8 Factors to Consider Before You Tear Down a House

Even well-built buildings eventually wear out and break down, leaving you with the decision to start on a renovation project or hire demolition contractors in NJ. If you are thinking about tearing down your home, it is important to learn about your options. What is the best way to proceed so you can protect your budget and optimize the outcome of the project?

Here are a few factors that should always be considered:

1. What’s Your Long-Term Goal?

It is essential to decide what you want before the demolition begins. Once you start into home demolition in NJ, changing your mind can be costly if you decide on a different outcome. Not only do you need to think about the demolition costs, but you also need to determine how much you will spend on the rebuild.

Is your goal to maintain the structure of the home by updating and modernizing the features and internal systems? Or, is your goal to open the space so you can rebuild a home that is completely unique? If you are unsure about your goals and the way to proceed, then it is smart to talk to an experienced demolition contractor in NJ for personalized recommendations.

2. Location of the Home

When land is scarce and you have specific requirements for your new home, then sometimes it makes sense to buy a property that comes with a home. Instead of trying to fix issues in an old home, you can pull the structure down to open up the space for new construction. Some of the most convenient neighborhoods are already fully built, which means that the only way to find an empty lot is to buy an existing home, then demolish the building to open up space. In these situations, the main value of the property is the land, not the actual building.

Location should always be a consideration when deciding whether it is worth the cost of demolishing an existing house. If the property is in a prime location for the needs of your family, then consider your budget to determine if it is worth the time, money, and effort to prepare the land for your new build. Often, the numbers add up to a great ROI in the future.

For example, if the location of an old home is in proximity to a great neighborhood with high-priced homes, then you can get the rundown home for a fraction of the market value price. Rebuilding in the neighborhood can help you recover the money spent because of the higher property value you will enjoy in the future.

3. Remodel or Full Demolition?

If the bones of the building are still strong, then you should evaluate the possibilities of a renovation instead of demolition. Remodeling takes a lot of work, but it will result in a truly customized building when you are done. Some people love the creative outlet that comes when working with an existing structure. Other times, it makes more sense to level the building so you can start from scratch.

Not only do you need to consider the strength of the current building structure, but also the size of the building and potential hazards. If you are looking to expand the home or build a multi-family structure in place, then sometimes it is more effective and efficient to choose home demolition in NJ instead of renovations. Full demolition brings the property back down to the ground, leaving only the dirt behind. You will have a clean slate to create the home of your dreams.

Also, the overall cost of remodeling might be more than full demolition and rebuilding, depending on the specific services that are needed. Often, remodeling requires demolition inside to remove walls, flooring, and more. Regardless of your decision, it’s smart to hire a demolition contractor in NJ to assist with the project.

4. Historic Value of the Home

If the house is located in a historic district, then there might be limitations about what can be done in the home. Some cities and counties have restrictions to prevent the full demolition of historic buildings. You will need to talk to the local building department to determine if there are any deed restrictions or city ordinances that need to be followed. These regulations might limit your options, or even put a stop to your decision.

Just because you can’t tear down the entire structure, doesn’t necessarily mean that you are out of luck. For example, demolition contractors in NJ can help with an internal gutting of the home so you can create a layout and design that is better suited to the needs of your family. Complete a thorough assessment of the home to evaluate the possibilities if you need to leave the external structure in place if it is in a historic district. Also, consider that sometimes tax credits are offered for partial demolition and rehabilitation of a historic home.

5. Local Permits for Demolition

City and county codes are always changing, which means that you need to be up-to-date with the local requirements and permits. In most municipalities, there are rules that require you to obtain a demolition permit before the project commences. Most of the time, the permits are handled by the demolition contractor – but it is best to double-check with your contractor to ensure the permits are in place.

Keep in mind that the turnaround time for the permit can take a bit of work. Don’t wait until the last minute to obtain the permits that are needed because a delay with the permit will push back your entire schedule.

Other details often need to be handled before demolition as well such as an inspection for toxic materials. If the home was built in the 1960s or earlier, then there is a possibility that asbestos management will be needed because of the materials used in the original construction.

Finally, look at the permits or disconnection requirements necessary through the utility companies. Reach out to the water, electric, and gas providers to determine how and when the house should be disconnected. This step is important to avoid an accident and potential disruption of services in the neighborhood.

6. Signs a Home is a Good Tear-Down Candidate

These are a few common indicators that it might be a smart decision to hire demolition contractors in NJ for a full tear-down of the property:

  •   House isn’t up to standards in a high-end neighborhood
  •   Smaller-than-average square footage
  •   Energy efficiency issues
  •   Outdated kitchens
  •   Not enough bathrooms
  •   Structural issues
  •   Safety concerns

Older homes require a lot of care and upkeep, so it’s easy to see why a full rebuild might make sense. Of course, every home is unique – which is why it is essential to consider the features of the property and the needs of your family. Just because major building and demolition are needed, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the entire house needs to be knocked down. You might be able to retain the foundation or add onto a portion of the home.

7. Choosing a Good Demolition Contractor in NJ

One of the most important decisions you will make is choosing a demolition contractor to assist with the work. Demolition can be both time-intensive and dangerous, especially if you don’t have experience or the right equipment. In most cases, it is recommended that you hire a reputable demo team instead of attempting DIY for the home teardown.

Before you hire the first demolition company you find, it is smart to do a bit of research and consider your options in the area. Follow these guidelines when you are ready to hire a professional to assist with the demo:

Residential and Commercial

Even though the overall demolition principles are the same for small and large buildings, it is best to hire a company that specializes in residential demolition. You need a team that understands the unique needs of a home teardown. Not only can an experienced team offer specific recommendations based on your needs, but they also have the right tools and equipment to ensure quality service.

Full Service

It can be a hassle if you need to work with multiple contractors for the same project. Instead of piecing everything together with a variety of contractors, it’s convenient to choose general contractors who can oversee the full project. A general contractor will not only tear down the house, but they also assist with removal services and even excavation to prepare the lot for new construction.

Certifications and Insurance

When heavy equipment is brought onto your property, there is always the potential of damage. These expensive mistakes can be avoided by hiring demolition contractors in NJ that are licensed and insured. If you are comparing your options in the area, then ask your preferred contractors about their current insurance coverage, certifications, licensing, and anything else that might affect the overall outcome of the project.

Written Proposal

As with any construction project, it is best to have a written agreement of the price and scope of work. A good contractor will provide a contract that includes all the necessary details for the project: dates, payment details, work completed, and more.

8. Cost to Demolish

When you decide that it’s time to move forward with demolition, what should you expect to pay for the services? The pricing varies depending on a variety of factors:

  •   Size of the home
  •   Use of heavy equipment
  •   Location of the home
  •   Proximity of nearby structures
  •   Full demolition vs. partial demolition
  •   Cost of removal services
  •   Foundation removal
  •   Materials (brick costs more than wood)
  •   Additional services, such as site grading

Other costs might be added on for specialized demolition, such as lead paint removal or asbestos removal. These services require special skills and equipment to ensure the safety of the work crew.

As a general rule of thumb, the average cost of demolition ranges between $4 to $15 per square foot. Most demolition contractors charge by the square foot. Always have this agreed price in writing before signing the contract for the work.

Creative financing options can be used for demolition and also rebuild of the new home. One common approach is to get a “construction-to-permanent” loan so you have the necessary funds for the building phase. Then, this loan is converted to a long-term mortgage after the construction is finished.

Best Use of Your Budget

Not only do you need to look at the overall cost of the demolition, but it is also essential to consider where you want to prioritize your budget. Run the numbers to see how much a full demolition will cost. Make sure that your demo contractor is providing all outlying expenses such as inspection of the home, demolition permits, and anything else that might be needed for the property.

Sometimes, there are ways to cut corners on the demolition if you want to save more of the budget for rebuilding. For example, leaving the foundation in place so you can rebuild on the existing foundation could save you thousands of dollars. That money can be spent on personalized features inside the new home instead. An experienced general contractor can help you evaluate all the options, making it easy to choose the specific services that match your budget and desires.

Getting Started with Home Demolition in NJ

Are you ready to get started with your home demolition project? Then it is essential that you choose the right team to assist. Our team at Mikula Contracting, Inc. offers quality demolition services that can always be customized to your unique needs. We maintain the highest levels of integrity in all services offered to our clients.

We are proud to have over 70 years of industry experience and can assist with both commercial and residential demolition. These services encompass more than basic demolition – we can also assist with drainage services, excavation, and more.

If you need help with home demolition in NJ, then contact us to learn more about your options. At Mikula Contracting, Inc, we promise efficiency and quality for every project. Call today to schedule a consultation with a demolition expert. 

Related Posts