Family goes green with teardown house

When Bill and Linda Sheehan of Flower Mound decided to build a more energy efficient home, they probably had no idea that the road to “Greener” pastures actually started at their front door.

Rather than simply bulldoze the 3400 square foot house sitting on several aces that they recently purchased on Lusk Lane near Bridlewood, they opted to go with a company called The Reuse It People, who would take the salvageable materials from their house and donate them to Habitat for Humanity of Denton County.

“We were trying to find a way to reuse as much of the material in the home as we could so that we wouldn’t just be demolishing it and putting it into a landfill,” Linda Sheehan said. “We ended up doing some investigating online, and we came across their name and found that they had a representative in Dallas and had done one house in Highland Park about a year ago.”

Many homes and businesses throughout southern Denton County are going Green, and Sheehan said this is their way of doing their part.

“That is definitely important for us,” Sheehan said. “We wanted to keep the materials out of a landfill, but a lot of the materials are still really good. Some of them have just been put in the home just before it was put out for sale. While we didn’t want some of those things, we could appreciate the fact that somebody else was going to benefit from them.”

Sheehan, whose new home will have high efficiency air conditioners and solar panels as well as other Green features, said she would like to see more homes and businesses take advantage of this service.

“I would like to see this become a growing trend,” Sheehan said. “I would love to see Texas get on the bandwagon and start to reuse some of this stuff.”

Mike Thrutchley, Regional Manager for The Reuse It People, said donating the materials from a home benefits the owner in that there is a tax deduction, and said it benefits the receivers of the materials in more ways than one.

“There are several good things about it,” Thrutchley said. “First, a lot of the material you can take out of an older home is better than what you can get today because all of the old growth lumber is gone.

“The new lumber isn’t as strong as what the old growth was. The craftsmanship, quite honestly, was often times better than what it is today as well, so you can get a lot of interesting things out of these homes. The materials are also provided at discount prices.”

Sheehan said they were able to find yet another way to get the most of the home before demolition began.

“When the demolition company went to get the permit from the Town of Flower Mound, they said that when a house in Flower Mound comes down, we like to use them to have the SWAT team practice their drills,” Sheehan said. “And that’s what they did. They went over there in the morning and checked things out, and then they came back later in the day and did their drills through the house without ruining anything.

“I wasn’t there, but my future neighbor over there said she heard some noises like they were practicing with some pretend grenades or something. I think they really benefited from having the opportunity to do it, so we were glad to help.”

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