“If you build it, they will come.” So goes the classic line from the movie Field of Dreams. In a hot real estate market, where home renovations add equity and drive up sale prices, “they” are the home demolition people, who love to renovate, rebuild and resell. If you’re considering that path, you’ll also have to consider the factors that impact the cost of a house demolition.
What’s in your walls affects what it’s going to cost
Whether it’s a kitchen demolition, bath demolition or entire interior gutting of your home, there are five factors that affect the cost. For starters, the age of your home plays a significant role in the cost of any demolition. The moment you start tearing things out in an older home, you’re going to find things you didn’t anticipate. Older homes are likely to have drywall installed over plaster, layers of shingles on the roof, lead pipes, toxic insulation, painted wallpaper, black mould and all other kinds of construction maladies. The deeper you dig, the more it’s going to cost. Secondly, if you do find your walls are made of lath and plaster rather than drywall, you’re in for a major construction mess. Lath and plaster is heavy, dusty, cumbersome and usually well-constructed; it takes more effort to bring down a lath and plaster wall then it does kicking holes in drywall. A third thing affecting the price of your house demolition is the square footage of the house in question. The bigger the house, the bigger the bill to demolish it. A fourth factor to consider is the demolition plan itself. You’ll save money if you’re going to do it all in one shot. If you’re doing it in phases, you’ll incur additional costs for things like garbage bin rentals for your construction waste. That leads to the fifth factor: the cost of the disposal bin. Roofing shingles, outdated HVAC units, old flooring and other construction wastes are not things you leave out for your regular garbage pickup. You need to budget not only for the new construction materials, but also for the cost of the old materials.
Permits and other Demolition Documentation
There’s a name for people who try and skirt construction regulations by renovating without permits; they’re called “fools.” A municipal enforcement officer can easily make you remove any unpermitted work you’ve done, which escalates your costs and delays your construction. A Designated Substance Survey (DSS) report is required before any construction, demolition or restoration project can take place in Ontario. Be sure to first assess your project for Designated substances that may harm workers or other building occupants. If you’re not sure about such things, you need to get some guidance from a construction engineer or a demolition company that knows the ins and outs of house demolition.