Demolition Survival Guide

Demolition is honestly one of the most interesting phases of the construction process. Depending on what the project calls for, a rebuild, remodel or complete tear down, the total demolition could take at the most a week’s time. It’s generally a pretty fast and painless procedure, but let’s not confuse speed with simple or unintelligent work and do not rule out the fact that this job can ultimately be very messy. In short there are a lot of things to know when it comes to demolition.

1. First rule in the game, do not try and attempt a one man Bob Villa do it yourself demo job. This work always looks far easier than it really is. The men handling the machines and the crew’s in general are experts in their field. They understand the precision and delicacy some of these jobs require. They are like finely tuned, highly skilled surgeons and thus will know the effects of removing this before that, that before this or anything altogether. You need to know what to keep and what to get rid of and the effects of in between if you hope to stay on budget and on schedule and run a safe site.

2. The neighborhood needs fair warning. You want to make sure that the people living near your demo site are in it for the long haul or your phone will be ringing off the hook. Lets face the facts, with demolition comes noise and mess. If you reach out to these people ahead of time and discuss the details and receive their blessings you will find you save yourself a huge headache in the end.

3. This step will help support you in your endeavor with step number 2. Permits, permits, permits. Talk about saving yourself a headache. If you play by the rules and you have all your ducks in a row with the city you won’t have the building inspector issuing your stop work notices half way through your job. If you have the city on side, the neighbors will fall in line nicely.

4. Nothing, I mean nothing is as serious as having the asbestos procedures in check. I cannot stress this enough. A company like Kare Environmental is equipped to do everything including the asbestos portion of your project. This combined demo, abatement type service makes things very smooth and easy. You do not want to risk a violation of this kind as it will be one of the more costly violations you can run into. A company like Kare can inform you very fast of which route to go in regards to removal and disposal.

5. If there is someone onsite that is giving you advice that starts with..”you should strongly consider… “you need to heed his/her advice – They are likely speaking from long list of job site experience.

6. If it can be helped – do not live in the house during the demo.

7. In the case that it is a partial tear down it is usually a good idea to take the walls down to the studs. You never know what kind of garbage can be hidden or let behind from previous remodels etc..

8. Be prepared – Majority of folks that begin the demo end up demolishing twice what they ever thought they would to begin with. This is nothing to be alarmed by, it happens that once you have walls down and things are opened up you actually get more insight into how your place was originally built. In some cases it makes more tear down necessary after you see what lies beneath.

9. That brings us to contingency. It is good to consider that a number like 10% should be applied to the budget contingency just to be ready fr any surprises, fluctuations on construction, supplies etc… Because there are so many unknowns and variables in the demolition phase, an proportional amount of the contingency is inevitably consumed. Not to worry though, it evens out in the end.

10. Lastly and most importantly… recycle and reuse. There is so much in the way of reusable materials in these houses that are set to demo. This route can save you a few dollars by way of tax breaks and just cold hard cash in your pocket.


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