Demolition Strip Search

DEMOLITION STRIP SEARCH A reader writes in with a question: “Hi. I recently stumbled upon your website and noticed that you list homes scheduled to be demoed. Is it ok to go to these properties and remove things such as light fixtures, flooring, etc.? Is there a protocol to going about getting permission to do so? Thanks for any info you might be able to provide.” [Swamplot inbox]

5 Comment

  • Let’s say you own a property and on it is a structure that cannot be saved or you simply wish to have it removed. Would you desire someone to subsequently be on your property ripping out sinks,etc. without your knowledge? Probably not.

    The primary issue is of liability. That said, the protocol — if any — would be to contact the owner (not the demolition company) and state your intended business. The owner may be amenable but it would be prudent for there to be a signed waiver of liability for everyones best interest.

  • Given Houstonians’ love affair with guns and their propensity to use them, I would steer clear of any vacant property without the explicit consent of the owner.

    Even with that consent, most of these properties will have already been stripped, and everything of value will already have been salvaged.

  • Superdave is right here.

    Most demos where they tear down the structure completely will already be stripped. All the stripping near tear down condition can happen long before the demo permit is pulled.

  • I’ve asked the same question. It would be great if there was an organization to address this need. I’ve done some drive bys of the listed demos and seen everything from old clothing, furniture, fixtures, windows, cabinets, doors, everything get piled up and thrown into the roll-offs. Historic Houston and Habitat Re-Store seem to let the opportunities come to them rather than seek them out. Is there a way to get the word out to the masses that there is a way to reduce the waste and that salvage is an option?

  • I think HH isn’t really interested in salvage from the 80s and 90s, (which in Houston is considered too old) and the Habitat folks might love to have enough volunteers to outreach, but in the end it requires the cooperation of property owners who mostly do NOT want anyone on their property and can’t be bothered due to, as JAH pointed out, liability issues, real or imagined.