House Demolition FAQ
Q. Is a demolition permit or building approval necessary to carry out a house demolition?
Yes, you will require a Building Approval before you can employ a demolition contractor or carry out demolition works. The reason for this is that your local authority may protect certain structures and houses from demolition. Some properties have this protected status due to their cultural significance, heritage, or location. The first step is always to secure a permit. In some cases, you will need a permit for removing a shed or inground swimming pool. Check with your local Council to be sure.
Q. Do the services to my property need to be disconnected?
Yes, the services will need to be disconnected or capped. We have developed good working relationships with the relevant tradespeople and service providers which will greatly assist with getting your house ready for demolition. This will in turn save time and money for you. Please note that your property will need to be vacant before engaging tradespeople. We will set out below the details for each applicable service:
Your power will need to be disconnected with the wire coiled up to the closest power pole. Energex carry out this process and it can take up to 20 days for completion after the initial request is made.
You will be required to disconnect the water service from your house, and then arrange for a temporary tap to be installed at the front of your property for the convenience of your builder and contractor.
You will need to temporarily cap your sewage service. To do this you must first locate the sewerage pipe, and then excavate the surrounding soil to cap the service. A licensed plumbing contractor will be required to carry out this work and it can take up to seven days to complete this process from the date of the initial call.
Your gas line will also need to be capped after the meter. You must have a consultation with your service provider to carry out this work and the entire process can take up to two weeks to finalise.
Q. What is involved in the house demolition process?
The demolition process consists of four steps which we will detail below. There may be breaks of a few days between steps depending on the work schedule, however the four steps are as follows:
- Service capping and disconnection
We have detailed this process above and it involves various tradespeople and service providers visiting the house to disconnect or cap the services in advance of demolition.
- Asbestos removal
An asbestos team must visit the property while it is completely vacant, with no other tradespeople present. This removal work usually takes 1-3 working days however it will depend on the asbestos levels in the property and surrounding structures.
- Property clearing
The demolition works and removal of concrete footings will be done by an excavator. The excavator will also help with removal of other items such as trees, swimming pools, or any other surrounding structures. The accumulated material post demolition will be removed from site after being loaded into skips. At this stage your property is ready for whatever next step is required such as reconstruction or sub-division.
Q. How much will a house demolition cost?
It is difficult to give an exact price estimate however the relevant factors affecting the cost are as follows:
- House location
The distance from waste facilities can affect the costs and also the distance from Brisbane will affect how far our machinery and equipment will need to be brought.
- Street position
Your house’s position on the street and also the street or road type it is located on can affect the costs due to the fact that machinery and equipment access and maneuverability may be more difficult. If your road is busy there may also be a need for traffic management which will add to the costs.
Similar to the above, a narrow plot of land may affect the ability to maneuver and direct machinery within the property and this will also affect the price. Other factors such as narrow blocks, hillside blocks and easement blocks, may also be relevant in this regard.
- Property size
Your house’s location on your land will also affect the technique involved in the demolition works. If a hand demolition is required due to proximity of other structures or boundaries then more work and higher costs will be unavoidable. There may also be greater risk of disturbance of neighbours which is a risk for your contractor and leads to higher costs.
- Building size and type
Your house size will determine the amount of man and machine hours needed and the amount of material that requires removal and this will be reflected in your costings.
- Asbestos component
In an average building there may be internal asbestos and finishes such as vinyl or tiles, and also asbestos external claddings and roofing. The process of removing asbestos can be costly and take days of additional work. This will add to your price particularly if there is a particularly high level of asbestos.
- Salvageable items
The more salvageable items and material present in your house the better deal you will be able to make due to the fact that these salvageable items can be resold. An added benefit here is that it is also better for the environment.