How Much Does A Home Demolition Cost?

How Much Does A Home Demolition Cost?

Is it better to renovate a home or choose a total demolition and rebuild? And how much does a home demolition cost? Let us explore more. 

When it comes to searching for the perfect home in the ideal location, you may not be able to find a home that checks all of the boxes. For example, maybe the house is located in a great school district with nearby shopping and restaurants. But the home has not been maintained over the years and is in bad shape. 

Why Choose Home Demolition? 

Putting the question, how much does a home demolition cost aside, when would a homeowner choose demolition over renovation? There are a variety of reasons to choose house demolitions: 

  • Foundation/Structural Issues: The costs of repairing a foundation, roof, and windows are so high that it might make sense to build a brand new home with updated features. When you find a home that has so many structural issues, they may be the tip of the iceberg. A house that was not well-maintained can have construction surprises throughout the process that lead to ever-growing renovation costs. 
  • Mold: If you discover mold throughout a house, the cost to deconstruct the walls and replace all of the drywall, insulation, and rotted wood can be astronomical. You cannot live in a house filled with mold without suffering from health problems. A mold-infested home would warrant a demolition project. 
  • Energy Efficiency: A new home comes with modern features like updated windows, doors, insulation, and appliances that promote energy efficiency. Over time it won’t matter how much a home demolition costs because you will save a significant amount of money on energy bills. 
  • Warranties: When you hire a contractor to build a home from the start, your home comes with all kinds of warranties. You can call the team back to repair the roof, siding, flooring, foundation, windows, HVAC systems, and appliances. Unfortunately, if you move into a home with existing warranties, they do not always transfer to the new homeowner. 

If the bones aren’t good, it’s time to tear down and start again. You may be surprised at how much a home demolition costs. Let’s take a look. 

How Much Does a Home Demolition Cost? 

The average home demolition costs $2-17 per square foot. The wide range is attributed to the home’s location, whether rural or in a busy city. It also depends on what part of the country you live in and the competitive construction costs. And finally, the project cost is dependent on what kind of equipment is required.

Here are some other factors that contribute to how much does a home demolition cost: 

  • Foundation removal
  • Dumping fees
  • Asbestos or hazardous materials

When you are looking into demolition costs, think about the cost to rebuild as well. Meet with a trusted demolition contractor to outline the process, including whether you can reuse the foundation or any materials. Any reuse of materials will reduce the cost of the new construction. 

Necessary Safety Precautions

Once you find out a house demolition cost, ask for an accurate estimate from demolition companies that visit your home. Regardless of how much a home demolition costs, do not choose a team that cuts corners when it comes to safety. 

Look for these safety procedures in the outline of the demolition plan: 

  • Demolition Permit: Your contractor should be prepared to secure the proper permit for demolition. Sometimes construction projects can be delayed due to securing the permit, so make sure your contractor is educated on the permit process. 
  • Check for Asbestos: Before any demolition project, the property should be inspected for asbestos. If asbestos is found, there will be an extra cost for thorough asbestos removal, but it is vital to the community’s health. You cannot demolish a building that will spread poisonous materials into the air. 
  • Check for Mold: Mold is also a toxic substance that should be dealt with carefully. The property should be inspected for mold, and the presence of mold will affect the next steps of demolition. 
  • Removal of Hazardous Materials: Other hazardous materials like gas, oil, paint, and chemicals should be safely removed and disposed of before demolition begins. You cannot toss these substances into a dumpster like other materials. 
  • Proper Equipment: Does the company have a demolition plan? Will they use excavators or a wrecking ball? Are they experienced in the demolition of structures similar to the size of your home? 
  • Protective Gear: Ask about the personal safety of the construction team. Do they wear protective gear? Are they instructed to practice safety measures at all steps in the process? And do they take safety seriously? 
  • Roping Off Unsafe Areas: Once the structure is ready for demolition, the home should be closed off so that no one can enter the dangerous premises. 
  • Ample Signage Announcing Demolition Day: Will the team use warning signs or proper signage to announce that demolition will occur and no one should be inside the building? This step is vital to communicate to the general public. 

You will always discover if you are hiring the right contractor if they are upfront about their safety procedures. Ask some tough questions and see if they are transparent about what it takes to demolish a home safely. 

What to Know Before Demolishing Your Home

One thing to note before you embark on demolition is that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing when it comes to the cost. For example, you may choose to demolish the whole home or choose partial demolition. So what are all of the different options? 

Partial Demolition

Many times, partial demolition is used for a pool or garage that is separate from the home. However, when you choose partial demolition on the part of the house that is connected, you have to think about the weight-bearing walls that go into holding up the house as a whole. 

Sometimes it can work to choose a section of a house to demolish. For example, maybe a part of the house was added on by the previous owner. If the construction was not up to code or not holding up well, you can choose to demolish that part of the house and start again. That way, you do not pay the cost of tearing down the whole house, just the section that is not suitable for living. 


Another way that pieces of a home can be preserved for historical reasons is through deconstruction. For example, you can choose to keep parts of a house like the eaves or the windows and demolish the rest of the property. Then, when the new structure is built, you can add back the historical pieces. 

Another reason why you may choose deconstruction is to save money. Maybe the previous homeowners just replaced the windows, appliances, or cabinets. Keep the materials while the home is demolished and rebuilt, and then add them back in. 

Small savings like not having to pay for a new stove don’t sound significant when breaking down how much a home demolition will cost. But if you are calculating the savings of cabinets, appliances, windows, doors, and more, the savings can really add up! 

When you know all of these options, you can make an informed decision on the demolition of your home. Meeting with an experienced contractor will help you make the right decisions as well. A contractor can lead you through the steps of a partial demolition vs. a total demolition. Then, when you get a clear picture of whether you can live on the property during the construction period or need to find temporary housing, you can be prepared to start the project. 

Contact the Experts

Mikula Contracting loves to serve the residents of Northern New Jersey. Our family-owned business is important to us, and we strive to make lifelong relationships with each homeowner that we serve. 

Safety is key when it comes to demolishing a home. If you have questions regarding the total cost or the step-by-step demolition process, let our Mikula Contracting team help. Our company has experience of over 75 years with residential and commercial demolition. We want to help you understand and make the best decisions for your home. So contact your trusted New Jersey demolition contractors today.

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