Commercial Demolition FAQs: What You Should Know

Taking on a commercial demolition project is a huge undertaking and must be carefully planned and executed. Researching to find the right demolition company is vital to ensure that the project gets done safely and efficiently. You may have several construction questions regarding commercial demolition. And it’s important to take in as much knowledge as you can before hiring a contractor. 

Commercial Demolition Basics 

Finding out as much information as possible before hiring a commercial demolition contractor is essential because you want to ask the right questions to find out how experienced the team is. We can start with the basics. Here are some answers to your commercial demolition questions: 

What does demolition mean? 

Demolition is the process of dismantling a structure, clearing the site, and recycling and salvaging the materials left over. There can be interior demolition, which is pulling out carpets and removing walls for interior reconstruction. And there can be partial demolitions if only part of the building needs to be removed. 

What is a commercial demolition? 

Commercial demolition consists of taking down commercial buildings such as hotels, hospitals, and malls and clearing the land to build a new structure. Demolition contractors are highly skilled, and the equipment required for a demolition project are loaders, cranes, wrecking balls, and for specialized projects – explosives. 

What does the demolition process involve? 

The demolition process is detailed. A contractor should freely discuss their approach to commercial demolition. Every step is considered vital to the safety of the workers and the environment. 

  1. Check for any desired materials inside. Clear out the building. 
  2. Check for safety risks, like asbestos or toxic chemicals. 
  3. Decide on the demolition method that best suits the commercial building, including deconstruction or demolition, and if the use of explosives is needed. 
  4. Ensure the safety of all people involved, including the workers and people working in close-by buildings. Seal off the building once it has been identified as condemned. 
  5. Demolish the structure. 
  6. Clear the land by recycling and salvaging all materials possible, including insulation, concrete, metals, flooring, ceiling tiles, roofing materials, plasterboard, and wiring. 

Each company will have its own procedures when it comes to the demolition process. Ask the company for their step by step process and take a look to see if safety and asbestos abatement measures are included in their general demolition plans. Take it as a red flag if you cannot get a clear answer on the safety topics. 

How are demolition and deconstruction different? 

A deconstruction involves going through the building and removing any salvageable material piece-by-piece to recycle the materials. Deconstruction happens from the inside out. Demolition uses heavy machinery to take down the structure, but the rubble doesn’t all go in the trash. A recent survey by the National Demolition Association in 2018 found that 90% of demolition materials are also reused. 

Should I use a commercial demolition service? 

A commercial demolition service will have all of the certifications and training needed to remove the structure safely. Commercial demolition is a highly monitored business, with constant safety measures being enforced and evaluated with each company that offers this service. Hiring a commercial demolition service will guarantee that the construction team has the correct equipment and safety training to correctly perform a demolition. 

How do I find a good commercial demolition contractor?

Experience is critical when choosing a commercial demolition contractor. You can ask what buildings they have been involved in removing. You can speak to other commercial real estate experts who have worked with the demolition contractor. Search for reviews on the company. Always do your due diligence in researching a contractor for hire, especially when it comes to such sensitive safety measures. 

The most important aspect of a commercial demolition project is finding the right team. When you have a team you trust who will strictly adhere to safety measures and stick to the timeline, you can be sure that the risk will be minimal. A commercial demolition contractor should be skilled and have experience in the safety measures associated with a commercial demolition project. 

Cost-Related Commercial Demolition FAQs

While a demolition cost can vary, it’s essential to be aware of the price range for a commercial demolition project of your size. A commercial building can be large or small, so we can go through some frequent questions on estimating your project’s cost. 

What can you expect to pay for an average commercial demolition cost? 

The average cost of commercial demolition is $4-$8 for each square foot. The costs are higher on the East and West coasts compared to the South and Midwest. As the size of the building increases, the price per square foot goes down. The costs can vary largely depending on the project and the timeline, and how much is expected to be salvaged. 

How to estimate the cost of a commercial demolition project? 

There are a few factors when estimating the cost of a commercial demolition project. And, of course, the cost can vary from state to state. You will want to consider 3 things before determining a ballpark cost for your demolition project: 

  • Square Footage of Structure: Calculate the cost for your structure by multiplying the square footage by the going rate of the contractor. The range should be around $4-$8 per square foot. And keep in mind that if it is a particularly large building, the price per square foot can go down as the square footage increases. 
  • If Asbestos Are Present: The removal of asbestos to ensure safe air quality during demolition can significantly increase the price. Learn if your building has the harmful substance in it before getting quotes for your commercial demolition project. 
  • Permit Cost: Before any major construction project, there must be permits acquired before starting the project. And those permits cost money. Also, allow for the time to receive the permit in the timeline. 

Remember, these factors are all for rough estimates. The contracting team will need to visit the property and look at the logistics and details that demolition would require for your specific structure to give an accurate cost projection. 

Do I have to pay for demolition contractor liability insurance, or does the service provider have insurance?

When hiring a demolition contractor, it is common for the client to require that the company has commercial general liability insurance. The company should be well-equipped with proper insurance to cover the cost if an accident were to occur. This cost is bundled into the quote the contractor provides for the commercial demolition project. 

These simple answers will help you know where to start on cost quotes from various commercial demolition contractors. The contractors will be able to tell instantly that you’ve done your research, and you’ll get right down to business by achieving a fair quote. 

Commercial Demolition Project FAQs

A lot of the questions covered have been general or surrounding the cost of demolition. It’s also essential to know some specifics of each project. Many people are curious about what the environmental implications are of a commercial demolition. And once the demolition is over, what do you do with all of that junk? Here are some common questions about the detailed process of commercial demolition: 

What does a commercial site demolition project involve? 

Careful planning from the start is vital in a commercial demolition project. For the safety of the workers involved and surrounding buildings with employees, the building is marked condemned and publicly announced. The building is searched for any valuable property and checked for asbestos. It is then sealed off to ensure that no one enters the building on the days leading up to the demolition.

Expert demolition contractors follow strict safety guidelines to break down the structure of the building. Having ample experience is vital when it comes to using a wrecking ball and explosives around a team of demolition employees. 

Once the building is flattened, the process of salvaging all of the goods for recycling is started. The majority of the materials are recycled and reused. The land is cleared and made ready for the next construction project. It is also the contractor’s responsibility to ensure that the soil is healthy and void of toxic substances once the demolition is over. 

What happens to materials during demolition? 

When the building falls, the materials are sifted through and salvaged. Cement, wood, plyboard, flooring, etc., are distributed to various recycling sites. The sorting and transportation of this process take a team of experienced workers, and the rubble gradually diminishes until there is nothing left. 

How is debris removed? 

When a structure is demolished around commercial properties, the debris must be removed. A contractor will have trucks and a team to sort and remove the debris and transport it to the correct facilities. Most of the debris from a commercial demolition is recycled. This part of the project can take days as the land is slowly cleared and leveled. 

Does commercial demolition hurt the environment? 

Each contracting company that works on a demolition project should have environmental stewardship over the company and have the welfare of the environment a top priority. Ask each company you are interviewing to explain how they practice environmental stewardship in their demolition projects. This should include minimizing dust during the deconstruction period, checking and removing asbestos before leveling the building, and recycling any materials that qualify for reuse. 

Will I need permits or inspections before beginning a demolition project? 

Yes, permits from the city are needed before any significant construction project. Some cities have stricter demolition rules than others, with a number of cities fighting against demolition and charging more for the permits. The city can promote remodeling and reuse of a building, and therefore, charge more for demolition permits. 

You can budget to pay anywhere from $200 up to $10,000 for a permit, depending on the building’s size. Be sure that the cost of permits is included in your commercial demolition project’s quote. While the permit is required, you do not want to be surprised by any hidden fees that show up later in the project. 

Do we need to check for asbestos before demolition?

Asbestos is a harmful substance found in old buildings, specifically buildings built before the 1980s. It was used in insulation and fireproofing spray. And extended asbestos exposure can cause health problems. If you fail to check and remove asbestos before a demolition project, then it can release the harmful substance into the air and cause health problems to all who inhale that air. 

It is vital to check for asbestos before demolition. Many times, a building is deemed necessary to be removed because it is unsafe to stay standing. Asbestos can contribute to a building being categorized as condemned. Asbestos abatement, or the safe removal of asbestos, should be administered to each building in which asbestos is found before the demolition happens. This can cost an extra $2-$3 per square foot. 

For these details regarding your commercial demolition project, a skilled contractor should be able to answer all of these questions confidently. You want to hire someone who knows about environmental stewardship and the risk related to asbestos. If you are interviewing a contractor and they are flustered about any of these questions, look elsewhere. 

Commercial Demolition Specialists in NJ

A professional and skilled team of contractors can be hard to find. For high-risk projects, such as commercial demolition, you do not want to pick the wrong team. Mikula Contracting has built a name in the industry for being responsible, timely, and safe. The highly-qualified contractors are licensed to handle commercial demolition, and you can be confident in knowing that your job is in good hands with our contracting team. 

If you are looking for demolition contractors in New Jersey, look no further than Mikula Contracting. Our experts are ready to help you with your next demolition project. Whether you have a commercial demolition need or a swimming pool that you need removing, we can get the job done right. Give us a call today for your first consultation. 

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