How to Determine a Building’s Demolition Cost and Suggested Tips to Save Money on the Demolition Aspect of Your Project

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At one stage of the life of a business, you will need to consider transferring your location. Moving your business’s site could be because of expansion or determining that physically getting nearer to your market will be more economically feasible. Sometimes, you may consider moving into a dated structure. However, the cost of renovation work could be prohibitive, and this cost could run over the ceiling because maintaining the structural integrity is not cheap. The decision to consider demolition comes in when looking at the long term to minimize costs. Here below are considerations when making reasonable estimates to achieve cost friendly demolition when planning to have your target structure demolished to make way for your new facility.


How Location Affects Demolition Costs

Location affects demolition costs in several ways. The fees charged by authorities to grant a license for jobs in demolition greatly vary by state. Moreover, the cost of demolition within a state varies greatly as well. Some cities favor that tenants consider rehabilitating old buildings. This means the authorities will charge a higher premium should you have the structure demolished instead of putting up a new one. And generally, demolition costs vary widely by region. Jobs done in the south and the midwest tend to be less expensive than those on the East and West coasts. 

Estimates associated with demolition cost is usually based on the square footage of the project. Nationally, this varies between $4 to $8 per square foot. To get the total estimated cost of demolition is by multiplying the square footage by a dollar amount in that range (depending on the considerations previously discussed). The price per square foot is not linearly proportional to the size of the project, and bigger projects tend to be cheaper per square foot.


Special Considerations That Will Affect Total Costs of Demolition

Once you have factored in the effects of the location and size of your demolition project, it is time to consider other factors that will affect the total cost of demolition. Hazardous materials such as asbestos may cost an additional $2 to $3 per square foot to remove and manage. There are qualified sub-contractors that can do this for you, and you may need to consider doing this to avoid workers from exposure to hazardous materials.  

Another consideration is the cost of demolition permits. On average, a demolition permit can cost around $200. But permit costs can run up to $10,000 if you seek to do demolition work in a city that discourages demolition. Don’t forget the cost associated with the preparation for the permit. Secure a checklist first so you won’t be surprised by the expenses. One item is preparing for safety precautions. You may have to either hire specialized personnel or acquire specialized equipment for uncommon tasks in your practice. For instance, if you are not familiar with the demolition of steel structures, you will need to hire technical personnel or acquire specialized equipment for the site. Lastly, you will need to consider the cost of hauling away the debris. The expenses of hauling (or management) of debris will also vary according to location (which is usually the location of the disposal facility to the site and which equipment will be used to haul the waste materials), materials, or degree of difficulty. 


Included and Excluded Costs

Demolition would mean the complete tearing up of the whole structure, including its foundations. An initial estimate may not include tearing up the foundation. If you have plans to build your new structure totally, you may have to provide an estimate that will include the foundation. 


The Recommended Steps To Save Money on Demolition

  1.  Keep in mind the considerations outlined in this chapter. Note that professional demolition companies will generally provide a no-cost estimate for any sizeable jobs in demolition. The company will base an assessment on factors including the size of the job, permit requirements, handling of hazardous materials, and considerations related to location. It is helpful to know the full details to anticipate all likely scenarios and items that incur costs, such as specialized equipment.
  2. You can save on costs by asking for a separate quotation on debris management and removal. You can scout several local hauling companies for good deals. 
  3. You can also help defray the cost by handling parts of the project yourself, such as waste management and removal.
  4. Do a thorough inventory of the site. Sort out articles that you can recycle or donate. You may be able to save on cost by repurposing reusable building materials, office supplies, and others.


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