You’ve found the perfect location on a beautiful piece of land, and best of all, the price is right. The only problem is that the house sitting atop of the land isn’t exactly ideal. Maybe it has a faulty foundation, or the plumbing and electrical systems are shot. This place is beyond Bob the Builder or even Bob Vila to attempt an extensive renovation.
There is no reason to sacrifice your dream location just because the house is a lost cause—you can knock it down and build a brand-new home in its place. If you’re considering scrapping a house and rebuilding in its place, consult this guide on things you need to do before demolition of a house.
House Inspection and Permits are a Must
It might seem counterintuitive, but before picking up that sledgehammer or firing up the excavator, you will first need to do your due diligence and get the home inspected. Most states require you to have a house inspected for asbestos, mold, rotten wood, or lead paint before demolishing it. You should check with your demolition contractor about the inspection requirements in your area before beginning your project to help avoid safety or legal issues.
Once the home is inspected, you will then need to acquire a few different permits. Besides a demolition permit, also apply for a building, plumbing, mechanical, and electrical permits to ensure that you’re able to build your new house once the demolition is complete. Getting out in front of the permit process will speed things up as the project progresses.
Assemble the Right Equipment for the Job
Unless you are going Amish and planning on tearing down this house by hand, you will to need to hire an insured demo company, or rent, borrow or purchase some heavy equipment to get the job done. Completing a demolition project will probably require heavy machinery, such as an excavator.
A small- or medium-sized skid steer loader with an excavator bucket attachment is a great option for home demolition projects since their compact size allows them to easily navigate the limited construction site, while still delivering an impressive amount of power.
If you’re planning to get your hands dirty, along with the excavator it would also be helpful to have power tools such as a reciprocating saw, sledgehammer, rotary hammer, masonry drill, and an angle grinder to assist in the demolition process. Upon knocking down the house, you will need a trailer or dumpster to get rid of the piles of debris.
Disconnect Utilities and Services
It’s time to get unplugged! Before demolishing a house, you must disconnect all utilities and services. In a best-case scenario, failing to disconnect services can cause a costly mess and a delay to your demolition project. In a worst-case scenario, failing to contact the proper companies and having the utilities disconnected could cause significant health and safety risks, especially if electricity and gas are still on during demolition.
It is imperative to submit termination requests for electricity, gas, sewage, water, and other home services at least two weeks before tearing down a house. Doing so should provide the service supply company with enough time to disconnect their service before you begin the demolition process.
Find or Build Your Perfect Home
Whether you are looking for the perfect house or the land to build it on, tearing down an old dangerous eyesore shouldn’t stand in your way. Prepare ahead of time by using this guide to make sure that the house comes down safely and in the desired timeframe.
We here at Eng Garcia can help you find that perfect location, just contact one of our team members and we’ll help you start the process today.