A guide on estimating demolition cost

Posted By Amy Wellington on Jan 20, 2015 |


Demolition is an act of disambiguating or tearing down a complete structure with the intention of generally reconstructing it. It readily contrasts with deconstruction wherein only a part of the building is taken apart. Demolition is quite easy for comparatively low storied building or house. Varied ways can be applied in order to perform this task be it mechanically or manually. Hydraulic equipment including elevated work platforms, cranes or bulldozers fall under mechanical array of equipments. The wrecking ball mechanism has the ability of demolishing large buildings but the offer low control leading to their stub efficiency. At present, the methods encountered are rotational hydraulic shears and silenced rock bearers attached to evacuators to break through wood or concrete.

Series of steps are considered before initiating the process of demolishing including the removal of hazardous materials, obtaining necessary permits, submitting necessary notifications and development of site specific safety and work plans. High reach demolition excavators are employed for tall buildings which can’t be accomplished using explosives. This operations leads to formation of uncontrolled dust and debris which is tackled with the aid of fire hoses. Recently, a Japanese company developed a new technique of using computer-controlled hydraulic jacks in this process.

The Process

Before commencing with the main attack on the building to be demolished, a whole array of safety measures need to be taken. The fundamental measures being correct fencing of the site, covering the building with special sackcloth to prevent falling rubble, setting up personal protection and ensuring security. Another foremost important measure is to safeguard the neighboring buildings surrounding the demolition site. Some parts of them are dismantled in order to protect them. This process is followed by installation of explosives or any other demolition equipments at the rightful place. The operation of modulus operandi is carried out by experienced professionals who know their job quite well. The final stage of this operation consists of removing debris and material handling which is a time-consuming process. Excavators and bobcat skid vehicles perform this task efficiently. Recycling of the debris leads to minimization of waste disposal and their reuse. And finally a report is prepared tracking the process closely.

Estimating the costs

The prime and most basic step here is the inspection of asbestos in the building. Costs mainly depend on the area subjected to demolition in square feet. The removal of asbestos from the structure also costs considerably depending on whether you hire a professional or not. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates the removal of asbestos from steam pipes, boilers, cement sheets etc. The time duration of the process is also accounted while calculating costs. Generally, a medium sized building takes upto 10 days for demolition. Labor costs are added according to the time duration and working days. The equipments employed during the demolition process which are rented for the span are charged accordingly. The policies and permits are also included in the costing of the demolition. And subsequently, the debris removal equipments hired for post demolition process also add to the total costs.

On an average, demolition of 1500 square feet place costs from $2.00-$5.00 per square foot making the price range from $1,500-$3,750. The hazardous materials present in the debris have to be disposed keeping in mind the safety measures. Though the estimation of demolition costs is quite challenging, but after the consideration of above steps, this task becomes facile.