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How to Demolish a House Safely and Effectively

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Are you getting ready to demolish a house? Don’t expect that it’s as simple as renting a bulldozer and crashing through the property! It’s also not as simple as hiring a demolition crew and letting them have at it. 

Home demolition is a complicated and potentially dangerous process. It is crucial that you adhere to safety precautions as well as any regulations that may affect your project.

If you’re wondering how to demolish a house the right way, you’ve come to the right place.

Read on for our guide to home demolition, where we’ll go over the many steps you’ll want to take before destroying a house.

Familiarize Yourself With Demolition Regulations

Demolition is one of the largest sources of construction waste in America. That’s why the EPA and other federal agencies have put regulations in place regarding demolition. However, it’s not just federal law you need to worry about.

Familiarize yourself with any state or local regulations you need to adhere to during demolition. This may affect how you approach demolition, what you do with any resulting construction waste, and more. In addition, you will likely need permits to legally complete the job.

Even though you’re working with a contractor, you need to know the law. In many circumstances, you will be held responsible for any violations during the demolition process–even if they were caused by your contractor.

Decide Between Demolition and Deconstruction

Some properties are in such disarray that old-school mechanical demolition is the only real option. What is mechanical demolition? It’s the process of reducing a property to debris and junking the whole thing.

Deconstruction, on the other hand, is a more precise (and time-consuming) process. The purpose of deconstruction is to tear down a property piece by piece and salvage any materials that can be reused. This is a better choice for properties that still have structural integrity or reusable elements.

An approach that is becoming more common is actually a combination of the two. Contractors may start by pulling out any materials that can be reused before demolishing the rest of the property swiftly. 

Hire the Right Demolition Contractor For the Job

We never recommend tackling a house demolition on your own. It isn’t safe and the amount you’d spend on rental equipment would likely equate to (or even surpass) the amount you’d pay an experienced contractor.

That means that your next step is hiring a demolition company that meets your requirements. We always recommend going local for jobs like these. Local contractors are more likely to be familiar with local regulations and do the job the right way.

Get the Property Inspected

Most states will require you to hire a home inspector before you have your home demolished. This protects the demolition crew and your neighbors from potential exposure to hazardous materials. These materials can include:

  • Lead paint
  • Asbestos
  • Mold
  • Rotting wood

If your home contains these materials, it doesn’t mean that you can’t proceed with your demolition. It simply means that you need to inform your demolition crew of what your inspector discovered. That way, they can dispose of those hazardous materials properly.

Have All Utilities Disconnected 

Before demolition begins, you will need to make sure that the utilities on the property are disconnected. Specifically, make sure you’ve disconnected the:

  • Water and sewage
  • Electricity
  • Gas

To properly disconnect these utilities, you will need to contact your utility providers. We recommend starting this process at least two weeks before your scheduled demolition. This will allow you to account for any scheduling issues that may occur.

Create a Safe Work Environment

Your contractors will come equipped with the safety gear they need. However, there are extra steps you should take to ensure that your demolition proceeds safely.

If your property is adjacent to other homes or businesses, let those residents and tenants know to expect construction. Put up temporary fencing to separate the demolition space from walkways and other homes or buildings. 

Finally, make sure that the demolition zone is free of all kids and pets. Even when the machines are off and the contractors head out for the day, you should still keep kids and pets out of the demolition zone. Until that space is cleared, it may be filled with hazardous materials, sharp objects, and other things that aren’t safe for kids and pets to play around. 

Decide What to Do With Salvaged Materials and Debris

Talk to your demolition contractor about what to do with salvaged materials and debris. In most cases, your contractor will haul away debris and waste to the proper facilities. However, you may have some say in what happens to any salvaged materials.

Some homeowners may choose to keep those salvaged materials to use in the construction of their next home. Other options that you may want to consider include selling those materials and donating them. Your demolition contractor may even be willing to buy those materials or take them off your hands as a donation. 

Don’t put off this conversation until after the demolition is complete. The last thing you want is to be left with a pile of building materials and no plan! This should be your final step before demolition begins.

Learn How to Demolish a House In Your Region Before Knocking Down Walls

We hope we’ve given you a sense of how to demolish a house the right way. By following these steps, you can ensure a smooth, safe, and most of all legal demolition. It’s not quite as simple as knocking a house over with a bulldozer, but it doesn’t have to be overly complicated, either. You should start searching for demolition lincoln NE companies that can safely conduct the process. 

Looking for more ways to approach property ownership the right way? Take a look around for advice, guides, and DIY tips to boost your experience as a property owner. 

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