House Demolition Cost

Last Updated on December 30, 2022 | Written by CPA Alec Pow
First Published on September 5, 2022 | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popivker

Are you the owner of an old building and want to demolish it to build a new house? Or maybe to create a green space, intended for relaxation? The reasons may vary from one case to another, but when you decide to demolish a house, you have to take into account several factors, including obtaining the demolition permit, the company that will handle the entire process, and the costs related to the demolition.

How Much Does It Cost To Demolish A House?

The price for house demolition varies depending on a number of factors, such as the fee for the permit, the type of house walls, the foundation, ease or difficulty of getting to the location, and waste handling.

When you want to remove a house from a site completely, you can choose between a standard full demolition or deconstruction. In general, you will have to spend 25% to 50% more for a deconstruction than for a demolition.

In the table below you will find the average costs related to the demolition of a 1,500-square-foot house.

Item Cost
Standard demolition labor
  • $7,500-$30,000 for full demolition
  • $5-$20 per square foot
Building/Demolition permits $230
Deconstruction $25,000 and up
Foundation removal $1,200-$6,000
Debris removal $350-$600 (if not included in estimate)
Site grading per 1,000 square feet $1,200-$2,500

Other cost considerations

In order for the heavy equipment to get to the job site and safely do its work, you may have to arrange for road closure, traffic re-routing, and temporary structure building, depending on where you are living and the type of access to the property.

In case you have to seal off an old septic tank, you will have to spend up to $5,000 additionally.

In most cases, houses built before 1985 may have lead paint and/or asbestos in their structure. In order to determine if abatement is necessary, your contractor could ask for asbestos and lead testing. The average costs for lead abatement for a 1,500-square-foot house are around $17,000. The inspection fee is around $500 and the asbestos removal will be anywhere between $200 and $400 per hour.

Important things to consider

Although demolishing a house may seem like a simple and fun process, the reality is quite different. Demolition cannot be done with your bare hands or with a hammer. The services offered by specialized companies, which have heavy equipment and special power tools, are needed.

You might also like our articles about the cost to build a house in general, a brick house, or a guest house.

You will not be able to go through the demolition by yourself if the house has lead or asbestos. In these situations, contained abatement practices are required and these must be done by licensed, experienced contractors.

Due to the harmful materials used in the construction of the building, there may be substances harmful to the environment, but also to the people who are in charge of demolishing the house. Safety measures will be taken to protect workers as well as to prevent substances from entering the soil.

House Demolition PermitBeing professional, the company’s employees will know exactly the process that must be followed for a fast and safe demolition. They have the necessary heavy equipment and power tools, as well as the knowledge needed for the management of the waste resulting from the demolition so that you know for sure it will reach the specially arranged places.

You must always notify the utility companies before starting house demolition close to electric meters, gas lines, or other possible dangerous utilities. A company representative will come to your house and safely disconnect or remove all utility connections. Also, they will mark the ground for power lines, gas lines, and other underground utilities.

In order to demolish a house or a building, partially or completely, or the installations and constructions related to a building, as well as other structures, it is necessary to obtain a demolition permit. It can be obtained from the local administration authorities.

Without this document the demolition of a house, regardless of its size, can be considered illegal and is penalized with very high fines.

How can I save money?

When talking about a demolition project, you may be able to save a lot of money on labor costs if you choose to do the simple tasks yourself, such as removing the built-in fixtures and appliances, removing the non-load-bearing walls, taking out cabinets, and other small jobs.

In conclusion

If you want to demolish an old house, you will need a demolition permit, which you can obtain with the help of the specialized company that will also take care of the actual demolition of the house and the collection of the rubble left after the demolition, in order to get rid of any worries and stress.

Alec Pow
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