. Time to go green.”

With the help of his son, Emmons posted pictures of the house on Craigslist, an online advertising service. He offered to let people come and take what they wanted.

You won’t believe what happened next.

People lined up, sometimes 16 deep, picking the place cleaner than a Thanksgiving turkey. They took shower curtains and piping, toilets and sinks, aluminum siding and truckloads of floorboards. The City of Franklin claimed the rubble for fill on N. Cape Road. Someone even dug up the onions in the backyard garden.

“One lady took the rose bush,” Emmons said. “Someone else wanted that apple tree over there, but I think that’s too big to move.”

The house was built in 1937. Emmons bought it 18 months ago, hoping to fix it up. But the place was in such bad shape that he couldn’t get an insurance company to cover it. Without insurance, a bank wouldn’t offer financing.

“Tearing it down was the only option,” Emmons said.

He sold $800 worth of windows but gave away everything else. There were five layers covering that old house: wood, fake brick, aluminum siding, stucco and Lannon stone. So there was plenty to take.

Found by Brother Uncle Dave

  1. JimR says:

    I love this guy!

  2. Benjamin says:

    That would suck if someone posted that as a joke on Craigslist.

  3. Elwood says:

    Good thinking! Kudos to Mr. Emmons.

  4. orangetiki says:

    Is this a sign of the (recession) times or just how cheap we have become? You Decide

  5. Improbus says:

    That’s thinking with your dipstick laddie!

  6. qb says:

    I like this guy. My take on being green is that if it doesn’t make sense from a common sense point of view, then it probably isn’t really green.

    I try to conserve and use less mainly because I like the aesthetics of living a little more simply and efficiently. I also like buying food from local farmers as much as possible and spending time actually cooking real food and wasting less.

    The whole political side of things is kind of nauseating.

  7. Thinker says:

    Thats thinking real green, and look, no politicians were harmed or even involved in this operation! 🙂

  8. Benjamin says:

    The guy did not recycle anything. The people that reused the building materials in his house re-used them. Re-using or reducing is better than recycling. The exception might be whoever got the copper pipes. They might take them to a scrap metal dealer who will make money recycling them. Whoever pulled up the floor boards probably saved a bundle. I say good for this guy, but he did not recycle; he invited people to re-use which is better than recycling. Too much emphasis is place on recycling instead of reducing or re-using.

    #6 My take exactly. If it doesn’t make sense to do something, it is a bad idea. I do not consider myself green; instead, I am cheap. I balance my use of cloth shopping bags (none of which I paid for) with not using them, so I can reuse the plastic bags. I don’t recycle bottles and cans, because I can get a nickle a piece from them by returning them for a deposit. I don’t recycle my newspaper; instead, I don’t take the paper because I believe it is biased.

  9. Jägermeister says:

    Good thinking! 🙂

    #2 – Benjamin – That would suck if someone posted that as a joke on Craigslist.

    It’s not far-fetched

    #6 – qb

    We do parts of what you’re doing as well (all meat and some vegetables are bought directly from the farmer). We do tend to put our money towards renovations and keep the standard up, but that’s it.

  10. Ron Larson says:

    The only flaw in his plan, and perhaps he insured against it, was if one of these people injured themselves while ripping out the floors, walls, etc. After all, these are just civilians without worker’s comp insurance, or training, or skills.

    I would assume that a lawyer would sue this guy before the sun went down. Both for deep pockets and claiming that he enticed the victim with free materials.

  11. apcapc says:

    This is similar to how I got my house. A strip mall was going up and the house was to be demolished so I got it and moved it 2 miles and completely renovated it. Saved about 25K over completely new construction.

  12. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz says:

    Yeah, it was sad to see how the building across which partly caught on fire was dozed, packed into dump trucks and went somewhere. There was a lot of stuff other contractors around here could have used, a lot of nice double pane windows, a tons of good vinyl siding etc.

  13. Palooka says:

    The local county landfill has large 70′ box trailers lined up for easy recycling of building materials. One for wood, one for windows and doors, one for plumbing fixtures, one for shingles, one for carpet etc. These materials are used by local non profits like habitat for humanity to repair and rehab homes. The county ends up with less stuff in the landfill and the non profits have a source for building materials.

  14. Uncle Patso says:

    I have always wondered why houses and other buildings scheduled for demolition weren’t done this way. For one thing, the wood is of better quality than you can easily find these days, and it’s well-seasoned. As long as it’s sealed from rain and moisture, it won’t warp after use.


Bad Behavior has blocked 8659 access attempts in the last 7 days.