A Guide to Residential Demolition for Renovators

30 November 2016
 Categories: , Blog


You have finally purchased the perfect block of land, the one you have always been waiting for. The land also comes with a bonus, a large old house that has fallen into disrepair. The first decision that needs to be made when planning your new home is whether to keep the house and renovate or to simply demolish it and build your dream home.

Should I demolish or renovate?

This decision often comes down to three factors: the cost, whether or not the current building can be adapted to suit your needs, and the lengthy timeframe involved in the renovation. Demolition doesn't always involve taking down the entire building, since the basic bones of the home can be kept and updated with a new floor plan. Alternatively, you can take down everything but the outer facade and rebuild behind this to keep the original character of the house.

Demolition or partial demolition offers you the chance to design a home that's perfectly suited to your needs. Renovation can often mean compromising on many aspects of the layout, size and appearance of your home.

Can I demolish by myself?

If you decide to demolish completely, then you'll need to call in the professionals. Full demolition can be extremely dangerous and requires specialised tools and equipment. Licences and insurance are required to use this equipment, which a demolition company will already have. Issues, such as the presence of asbestos, can be dealt with quickly and correctly, and the demolition company will even clean up the site afterwards.

Partial demolition is not as complex as full demolition, and although much of it could possibly be done by the home renovator, it's still best to work in conjunction with a professional demolition team. Any demolition needs to be overseen and assessed by a structural engineer, and a demolition contractor will include this service in their fee. 

Where do I start?

The first point of call for any demolition work is to apply for approval from your local government body. Your demolition team may be able to help you to secure this approval. You must also ensure that all services, such as electricity and gas, are disconnected prior to demolition. 

Because heavy machinery use, noise, and dust are a part any demolition work, it also pays to become friendly with the neighbours. Make sure they know your plans and the timetable for the work, and work out a plan with your demolition contractor to minimise the disturbance for those living around you.

Demolition or partial demolition of an existing home is a huge undertaking, and deciding which is the best option can be confusing. To get a better idea about the costs and logistics involved in the demolition process, contact a demolition contractor in your area to clarify your concerns and ask any relevant questions.