Demolition can seem like a big word if you’ve never had to do it before. But, it doesn’t have to be scary when you’re working with professionals who know what they’re doing and who can give you the best price.
People choose to demolish houses for a variety of reasons. Maybe you want to start over. Maybe you got a great deal on an existing property that is in disrepair. Or, maybe you want to clear out an old building on a great piece of land to build a new home.
Whatever the case, demolition is more common than most people think. But, there is one question that usually comes to mind before a demolition project begins; how much will it cost to demolish a house?
There isn’t a single answer to that question that will work for everyone.
The reality is, there are a variety of factors that go into the cost of demolition. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the general estimates, the factors that come into play, and how you can finance the demolition costs so you can rebuild your dream home.
Average Demolition Costs
The first factor to consider when you want to demolish a house is where you live in Australia. In Sydney, for example, it may cost more to completely demolish a house than in Perth, or even Queensland.
The average cost across the country is anywhere from $10,000-$80,000. Yes, that’s a large price range, and the difference can be significant if you’re trying to stick to a budget. Most homes are priced by the square metre. So, it stands to reason that the larger the property, the more it will cost to demolish, no matter where you are.
Types of Home Demolition
When most people think about demolishing a home, they only focus on the end result of it being completely flattened to the ground and taken away. But, there are different types of demolition to consider. Choosing the right one to fit your needs will have an impact on how much it costs and what you can expect the final total to be.
In general, there are three common methods used to demolish a house in Australia:
If you’re a homeowner that only wishes to have part of a house demolished, selective or partial demolition is your best option. This typically involves things like removing walls from within the home or getting rid of the interior structure. This allows you to start over on the interior without having to demolish the entire house. This is a great option for those who love the look and ‘bones’ of an older construction but want to make modern, safe upgrades.
Total demolition is exactly what you might expect. It involves a complete removal of the structure. Because this type of demolition is the most labour-intensive, it also tends to cost the most. The cost usually covers that labour, as well as any special heavy machinery or equipment that must be used in order to destroy and clear away the building materials.
This is a newer demolition feature that more people are starting to prefer due to the increased awareness over climate change and sustainability. Manual deconstruction involves separating out recyclable and reusable materials from the home before completing the actual demolition. Those materials are then taken to places that specialize in bringing them back to life and repurposing them for other projects.
It’s important to talk to your demolition crew beforehand about the type of demolition you want. An experienced business can even give you some insight into what would be the best option to fit your needs, and which method would be the most cost-effective.
Additional Factors That Impact Price
As stated above, there are several factors to consider when determining the cost of demolishing a house. The size, as mentioned, is one of the biggest factors. Of course, it also makes the most sense – the bigger the property, the higher the cost.
But, even if you have a small home that you want demolished, it could end up costing more than you might anticipate due to several other factors. It’s important to know what those things are before the demolition process begins, so you won’t be surprised or worried about overspending. Some of the most common factors that will impact the price of a demolition include:
What is being demolished?
As stated above, the different types of home demolition will be priced accordingly. For example, a partial demolition or removal of an interior wall will end up being much less than a total demolition.
What are the materials used in the construction?
Many people don’t think about this when considering a home demolition, but it can actually make a difference in the cost as some materials are easier to get rid of than others. For example, a home made primarily of timber will cost less to demolish. Timber can also often be reused. A home that is primarily made of brick or concrete, however, can cost more. It is harder to demolish those materials and haul them away. They also tend to require heavier, more specialised equipment in order to remove.
How accessible is your property?
While a little house in the woods or in thick, rich farmland can be charming, it also can be difficult to get to for the large machines required for a demolition. So, location can be an important factor in determining the cost. The distance between the property and the demolition business will also be a factor, since it can cost quite a bit to transport that machinery. If your property is covered in greenery or a heavily-wooded area, you may want to clear out as much of it as possible before bringing in a demolition crew. If a crew has to clear out trees, bushes, or tall grasses, it will only add to the cost and the time it takes to complete the project. Since many contractors charge by the hour, that will end up costing you more money that you may not have considered in your original budget.
Additionally, it’s important to know if there is any risk of hazardous materials within the property. That includes things like asbestos. Homes that were built before the 1980s, and even up to the early 2000s in some cases, can contain asbestos in the drywall, flooring, etc. That can lead to lung conditions and even mesothelioma for those who are exposed for long periods of time.
Before a home is demolished, any hazardous materials will need to be safely removed and contained. Doing so will, obviously, increase the cost of the project. But, it’s something that you should never cut corners on, since it will keep you, your family, and the people working on the project safe. Keep in mind that the cost will reflect not only getting rid of the materials, but moving them and disposing of them properly. It can end up tacking on quite a bit to your overall bill. Asbestos removal from a standard home averages around $12,500.
What to Do Before a Demolition
If you’re planning on demolishing a house, there are a few steps you should take beforehand to make sure the project goes smoothly, and also to have a full understanding of what the entire process will cost.
First, determine if you need a permit. They can be several hundred dollars to obtain, and they aren’t always necessary. But, you will need to receive approval from your local area council before demolishing a home, even if it is on private property.
Once you have that approval and the proper permit to prove it, the next step is to choose your contractor to complete the job. We pride ourselves on our years of experience and transparency with all of our customers and clients. When it comes to pricing, we will be upfront with you and work with you every step of the way so there are no “surprises” in the process.
Additionally, before a house can be demolished, utilities and services like electricity should be shut off, and any need for pest control should be taken care of. This is especially important if you’re opting for partial demolition.
How long your demolition will take depends on some of the factors listed above. You can reduce the time it takes as well as the cost by removing as much as possible yourself. By minimising your disposal costs, you’ll save money on the demolition, especially if the materials you’re getting rid of can be reused or sold.
Again, we are happy to help with any of your demolition needs in the South-East Queensland area. Feel free to contact us for more information about our services or for a quote on your project.