What does a demolition contractor do?

Demolitions are the process of taking down structures to remove them or to clear the space to build a new one. This job is done by demolition contractors, the professionals who are specially trained and skilled to remove different kinds of buildings, for both residential, commercial, and even industrial properties.

Aside from taking down structures, a demolition contractor is also responsible for removing the debris and demolished material away from the property after the work is complete. Because of this, they should follow code, secure permits, inspect the site, operate machinery, and do other tasks to keep the area safe and ready for construction.

What types of questions should I ask a demolition contractor?

Do you have a structure in your property that you want to take down? In this case, you will need to get the help of a professional demolition contractor. Sure, you can always do it yourself, but when it comes to demolitions, it is simply not a one-person job.

Before hiring your contractor, ask them the following questions:

  1. Do you have a license?
  2. Do you have insurance?
  3. Do you have experience with the type of project I have?
  4. Do you have a website that shows client testaments?
  5. What safety precautions do you practice?
  6. Will you provide a written contract?
  7. Will you assist me when it comes to securing permits?
  8. Will you involve me in the demolition?
  9. What happens to the waste?
  10. What is your expected timeframe to complete the work?
  11. How much will it cost me to get your services?

When it comes to getting the expert that will be removing the structures in your property, you should never settle with the first contractor you see. Ask them the questions above and clarify whether they have the experience, license, insurance, and if they follow a safety procedure.

Also, it would be best to hire a contractor that gives you a copy of a contract. This will allow you to ensure whether you are understanding the clauses in your agreement and know the inclusions it comes with, such as getting permits, the timeframe, costs, and the disposal methods.

How is demolition cost calculated?

The total expenses to demolition work can quickly add up. Hence, it is important to prepare your budget before planning out your schedule. However, just like other construction work, the costs of getting a structure demolished depend on many factors.

The costs can be calculated based on the following:

a)    The dimensions of the structure

Most demolition companies charge their services per square foot. On average, this could be around 4 to 15 dollars. This means that a 1,200 square foot building would be around 4,800 to 18,000 dollars to take down.

For most situations, this rate also includes the labor of the contractor. However, it would be best to be sure and ask them beforehand to clear your concerns.

b)    The location and type of building

Usually, commercial buildings will be more expensive to demolish. This is because they have their own set of codes that must be properly followed in order to avoid future problems or accidents. Hence, expect to pay less for a residential tearing down compared to a building that is used by the public.

Aside from the type of building, one important factor that will determine the costs is the property’s location. Many cities in the United States charge higher due to the more expensive cost of living.

c)    The tools and equipment

Depending on the type of demolition necessary, some projects can be completed using manual tools. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, especially for commercial properties. Because of this, the total expenses will also depend on the required equipment to complete the work.

Some demo companies already take care of their own machinery. If this is not the case, then they may need you to rent one or do it themselves. For projects that use heavy machinery, expect to pay a lot more to rent the equipment, plus cover the possible transport costs.

d)    The necessary inspections

Before being able to start destroying things around your property, you will need to make sure that there are no materials that are potential hazards to you, your neighbors, and the workers. Because of this, inspections are necessary to maintain the worksite safe and secure.

One of the potential hazards that may be in your property is asbestos. This material is common in old buildings as it may be found in pipes, floor tiles, boilers, and more. If exposed to it for a long time, asbestos can cause serious conditions such as lung cancer.

e)    The required permits

Depending on the city or state you are in, chances are, you may need to secure a permit before starting the demolition process. Make sure to research about your state or to be sure, ask your local municipality about the case. After all, you would not want to be fined just because you did not have the necessary permits for your project.

Some contractors take care of the permits and include them in their package. If you want less stress, look for a local demolition company that offers this service.

f)     The hauling and disposal options

We get it. Why think about the end game if you still have not even started yet? Unfortunately, this is one of the expensive mistakes property owners make. As much as possible, it would be best to discuss the hauling and disposal matters with your contractor even before starting the demolition project. After all, you would not want to get stuck with all that debris after they are done.

Make sure to choose a company that uses sustainable methods, especially recycling. During the inspection, you may now have a general idea as to the materials are used in your structure. Inform your contractor and let them suggest the best method for your needs.