Hurricane Featured in’s Spotlight

An intimate interview explaining Hurricane’s best practices

November 2012 – This month, is featuring Hurricane in the Spotlight, a premier space on their website dedicated to giving a more intimate introduction of a selected business for customers.

Thumbtack isn’t like typical local search directories; it actually gives you the ability to vet, contact, and book service professionals the moment you find them. For a customer, it’s like shopping for services and asking companies to bid on their request. Quite frankly, it’s the new way to do on-line shopping for homeowners!

In the last few months, Hurricane has being experimenting with Thumbtack to enhance our list of customer leads in the Bay Area. To see Hurricane’s Spotlight, click here and see the right column entitled “Thumbtack Spotlight.”

Or read the whole thing here:

How did your business/company start, and what was the greatest challenge that you encountered along the way?

Paul Sonnabend started a hauling business in 1989 and his brother, David Sherman, signed on as co-owner a few years later. Originally, Hurricane Hauling & Demolition, Inc. serviced only Marin County but with extra manpower and a growing need for demolition, we added the deconstruction, demolition, tree and yard services for Marin, San Francisco, Contra Costa, Alameda, San Mateo, Napa, and Sonoma Counties. We saw an opportunity to keep everything we were hauling out of the landfill by recycling or repurposing items.

Besides maintaining our own family-business during a fluctuating economy, the greatest challenge we encountered along the way has been competing against non-local, corporations in the same industry. For any small company, corporate franchises with nationwide support and unlimited, financial resources are a realistic threat. We have managed to keep our loyal customers and reach new ones with personal service, efficient work, and competitive prices.

How would you describe your usual clients in terms of status, needs, and level of satisfaction toward your services?

Our commercial clients are often general contractors looking for subcontractors to do large-scale demolition or deconstruction projects in the Bay Area. They can also include restaurant, gallery, school, museum, and store owners.

Our residential clients are homeowners, property owners, real estate agencies, or renters who are doing remodels, renovations, or site cleanup. Their needs usually peek during the summer or fall months when they need us to do the heavier, seasonal debris hauling.

Not many other demolition companies can offer specialized deconstruction or the ability to recycle 80%-100% of the materials that are hauled away, in bio-fueled trucks no less. Homeowners can receive a tax dedication for 30% of the value of the salvaged materials, which is usually assessed by a professional appraiser. Although deconstruction costs are higher than those of demolition because of time and labor, that cost is offset and sometimes surpassed with the tax deductions in the end.

What do you think is the most effective strategy to keep your customers happy and satisfied with your service?

Our most effective strategy to provide high quality services is to be professional throughout our entire relationship with our customers. To us, this means maintaining responsibility for our crew and site; showing up and finishing on time; being responsive to requests; and communicating clearly with clients. And most of all, it means leaving a site cleaner than we found it! We value having our residential clients tell us how they love having our friendly crew around their house! The best compliment they can give us is referring us to their friends and family.

What was your most favorite and successful project? 

One of our most favorite projects was the recent deconstruction of a 3,500 square foot house in Mill Valley with James Josephs Construction. All the lumber, fixtures, appliances, and other salvaged items were donated to charities or salvage yards. The fact that hardly anything ended up in the landfill was validation enough that deconstruction really does work and that there is a true need for demolition companies to rethink their idea of “unusable.”  The homeowner even ended up getting a significant tax break because he didn’t demolish the house. Plus, it’s always a success when everything runs smoothly, on time, and without injury. The space we cleared was even more beautiful without the house.

In a short line, how would you entice your potential consumers to book your service?

  “We are in the business of sustainability.” We approach our services with the triple bottom line of people, planet, and profit. Every time a potential customer contacts us, we see it as an opportunity to keep waste out of the landfill and educate others about ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

We’re fun guys! Check out our clip on Eye on the Bay – The Bay Area’s Unique Jobs!

Hurricane Hauling & Demolition, Inc. Contributes to the 2012 San Francisco Green Festival

November 10th & 11th, 2012 – Hurricane Hauling & Demolition, Inc. attended the 2012 San Francisco Green Festival this past weekend at the Concourse Exhibition Center. The annual event, hosted by Global Exchange and Green America, is dedicated to sustainability, social justice, and ecological balance in U.S. cities including New York, Chicago, Washington, DC, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Hurricane’s booth was prime for foot traffic in the Conservation/Recycle section. A beautiful wall of Hurricane’s salvaged 100-year-old redwood lumber was constructed and displayed in the booth. “This weekend was very valuable for us in terms of networking, lead building, and of course, spreading awareness of the benefits of deconstruction,” said Hurricane’s Marketing Manager who spearheaded the event. “It’s an empowering experience when like-minded people with a shared passion for the environment are collaborating under one roof!”

This year, over 25,000 people attended. The Festival also featured engaging DIY demonstrations, provocative cinema, renowned keynote speakers, and non-stop “eco-edu-tainment”. Thematic pavilions and stages focused on green business, green building, renewable energy, fair trade, healthy lifestyle, sustainable home, organic gardening, do-it-yourself modern homesteading. Other features included a Green Kids Zone, Community Action Pavilion, Organic Cooking Stage, Organic Food Court and Organic Beer & Wine and Garden.



Deconstruction is Praised In Fairfax

Did you know:

  • Recycling one aluminum can saves an amount of energy equivalent to half that can filled with gasoline?
  • Every Sunday, more than 500,000 trees are used to produce the 88% of newspapers that are never recycled?
  • North Americans throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour?

The local nonprofit group Sustainable Fairfax does! They are spreading the word of responsible consumerism when it comes to trash. And they are doing it by getting the public to ‘trash talk’ – like last week’s event: Trash Talk: Panel & Discussion.

Hurricane Hauling & Demolition, Inc. was there to support the movement and educate listeners about Deconstruction, the eco-friendly version of demolition, and the benefits of re-purposing materials. Not only do we practice zero-waste on our job sites but also in the office. Click here to learn more about our Sustainability practices or our Deconstruction service.

Attendees included Moderator Pam Hartwell-Herrero, Mayor of Fairfax, and Panelists Kim Scheibly, Outreach and Communications Coordinator for Marin Sanitary District; Andy Peri, Founding Member of Green Sangha and Rethink Plastics; Rebecca Burgess, Founder of the Fibershed and Author of Harvesting Color; Carrie Bachelder, Owner of The Away Station in Fairfax. The zero waste movement seeks to minimize the common, yet needless, practice of waste disposal in our dumps, landfills, and incinerators by changing the practices and policies of government, producers and individual households.  Thanks to the collaboration of Sustainable Fairfax and the Marin Sanitation Service, the residents and businesses of Fairfax will reduce waste, reuse as much as possible, and recycle what’s left. Read more information about Sustainable Fairfax’s Zero Waste initiative.

Hurricane Hauling Now Using 100% Renewable Energy

Hurricane Hauling & Demolition, Inc. switched to Marin Clean Energy Deep Green, a 100% renewable energy source in partnership with PG&E. We are honored to have the opportunity to help this initiative succeed in Marin County. It’s yet another way we can take charge of our impact, and be the difference we want to see in the world.

All Marin residents and businesses are applicable for either Deep Green or Light Green, 50% renewable energy. According to Marin Clean Energy, “Deep Green renewable energy is purchased entirely from non-polluting, renewable wind farms located in Washington State. It’s Green-e Energy certified so you know that Deep Green contains only new renewable resources that are independently verified.” Using 100% renewable energy is a step in the right direction to reduce global warming and severe pollution.

The additional cost of Deep Green 100% renewable energy is just a penny more per kilowatt-hour. Here in the office, we use an average of 350 KwH per month, which means we’re paying just $3.50 extra. How easy is that?!

Read more about Marin Clean Energy.

Hurricane Hauling Owners Present to Key Leaders of the Remodeling Industry

Employ Long-Term Thinking Regarding Deconstruction vs. Demolition

SAN RAFAEL, CA, June 6, 2012 — Hurricane Hauling & Demolition, Inc. owners David Sherman and Paul Sonnabend attended the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) San Francisco’s Chapter Meeting on June 5, 2012. The meeting featured Sherman and Marin Resource Recovery Center Founder Joe Garbarino speaking about Recycling and the Remodeler: From the Site to the Recycler. About thirty different companies attended, mostly all NARI Building EPIC Contractors.

Sherman’s presentation, entitled Employ Long-Term Thinking Regarding Deconstruction vs. Demolition, explained the similarities and differences between the two services. The categories also included:

  • How to be Sustainable? Diverting materials from the landfill for re-purposing and reducing carbon footprint
  • How to make Investments? Adding time with Federal Tax Incentives as potential profitability for your clients’ remodels
  • What can be Salvaged? Deciphering between salvageable and re-purposing items and valuing those materials
  • Where to make Partnerships? Finding and working with appraisers, salvage yards, 501(c)(3)s, recycle centers, etc. in the deconstruction sector
  • What is EPA’s Lead Safety “Renovate Right Protocol” Rule? Having a broader understanding of the rules, deciphering applicable projects, recognizing the benefits of subbing
  • How to comply with Regulations? Adhering to federal, state and local recycling and reuse ordinances

“Presenting at the Chapter Meeting was a great experience for Hurricane Hauling,” says Sherman. “It was reassuring to see how many contractors are committed to ethical, informed business. These small steps for businesses add up to big steps for the industry as a whole.”

To see the contents of the whole meeting, click here.

About Hurricane Hauling & Demolition, Inc.

Hurricane Hauling & Demolition, Inc. specializes in deconstruction, demolition, debris hauling & cleanup, tree and yard services. A licensed, bonded, and fully insured Bay Area Green Business, we operate in the greater Bay Area. Since 1989, we have been salvaging materials from residential and commercial projects. Our mission is to provide high quality service at affordable rates with the goal of reducing, reusing, recycling, and re-purposing materials for the benefit of our customers, through incentives like tax write-offs, and our environment. Visit


Media Contact:

Tiffany Douglass
Hurricane Hauling & Demolition, Inc.
55 B De Luca Place
San Rafael, CA 94901
(415) 456-3407


Visit Hurricane Hauling at the Marin Home & Garden Expo

When: Saturday June 2nd 10am – 6pm & Sunday June 3rd 10am – 5pm

Where: Tent 302 @ the Marin Civic Center in San Rafael, CA

With Who: Marin Builders Association

Come to the Marin Home & Garden Expo and see Hurricane Hauling’s display in the Showcase Spaces! We will be among hundreds of contracts, roofers, homeowning associations, gardens, and other great exhibitors. Live music and food vendors will help you keep your foot moving as you see what the Expo has to offer! Enter the Expo Raffle to win a $250 gift certificate towards Hurricane Hauling’s deconstruction, demolition, hauling, tree and yard services!


Hurricane Hauling & Demolition, Inc. Featured on Public Television as a Bay Area “Cool Job”

Marin-based Family Owned Green Business Receives Statewide Recognition for Unique Jobs

SAN RAFAEL, CA, April 26, 2012 — Hurricane Hauling & Demolition, Inc., a Marin-based demolition, deconstruction, and hauling company, today announced that it has been featured on CBS San Francisco Channel 5’s “Eye On The Bay,” airing on Friday, April 27th at 7pm. “Eye on the Bay” is an Emmy Award winning magazine-style show featuring San Francisco Bay Area’s things to do, places to go, and sights to see.

CBS’s KPIX Producer Chris Bollini interviewed Hurricane Hauling owners Paul Sonnabend and David Sherman during live demolition projects in Marin County and Sonoma County then later at Hurricane Hauling’s headquarters in San Rafael. The sequence highlights the unique deconstructing, salvaging, and recycling processes of this certified Bay Area Green Business. “We definitely have a unique and cool job!” says Sonnabend. “We are different in that we aim to recycle and re-purpose more than 75% of the debris collected during demolition, deconstruction, hauling, tree and yard projects in order to keep waste out of landfills. It’s important that people realize that although deconstruction is more labor intensive than straight demolition, deconstruction is ultimately more ecologically friendly and can be more cost effective.”

The cost of deconstruction is typically higher than that of demolition, as it is a longer and more labor-intensive process, but that cost is offset and sometimes surpassed with the tax deductions in the end. A customer can hire an appraiser prior to a deconstruction job to assign a value for reusable building materials. If that value is less than $5,000, no appraisal is needed. If the materials are valued more than $5,000, then an appraisal fee will be charged. Typical fees range between $500 and $5,000 depending on the size and complexity of the appraisal assignment. All donated salvaged materials from Hurricane Hauling are given to local, approved 501(c)(3) salvage yards and organizations.

The April 27th episode also features other Bay Area companies with “cool jobs” which include paranormal investigators and storage auctioneers. After April 27th, the episode will also be available on Eye On The Bay’s website. Click here to watch the episode.

About Hurricane Hauling & Demolition, Inc.

Hurricane Hauling & Demolition, Inc. specializes in deconstruction, demolition, debris hauling & cleanup, tree and yard services. A licensed, bonded, and fully insured Bay Area Green Business, we operate in the greater Bay Area. Since 1989, we have been salvaging materials from residential and commercial projects. Our mission is to provide high quality service at affordable rates with the goal of reducing, reusing, recycling, and re-purposing materials for the benefit of our customers, through incentives like tax write-offs, and our environment. Visit


Media Contact:

Tiffany Douglass
Hurricane Hauling & Demolition, Inc.
55 De Luca Place, Suite B
San Rafael, CA 94901
(415) 456-3407


Hurricane Hauling’s Very Own Lisa Chipkin Writes Book on Sustainability

Hurricane Hauling Consultant Lisa Chipkin and Fairfax Mayor Pamela Hartwell-Herrero published the book Grassroots Sustainability: A guide to Organizing a Thriving Community that documents best practices and shares important lessons on how to work with different sectors of the community.  Grassroots Sustainability was inspired by the real-life efforts of a handful of grassroots groups in Marin County, California that successfully brought sustainability policy and education to their communities. It is intended to empower individuals and grassroots groups near and far to facilitate meaningful change in their communities from the ground up, without having to reinvent the wheel.

Lisa Chipkin is an educator, writer, artist and community organizer with a passion for global and local food and water issues and sustainability. Following a career in non-profit arts organization management, production and education, Lisa served as a lead campaign coordinator for the successful Bay Area “Stop the Spray” campaign in 2008, and in 2010 as Water Sustainability Coordinator for the Salmon Protection and Watershed Network’s 10,000 Rain Gardens Project.

To visit the Grassroots Sustainability website or order a copy of the book, click here! 30% of the proceeds from the book’s sale are directed to the grassroots sustainability groups featured in the book. Thank you for supporting their important work!

Related Links: Grassroots Sustainability, Grassroots on Facebook, and Grassroots on Twitter!

Watch Hurricane Hauling Owners Star in Ford’s National Commercial

Hurricane Hauling Owners Paul Sonnabend and David Sherman were featured in Ford’s Swap Your Ride Sales Event Super Duty® commercial with famous spokesperson Mike Rowe. They were filmed driving and admiring the Super Duty best-in-class fuel-efficient pickup truck, an EPA-certified vehicle with 40 mpg or higher fuel economy ratings. Although Hurricane Hauling’s company name is not mentioned in the advertisement, this national media coverage is pertinent for the reputation of fuel-efficient vehicles. To watch the Ford Super Duty® Swap commercial, click here!