Home Buying: Tear it Down vs. Repair

It is sensible to buy a home in this real estate market that you might consider a fixer-upper. If you can procure a home in an established neighborhood with good schools and proximity to entertainment and jobs, then go for it!

But when you start to break down the costs for repair, you might be in over your head. Why would a house need to be torn down? Consider what goes into a complete home renovation project. Would an update to the existing house cost even more than tearing down and starting over?

If you can’t decide the determining factor on why would a house need to be torn down, walk through the pros and cons with us. Do not forget to consider preparing the land for a new home build amidst established homes in the area. Here are some other steps to examine in the process.

How to Determine Your Solution

As you are looking for a home, consider why would a house need to be torn down? Does the home you found in the perfect location have everything you need? Sometimes, it doesn’t. Some reasons why people tear down and start from scratch include:

  • The Need for More Square Footage: Older homes have smaller square footage than you need. If you would like more room inside the home, then make it happen. Demolition costs to demolish and rebuild could cost less than adding onto an existing home, depending on the extent of the project.
  • A Place to Live During Construction: In many cases, there is a vacant lot next to the house that is perfect for building a new home. You can live in the existing home during construction and then demolish it after you move into the new build.
  • Foundation Issues: It may not be a sound structure if the existing home has major foundation issues. If the bones of the home aren’t solid, then it’s best to start from scratch. The condition of the house is a major factor as to why would a house need to be torn down.
  • The Desire for a 2-Story Home: Building on a whole 2nd story to a home can cost as much as the house itself. You may want to start from the ground up and create an updated, energy-efficient home with all new appliances, windows, doors, vents, pipes, foundation, and roof.
  • Energy Efficiency: A new home is built with updated technology to keep your power costs down. An old house is leaky and creaky. You are sure to lose air through the cracks of an older home.
  • Wired for Modern Electronics: Build a new home that has charging stations built-in with smart home capabilities. You can get those things rewired into older homes, but add them to your estimated renovation costs.
  • Modern Layout: Small bedrooms with a small gathering room and low ceilings were in style at one time. A home like that won’t fly off the real estate market right now. People are on the hunt for grand gathering rooms with high ceilings. An open-floor layout is preferred, where the kitchen is the central focal piece of the home as well as the family room.

If you have added up all of your renovation wishlist costs and found that it makes sense to demolish a house, then what would that entail? If you’ve determined why would a house need to be torn down and are confident you are ready to tear down a house, where do you start?

Do You Have to Demolish the Entire House?

First of all, you don’t have to demolish the entire house. If the home you buy has a lot of structural issues and you are ready for a brand new home, then a full demolition project is correct.

But in some cases, you can keep part of the home. For example, the foundation may be sound while other parts of the house require a lot of work. So keep the foundation and go from there.

Why would a house need to be torn down? Trusted demolition contractors will help you determine which pieces of the house are worth saving.

Demolition Restrictions in NJ

When your builder seeks a permit for your home demolition in NJ, there may be some setbacks. You will find that building codes need to be up to a standard that may be outside of your budget. When you have a team that does it right, they will be able to include those factors in the initial estimate.

You may also find other restrictions in your demolition project like:

  • Historical preservation
  • Asbestos removal
  • Zoning
  • Neighbor pushback

When you embark on building a new home in an established neighborhood, the neighbors may not be excited about all the noise. They also may be wary about the long-term real estate effects that a new build can have in their neighborhood if it doesn’t fit in. When you communicate respectfully, you can come to an understanding with the neighbors before construction begins.

Average Costs to Demolish a House

When you’ve decided you know why would a house need to be torn down and are ready to make a move, it’s time to look into the cost. Consider these factors:

  • Geographic location: It costs more to demolish a house in New York than it does in North Dakota. Keep that in mind as you are looking up average costs. Be sure to search for estimates in your New Jersey area.
  • Square footage of the home: Demolition costs are calculated in price per square foot. You can estimate the price when you know the square footage of your home.
  • Demolition disposal: It takes a lot of work to remove, recycle, and dispose of all of the rubble from a demolition. This should be included in your price when you receive an estimate.
  • New home excavation: Be sure to ask about setting up the land for the new build if you are using a different company for demolition. The ground should be left in excellent condition, ready to start on your new home project.

An average residential demolition costs $8,000 to $15,000. You can gain back a lot of the cost through donating appliances, flooring, and other recyclable materials in the home as tax-deductible donations.

Residential Demolition Contractor in NJ

Now that you know why would a house need to be torn down, you can contact Mikula Contracting for help. Turn your remodeling project into a demolition project. Our trusted experts will help you with your demolition and get your land excavated for the new build. In addition, they can come on-site to determine if any part of the house is worth saving. Contact Mikula Contracting today.


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