How It’s Done: Home Demolition

Home demolition in NJ seems like it should be an uncomplicated, straightforward project. But there’s a lot that goes into the process to ensure a safe, efficient demo. Not only do you need the right equipment, but it’s also important to design a plan that covers everything from demolition permits to waste disposal.

It doesn’t matter if you need residential or commercial demolition, the most effective method is to hire services from a demolition company in NJ. DIY demolition can be both dangerous and complicated, especially when taking down a large structure such as a home or garage.

Here’s an overview of the essential steps that need to be followed for your demolition project:

Plan Your Demo Project

The first step of demolition is to determine the work that you want to be done. What is the purpose of the demolition? Does the entire structure need to be removed, or only interior materials for a renovation? The planning process is critical to managing your budget and ensuring that everything turns out as desired. It’s important to check and re-check your plans before moving forward with the project.

Talk to a professional demolition company for guidance. Together, you can create a running list of everything that needs to be done. Then, compare the cost of service for this scope of work. Typically, labor accounts for between 15 – 30% of your budget. Plus, you need to add in costs for machinery use, materials, debris removal, and more. It’s smart to build in a 10 – 20% contingency to cover unexpected costs that might come up.

Select a Demolition Method

The demolition method is selected based on the type of project you are completing. The simplest way to determine the proper demolition services for your needs is by talking to an industry expert for recommendations. In the demolition industry, it is common to use either traditional mechanical demolition, deconstruction, or a combination of both of these methods.

Traditional Mechanical Demolition

Traditional demolition is the most commonly used method. Heavy machinery, such as hydraulic excavators, are used to rip down the building. As the materials come down, the area is cleared by moving the debris off-site in a dumpster or trailer.


Deconstruction is another option, also known as “demolition by hand.” This process involves manpower to take the house apart piece-by-piece. The benefit of deconstruction is that many of the materials can be salvaged. Deconstruction is a green method for demolition, but it is a slower method of taking down a structure.

A general demolition company in NJ will be ready to handle common projects, such as tearing out concrete slabs or full house demo. In some cases, specialized demolition services are required if the building has asbestos or other hazardous conditions that need to be handled.

Hire a Demolition Company in NJ

While a DIY approach might seem like a cost-effective solution, it’s usually best to hire a demolition company if you don’t have experience in the construction industry. Demolition is more than tearing out sheetrock with a hammer in hand. You need to be aware of the wiring, building safety, construction regulations, and more.

Before you start the project, consider these four reasons to hire fully licensed general contractors:

  1. Safety: Demolition can be a dangerous task due to falling debris, plumbing systems, electrical wires, and hazardous materials. When a team of experts is hired for home demolition in NJ, it gives you the peace of mind to know that the work will be done according to code. A knowledgeable construction crew reduces the risks by using the right safety gear and ensuring that all crew members are highly trained.
  2. Efficiency: How long will it take to complete the demolition if you only have time to work on the project during the evenings or weekends? Hiring a professional demolition contractor ensures that the demo will be completed quickly and efficiently. Remember that demolition is just the first stage of the construction process. If you encounter delays with the demo, then it will push back your entire schedule.
  3. Quality: The best way to ensure professional results is by hiring a professional team. Choosing the right demolition contractor ensures that the job is done right the first time. Additionally, you will be able to avoid hazardous conditions and expensive mistakes.
  4. Full Service: A demolition company handles every detail of the project from start to finish. You can sit back and relax, knowing that the project is in good hands.

When hiring a demolition crew, ask the right questions to know if they offer both residential and commercial services. You should also find out about the crew’s licensing, certification, and insurance.

Complete the Inspection

Not only will the demolition company in NJ meet you on-site to design a plan for the project, but you also need to hire the services of a professional inspector. The inspection requirements vary depending on the state and city where the property is located. When you choose Mikula Contracting Inc., rest assured to know that our team handles all the details for inspections and permits.

The demolition of older buildings and homes requires special inspection services to check for the presence of lead paint, asbestos, mold, rotting wood, and other potential hazards. If the inspector discovers any of these issues, then the demolition team will follow specific safety protocols. In some cases, a portion of the work might need to be subcontracted to an environmental specialist.

Obtain the Permits

You’ve hired a demolition contractor and completed the inspection, but there are a few more things that need to be done before the work gets underway. In most situations, a permit needs to be in place before the heavy machinery is brought on side.

The construction crew usually obtains these demolition permits, with applications submitted through the local city or county government. The exact permits required depend on the size of the project, type of work, and the local laws and regulations.

Not only will your demolition team obtain the necessary permits, but they also hold the responsibility of abiding by rules for home demolition NJ, such as noise, debris disposal, house of demolition, etc. It’s essential that you hire an experienced demolition company that is familiar with the local regulations.

Prep Before Demolition Day

A few last-minute details need to be coordinated before the actual demolition begins. Even though the demolition crew can handle most of the planning and equipment needs, a few preparatory steps need to be managed by the property owner.

Recover Salvage Items

Are there any reusable items in the home that should be saved before the full demolition? Your home demolition company in NJ can provide recommendations for recyclable or reusable materials in the building. Not only does salvage recovery keep items out of the landfill, but it could potentially save both money and time when done right.

One option is to contact local charities and organizations. For example, Habitat for Humanity offers deconstruction services, and the recovered materials are reused or sold for charity purposes.

Disconnect Services

Active gas and electricity can pose a serious risk during demolition. All services and utilities must be disconnected before the work commences. Talk to your utility providers to disconnect water, electricity, gas, and sewage. In most cases, service termination should be done at least two weeks before the demolition date. Many utility companies require the request in writing.

Failing to skip this step could be dangerous to the work crew. Additionally, demolition could result in utility services being lost in neighboring homes. If the drainage infrastructure is damaged, you might be facing an expensive bill to clean up the mess.

Ensure Safety on the Work Site

Not only do you need to turn off the utilities to reduce the danger on the worksite, but other safety measures should be considered as well. For example, temporary barriers can be used to contain debris and keep unwanted guests off the property. Precautionary measures need to be in place to protect nearby buildings, streets, and people.

Talk to the Neighbors

Demolition can be loud, so it’s smart to talk to your neighbors before the project begins. Giving the surrounding homes a warning about the demolition days and times can be a gesture of good faith. Show your respect for other people in the area by being open with your plans. Consider taking a small token of gratitude, such as a treat or bottle of wine, when talking to the neighbors about the upcoming demolition.

Book a Place to Stay

Even the smallest demolition jobs can be loud and messy. The moment the sheetrock starts coming down, you can expect a large amount of dust to settle in your home. Don’t assume that you can live in a section of the home while the work is completed in other rooms. You’re better off to plan another place to stay during the demolition. Talk to family or look for a local Airbnb or hotel.

Demolition Day

The actual demolition can be done in a day (for smaller projects) or might take a few days (for larger projects). When the work commences, the materials will be pulled off the house then moved into a dumpster or back of a truck.

A variety of demolition equipment will be used on-site to efficiently knock down the property while maintaining the safety of the site. If deconstruction is needed for a small area, then handheld tools can be used to pull out the equipment. Larger projects require the use of big machines, such as bulldozers or excavators. Commercial demolition might be done using wrecking balls or high reach excavators if needed.

The heavy equipment can be multi-purpose with built-in attachments, including shear attachments on the excavators or hydraulic hammers to remove reinforcement in the building.

Our crew members are highly trained to ensure safety at all times. We maintain strict standards for equipment quality and maintenance, and the drivers are licensed and certified to operate heavy machinery.

Debris Removal

Sometimes the debris removal can require just as much work as the demolition itself. Dumpster rental is a simple solution for debris removal. It is essential to consider the number of materials that will be removed to ensure you have enough space to haul away the debris.

Professional removal services can be used to haul the debris to the landfill. If you hire a demolition company NJ, then talk to the contractor about the strategy for debris removal. In most cases, your contractor will include demolition debris removal in the scope of work.

The final result after demolition and debris removal: stripping the worksite “down to the dirt.” Everything will be taken off-site, including the framing, plumbing, and even house foundation.

Cleanup and Site Prep

The final cleanup includes removing any remaining debris that needs to be cleared away from the job site, as well as packing up the heavy equipment and hauling everything away. In many situations, the project is just beginning when the demolition is finished. If you are moving forward with the same contractor to build a new structure on the property, then the same heavy equipment might remain on site to be used for excavation.

The cleared land provides a blank slate where a new foundation can be placed. But there are often site prep tasks that need to be handled as the construction team moves from home demolition in NJ to the construction phase.

Customized Demolition Services

What are your reasons for hiring a contractor to help with home demolition NJ? You might be clearing the property to rebuild a better building. Or, the lot can be repurposed for other functions, such as green space or a parking area. As you evaluate your long-term goal for the property, it’s easy to see that quality demolition services are the first step to improving the site.

At Mikula Contracting, Inc, our experienced team offers more than 70 years of experience in the industry. We offer both residential and commercial demolition services, as well as excavation, drainage services, and more. Whatever your reason for demolishing an existing building, we will serve your needs efficiently and effectively. Reach out to our team to schedule a consultation.



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