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Things To Do Before Home Demolition


Brown and White Concrete House Surrounded With Trees


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.

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6 Responses to “Things To Do Before Home Demolition”

  • It’s great that you talked about how it’s important to have the right equipment for a demolition project. Recently, my sister mentioned she found the perfect piece of land to start building her dream house. She said there’s an unfinished structure on it, so she’ll need to demolish it first, and I think this article will help my sister with that. Thanks for the tips on what to expect during a demolition.

  • Thank you for helping me to understand that it is important to acquire a few different permits before performing home demolition. If I was to guess, depending on the area you live in there are probably certain times of the day that home demolition can only be performed in. Hiring a demolition contractor seems like the best way to make sure that you are following all of the rules.

  • It really helped when you said that it would be best to submit the termination in advance to give them the time to disconnect their services properly. I will follow your advice now that I want to get the house of my grandparents demolished this year. It’s to build a new house that we want to have and live in with my own family.

  • I had no idea that you need more than just a demolition permit. That changes up the timing I had in mind. Maybe I can get a professional to look at it now so they can get the permits potentially.

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