Deconstruction Vs. Demolition Vs. Destruction

Deconstruction Vs. Demolition Vs. Destruction
Deconstruction Vs. Demolition Vs. Destruction

When it comes to the topic of hiring a demolition company for a job, there is often some misconception of the difference between deconstruction, destruction, or demolition of a structure. Within the industry, demolition is known as the tearing down of a building at a specific time and location, normally done on structures that are well past a remodel or renovation.

Understanding what the difference is between the three is key in understanding what service you’ll be requiring. Demolition services are often sought out since they often consider all three services to fall under demolition or they offer them within their demolition services, so knowing exactly which specific service offered by a demolition company is required can assist you on your project. Let’s look at the differences between deconstruction, demolition, and destruction.


Deconstruction is the act of slowly breaking down the structure, taking it apart, and disposing of the waste. Although it’s like selective demolition, where it varies is its process is done over all the structure, and the entire building is slowly taken apart even if there are unusable materials. It involved carefully planning how to commence the project, making sure the process is under extreme control and results in an assortment of different materials.

Taking on a job where you require deconstruction is like a selective demolition job, but it’s all over the structure and is focused on producing a large amount of waste from the numerous materials. It’s a much longer process but it’s extremely useful for environmental friendliness.

Often with deconstruction, it’s done by hand with workers going into the structure to take it apart slowly within, and this is one of the biggest differences between deconstruction and demolition. Destruction can use machinery but primarily is done from within by hand, and while demolition can be done in the same manner, a large majority of demolition involves high-reach arm machinery being utilized in the project.


Demolition is the act of tearing down a structure in its entirety. Where it differs from deconstruction and destruction is there are numerous methods within the demolition services offered by professionals, such as selective, total, and partial.

Selective demolition can be tearing down a specific section of the structure only, leaving the rest intact. It sounds like deconstruction, but selective demolition is the complete teardown of that section, as opposed to a slow pick apart. The practice of salvaging materials and recycling them is present here as well since selective demolition is used with the idea of reusing materials that are still in proper condition, and recycling parts to be remade to save on the production of new materials. Selective demolition can involve the entire structure but is done with one section at a time. Demolish a specific location in a structure, rebuild, repeat on the next location in the structure. By the end of a large selective demolition job, it’s not uncommon to end up with the “same” building but repaired all over.

Comparable to the “Ship of Theseus” question where if you slowly replace an entire ship with new parts until it’s entirely new parts with the old parts remaining and questioning whether it remains the same ship as before or a brand new one since you can rebuild another ship with all the old materials that were replaced.

Demolition services offer selective demolition as a method normally, and alongside this method, there is partial and total. Partial demolition involves demolishing a specific part of the structure. Where it differs from selective is that it’s a full demolition job of taking out that specific part, as opposed to slowly taking it down. It’s quicker and allows for a remodel of the demolished section, or an expansion of the section. An example that helps differentiate this, is selective goes in and slowly tears down the specific location in the structure to salvage parts that they can, while a partial demolition completely takes it down, only recycling the materials afterward as they’re now waste.

A total demolition involves a complete teardown of a structure. Often used on buildings that are no longer safe or out of code, this is done so that the land where the structure stood can be repurposed for a new structure. Many different methods of total demolition can be used here such as implosion, and high-arm reach. Although there are many methods, the most used is high arm reach as it allows for maximum safety of the demolition companies workers, and the surrounding public.


Destruction sounds like demolition and in many ways, they’re the same, but where they differ is what the project is. A demolition service would be employed for the demolition of a residential house to make way for a brand-new house to be built on the land. A destruction service would be employed to completely remove a structure, without thought of future usage. Often used when it involves cultural structures, it’s used to erase or re-identify these buildings and/or what they stand for. A well-known example is the destruction of the Berlin Wall. A momentous occasion in the ’80s, its fall was to show the moving forward of a nation and change in attitude from the nation. Now its location and the intention of the wall have been replaced to erase the action. This doesn’t mean forgetting what the wall was or the actions, but showing moving forward and change in attitude. This is where destruction differs. Although many would consider the destruction of the wall demolition, it was a destruction job.

These are the differences between deconstruction, demolition, and destruction. If you require one, most demolition companies offer any of the three within their demolition services, so reach out to your local demolition company to get a quote on your future project. We hope this article has helped clear up any confusion you may have had.