House & Business Deconstruction Appraisals

When remodeling or demolishing a house or business, some people overlook the benefits of a charitable donation. Many architectural elements and fixtures can be salvaged and donated to receive a tax deduction.

Although it is probably a great way to relieve stress, think before you take a sledge hammer to the cabinets or tub. Many non-profits will even come pick up your items.

Here are just some of the items that can easily be donated and deducted:

  • Light Fixtures
  • Cabinets
  • Sinks, tubs, toilets
  • Washer and Dryer
  • Ovens and stove
  • Hardware
  • Crown molding
  • Carpentry trim
  • Doors
  • Lumber
  • Garage Doors, frames, motors
  • Windows

Once you have a list of your items, now what?

Take pictures of the object before removal and note the condition of the item.  A picture and list of the items will go a long ways to give substance to your deduction. If your donation is going to amount to more than $5,000, an appraisal must be completed to substantiate your deduction.  If any one item is worth more than $500 and in poor condition, an appraisal must also be completed.

When choosing a non-profit to donate your items, choose one that’s mission is geared towards accepting these types of donations (Tax Reform Act of 1986).  Non-profits across the country either resell the donated items to builders or consumers or use the items directly in their builds.  Non-profits that are accustomed to receiving these types of donations can also stretch your donation much further than a random non-profit.

The first deconstruction appraisal I did was over a year after the initial deconstruction.  With pictures of the rooms and a list of items donated, the owners were able to give me enough information to write an appraisal.  The non-profit agency actually suggested that they find an appraiser to walk them through the process of a non-cash charitable deduction.  If it was not for that suggestion, the home owners would have walked away from thousands of dollars of charitable donations.

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