Thinking of Rebuilding? How Much Does it Cost to Demolish a House?

Date Monday, 12 February 2018 12:00 AM

 Time to Read: 3-minute read

If you’re in a great location with a not-so-great house, rebuilding on your existing piece of land is an ever-popular choice. In fact, about a third of all new house builds are now in this category, according to the Housing Institute of Australia, with land scarcity driving up demand. But before a rebuild, you’ll need to look closely at the knock-down process. This includes researching the cost to demolish a house and finding a suitable contractor. Here, we outline what will impact the demolition dollars in your budget.
Size and access: Yes, the size of your house will impact the overall demolition cost, with some contractors charging by the square metre. Your site gradient and access for demolition equipment may also have a bearing.
Building materials: A timber house is generally cheaper to demolish than brick or concrete, which are heavier materials requiring special machinery. In many cases, timber can be salvaged and recycled, which will bring down the overall cost of your demolition.
Hazardous material: If your house was built between 1920 and 1990, there’s a good chance that asbestos was used in construction. This will boost your budget, as asbestos is about three times more expensive to remove than standard building materials – due to the specialist skills, extra labour and treatment required.
Other: Additional factors that will impact the cost of removing your existing home include: 
  • Extra structures that need to be removed, like a shed or pool.
  • Trees or shrubs that need clearing to allow for your new build.
  • Distance to recycling or disposal centres, which adds to transportation costs.

Understanding the demolition process
Before you sign on the demolition dotted line, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the demolition process. Your supplier may offer to handle everything for you; or there may be parts you need to take care of yourself.
Demolition permits: You’ll need the proper paperwork in place before you begin demolition. This involves working with a private certifier, lodging forms and paying a fee. This process may take several weeks, so it’s important to factor it into your building timeline. Most importantly, you’ll need to check whether there are any heritage restrictions on demolition or tree removal. 
Services disconnection: Here, you’ll need to work in close cooperation with your demolition contractor. Usually you’ll need to disconnect your electricity, gas, telecommunications and water/sewer prior to starting demolition, however check whether your supplier needs water for any asbestos removal first. If you’re building straight after demolition, your electricity supplier may relocate your service to a temporary builders pole. 
Baiting: It may be a local council requirement for your home to be baited for rodents in the weeks leading up to your demolition. This is to stop any pests spreading to your neighbours’ homes. 
Choosing a demolition contractor: Your builder may sort this out for you, but if not, it’s important to choose a demolition company that has all the necessary licences, up-to-date equipment, proven processes, and to understand where and how they will dispose or recycle your building debris. 
The physical act of knocking down your existing house usually happens relatively quickly – in some cases it only takes a day. But you’ll need to allow around two months to walk through the full process, which needs to be factored into your building project plan. 

Most importantly, with your demolition done your site is now ready for the most exciting step: construction of your dream home.
If a knockdown-rebuild ticks all your building boxes, talk to a specialist. G.J. Gardner Homes not only has a huge range of home designs that can be customised for your block, but we’ll take care of each and every step (including demolition), so you can relax and enjoy your build.

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