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.


Final contract plans received by email and other progress updates

8 03 2012

Yesterday we received an email from our CSC, Karen, with our final contract plans (pleasant surprise).  It is very exciting to get the plans as we now can review what all the internal elevations (bathrooms, laundry, kitchen etc) will be like.  It is starting to feel more real now that we are getting towards the end of the contract phase.

Last weekend we took the Habitat Group plans from our electrical appointment and walked through the Greenvale Nolan display home to ensure what we have planned on paper will actually work for us.  We found this excercise really valuable as we picked up a few improvements such as relocating switches and powerpoints to better locations. We marked up the electrical plans with the changes and submitted them today.

In other news we have also had the block decontaminated and cleared of any asbestos.  We organised Adrian from Asbestos Audits to come and clean the site and also provide us with an Asbestos Clearance Certificate which Metricon required before any builders could step on site.  Adrian was really efficient and got the site cleared up which thankfully resolves the unwanted setback we had been facing.


An unwanted setback today

20 01 2012

Today we received a call from our CSC at Metricon to inform us about some asbestos found on our block when the construction manager inspected the site earlier in the week.  Metricon will not start any work unless the site is clear of asbestos – and we would not expect them to.  It seems our demolisher Amor and Moe from VicWide Demolition didn’t finish the job properly by cleaning up and decontaminating the site.  We have  previously asked VicWide Demolition to produce an asbestos clearance certificate, but they have not provided one as yet.

After reading a few blogs, it seems finding asbestos residual after demolition may not be that uncommon – from Cam & Kirsten’s Blog:

The other issue that we have been dealing with this week was post-demolition asbestos residue. All homes built about the time our original old house was, have asbestos in one form or another. We had asbestos removal done prior to demolition but some more residue was spotted along the fence boundaries by out site supervisor last week and we needed that cleaned up before Metricon will send anyone to site start, and that’s fair enough. Jim the demolisher was onto it quickly and to cut a long story short, we have had another site clean and Metricon is now in possession of another independent asbestos clearance certificate.

We are waiting for Metricon to provide more specific details about what they found.  Our next task is to get an asbestos removalist to decontaminate the site and provide an asbestos clearance certificate.  Hopefully, we will get this resolved quickly.


D-Day: The demolition has started

1 12 2011

The temporary security fence from Australian Temporary Fencing (ATF) Services went up yesterday morning.  The fence is required whilst demolition is in progress and will need to remain until the builders get on site.  When the building construction starts, the builders will setup their own fence.  So until then I will need to supply the fence to prevent people coming onto the property although it will just be a piece of dirt.  We organised a 9 month hire as we weren’t sure when the building construction will start and Christmas is only just over 3 weeks away.  There wasn’t much of a price difference between a 6 or 9 month hire (approx $50).  However, if you went for a 6 month hire and had to extend the cost would be significantly more.

The person who installed the fence seemed to be in a hurry to get to another job.  He didn’t set up the fence correctly on the left side of the property, although we were very explicit and clear where it should go.  There are bushes and trees which need to be removed on the other side (outside) of the fence.  We will now need to make sure the demolisher doesn’t forget to removes those as well.

Today was the first day the demolisher started work.  The roof tiles were removed and most of the garage has gone.  There was some additional asbestos in the eaves which were not obvious until the roof tiles were removed.  The demolition job may take a little longer than anticipated due to the additional asbestos.

Here are some initial progress pictures