House Demolition

14 05 2012

Here is some information regarding house demolitions and getting quotes based on our experience.

It may take a few weeks to obtain the best demolition quote to suit your needs and obtain a demolition permit, not to mention time for disconnecting the services etc.  In addition to allowing time for a demolisher to respond to your quote requests (some took 2 weeks), you should also allow some time before the demolisher starts their job as they may have jobs already planned.  But once the demolition starts, it doesn’t take long to complete it (ours took 9 days).

You may wish to ask a few additional questions when obtaining a quote, please find below a list to get you started.  This is not an exhaustive list, but should get you started.

  • What’s included and what’s not in the price?
  • Do they arrange Demolition Permits?
  • Do they remove vegetation?
  • Do they have insurance, what for? (permit approval requires the demolisher to have insurance)
  • Timeframes for starting & completing the works?
  • Items removed other than the house, existing drains, retaining walls, asbestos etc..?
  • Front Meter and upright tap to remain
  • Sewer pipes are to be removed and taken back to Sewer tie
  • Gas to be terminated back to main
  • Power to be terminated at power pole.
  • Phone line to be placed back into Telstra pit.

We found the quotes provided varied in price greatly (+/- 40%), so make sure you get several quotes.

Before demolition can begin, you will need to apply and pay to get the gas and electricity abolished.  Make sure you request to get the services abolished and not just disconnection.  Disconnection just stops services being provided to the property whereas abolishment is the removal of the services entirely – electricity and gas meters are removed and wires are cut to the site.  You may also need to contact Telstra to disconnect the phone line.

If you have asbestos make sure your demolisher provides a asbestos clearance certificate.  Builders will not go on site if there is any asbestos contamination on the block.  Our demolisher from VicWide Demolition (aka Victoria Wide Demolition Services) finished their job but left asbestos residual on our site and we had to get an independent asbestos removalist (at additional cost) to decontaminate the site and provide an asbestos clearance certificate.  Make sure the asbestos clearance certificate is part of your quote – if there is any residual after demolition you should be able to get the demolisher back in to clean it up.

Also it took about 2 months for our demolisher to provide the relevant documentation (demolition permit and inspection certificate).  In the end it took Kristen calling daily for 2 weeks, with each day we were promised to get them the next day only to find we had to call again to follow up.  Your builder will require the demolition permit and inspection certificate when applying for the building permit.

[Update 17 Oct 2012:  Another issue we had with Victoria Wide Demolition Services is that they left a significant amount of building debris behind which required additional work and followup to clean up.  Make sure your demolisher provides a clean site and remove all old building materials as your builder will most likely require this before they perform site works.]

We completed our demolition well in advance to avoid any demolition hold ups preventing the construction starting.

The builder may order 2 site surveys and/or soil tests – once before demolition so they can start on the design and perform a preliminary siting and second after demolition so they can finalise the site costs and house design.  By completing our demolition earlier, the builder was able to finalise the contract earlier.  However, by completing the demolition earlier, it may mean you need to do some additional work to ensure the block is clear of vegetation as over time grass and weeds may grow back.

C&K

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