How much does it cost to demolish a house?

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Are you planning to have your home demolished for reconstruction? Would you like to clear out part of your property as part of a major renovation project?

Whatever your reasons for wanting to demolish all or part of a building, you will need to hire a demolition contractor and pay a considerable amount of money for their services.

If you are wondering how much you will have to pay for the total or partial demolition of your house, we cover everything below. You will find information that will help you estimate the amount you will have to pay to have your home demolished.

 

Average cost of home demolition in Quebec

The costs of home demolition can vary quite a bit. Some of the things to consider when estimating the cost of this type of project are:

  • Cost of permits
  • Structures to be demolished (floors, balconies, garages, pools, etc.)
  • Transportation of machinery and heavy equipment rental
  • Cost of labor
  • Materials used in the house
  • Waste management after demolition

With so many variables at play, it should come as no surprise that the cost of a home demolition project can vary greatly, ranging from $4,000 to $25,000 and even higher. That said, most demolition projects are priced on a per square foot basis.

Normally, this varies between $5 and $15. With this in mind, measuring the size of your home can help you get a better idea of the budget that will need to be invested in demolition.

 

Factors that influence the cost of home demolition

Now that you have an idea of the average costs, here are the factors that will influence these costs.

The cost of required permits

In most Quebec communities, you are required to obtain a demolition permit before demolishing a building. Even if the fee to comply with this regulation is reasonable, it is important to remember to pay it because it is also a matter of compliance.

The cost of a demolition permit varies depending on the city or municipality, but is generally between $50 and $200.

A word of advice: take the time to check with your municipal government if you are thinking of demolishing a building that may have heritage value. You may need a special permit or be required to preserve certain architectural features.

Location of the demolition site

If you want to save money when having your home demolished, choose a contractor from your community. This is because demolition work often requires the use of heavy machinery that must be moved on trailers pulled by heavy trucks.

The further away the demolition site is, the more the transportation of excavators and other heavy machinery will involve a significant expense (fuel, vehicle wear and tear, etc.) for the demolition contractor. The contractor will then have no choice but to increase the price.

Work site accessibility

Will it be easy for the contractor to get to the site and work with the proper equipment? That’s a question you need to ask.

If your building is on uneven ground that is not accessible to a large excavator, the demolition company will not be able to work as efficiently and quickly. If you have landscaping to preserve, it can also complicate the demolition job.

And if your house is built in an urban area on a very small lot, there is also a good chance that waste management will be more complex, as well as the demolition itself.

In short, every obstacle to the work of the demolition team on a construction site can add to the cost.

Preparation of the demolition site

Before proceeding with a building demolition, the site must be prepared accordingly.

This includes ensuring that the gas, water and electricity supplies are turned off.

There are also certain elements of a house that need to be removed before the actual demolition can take place. For example, some materials can easily be recycled, while others (such as an oil tank) must be moved to specific locations.

Dimensions of the home to be demolished

In general, the larger the building, the more expensive it is to demolish. For example, a small one-story house costs less to demolish than a multi-story mansion.

Keep in mind, however, that the things inside the walls of a house will also affect the cost of demolition.

The architecture and materials of the home

Architectural details such as the structure of the building, the thickness of the walls or the existence of an upper floor or basement can influence the amount of the demolition contractor’s quote.

This is because these features may require the use of additional equipment and more manpower.

The equipment and machinery needed to do the job

Some houses are stronger than others and cannot be demolished without the use of special machinery (e.g., an excavator with a hydraulic hammer).

Heavy equipment may also be required to demolish a concrete foundation or balconies and remove the resulting heavy debris.

The presence of asbestos

Many older homes were built and insulated with materials containing asbestos, a mineral that is now considered a health and environmental hazard. If your home is old enough to be demolished, you may need to adjust your demolition budget upwards. There are special considerations and costs associated with the removal and disposal of asbestos-containing materials.

As asbestos-containing materials age, their texture changes and they sometimes tend to crumble. As a result, asbestos fibres can become airborne during a demolition operation. Proper treatment is required before demolishing a house with asbestos.

The cost of labor

The hourly rate of the demolition contractors you hire and the number of hours they work have a big impact on the price of a home demolition.

That said, it may not necessarily be to your advantage to look for the contractor with the best hourly rate because demolition done by skilled and experienced workers is usually done faster and cleaner.

Partial or total demolition

A partial demolition means that only a portion of the interior or exterior of the house is demolished. This is quite common in a large renovation project.

Since a partial demolition may require careful work to avoid damage to the parts of the house that will be preserved, a partial demolition may well be as expensive, if not more so, than a total demolition.

 

Consider more than cost when choosing a demolition contractor

Now you can probably see why it’s so tricky to put an exact price on a demolition project. There are so many variables to consider!

If you are ever tempted to go with the demolition contractor with the lowest bid, take the time to at least verify that they are operating in compliance and that the quoted price takes into account all the factors presented in this article.

Keep in mind that home demolition has many important aspects that can lead to problems if neglected. This is why it is so important to work with professionals like those at Excavation Chanthier.

To discuss demolition with certified experts, please feel free to contact our team. Our expertise and the quality of our work are recognized on the North Shore, the South Shore and in Montreal.

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