What Is the Process of Demolishing a House?

Is it time to level your home and start again? Whether you bought property on land in a coveted location or own a home deemed unsafe, you are better off learning what you can about demolition. 

For example, what happens to the building materials, and what does the average demolition cost? Speak with a trusted demolition contractor in New Jersey to learn what you can about the process before making valuable home demolition decisions. 

Preparing for Home Demolition

Saying goodbye to a beloved home is never easy. If you or a loved one lived in the house, it’s always a sensitive time to walk through the home and identify salvageable items. Even materials like cabinets and built-in desks can spark memories worth cherishing. 

Walk through the home and take notes of what you need to do before identifying the house as ready to be demolished. Your New Jersey demolition contractor can offer expertise so that you do not miss anything in preparation for demolition. 

Hiring a Demolition Contractor and Inspector

Hiring your demolition contractor is the first step in any house demolition process. Focus on safety and efficiency when looking into demolition companies. Next, you can get a few quotes to compare to ensure you get a fair price for the services. 

In addition, you’ll need to hire an inspector to come in and survey the property for hazardous substances. This may include: 

  • Asbestos: Asbestos grows in popcorn ceilings that were popular in the 70s. The hazardous dust can spread and creates breathing issues for people who inhale it. Demolition does not permit the disposal of the asbestos to the landfill. Instead, it puffs the substance into the air to pose a threat to the community without proper preparation. 
  • Lead paint: Similarly, you cannot bring a dresser or cabinets to the dump with lead paint. Without appropriate measures, the items may be picked up by others and used in their homes. Lead paint requires removal by a professional dealing with hazardous disposals. 
  • Mold: Toxic mold can grow and spread throughout a home, reaching the insulation and growing throughout the wood and flooring. You cannot demolish a home that is infested with mold. The toxic substance must be removed properly before the demolition contractor begins their work. 
  • Chemicals: Chemicals that may cause a fire during the demolition process should be eliminated as well. 

If an inspector identifies any problems, your first step will be remediating the hazardous material from the property. While this may be a costly and extra step in the process, it cannot be skipped. You are required to safely perform home demolition without posing a risk to the surrounding neighbors. 

Getting Proper Permits

Allow your demolition contractor to follow local regulations by obtaining the proper permits. Once the inspection is complete, you can show the report to your city. Then you will qualify for a permit that will require you to follow safety protocols throughout the demolition. 

Demolition safety includes fencing off the property and marking the home for demolition. In addition, you can chain closed the doors or display clear signage that states the date and time of demolition. This is how you can ensure that no one will be on the property when demolition occurs. 

Shutting Off Utilities

A live gas line during demolition can cause a massive explosion which is why shutting off utilities is also a part of the permit process in order to move forward with the demolition project. Your demolition contractor will know to disconnect all of the utilities before moving forward with demolition. 

When you do not have live electricity running through the property, you will reduce the chances of electrocution and safety incidents. In addition to electricity, all other utilities need to be shut off as well including but not limited to water and sewer. Meters will also need to be removed from the property before any demolition can begin. 

Removing Personal Items

Take a tour of the home before demolition day. This is your chance to collect any sentimental items that may be left behind. Check in the crawl space or loose floorboards for memory boxes and photographs. 

If you do not want furniture in the home, send it off to the Salvation Army for reuse. Then, instead of wasting items that are not meaningful to your family, you can pay it forward to another family in need. 

Choosing Between Home Demolition and Deconstruction

Mechanical demolition is a no-nonsense way to take down a home using machinery. While this is the fastest and least expensive method to take down a building, it is not always the wisest. Many states mandate recycling programs to reuse lumber, flooring, glass, and other salvageable items in the home. 

You can responsibly demolish your home by recycling as much as you can. Talk to your demolition contractor in New Jersey about mixing deconstruction and mechanical demolition.

Mechanical Demolition

When you elect to use machinery to take down your home, such as an excavator or wrecking ball, you are ready to flatten the house into a pile of rubble. While this is your endgame, you may be skipping a few valuable steps. 

Filling a landfill with a pile of debris as big as a home contributes to a trash problem. There are materials inside old houses that are in good condition. Speak with your New Jersey demolition contractor about environmentally responsible practices of demolition

Home Deconstruction

The deconstruction process is also referred to as demolition by hand. This means that each piece of your home is carefully taken apart and saved to be used in other construction projects. 

This can include baseboards, bricks around the fireplace, built-in cabinets, copper pipes, and floorboards. A home’s wood and metal structure is salvageable and should not be discarded. 

Deconstruction is the responsible way of conducting home demolition. Please note that at Mikula we do not do home deconstruction however we would be able to work with a contractor on that project and complete the demolition once any items were deconstructed and saved as needed. 

Deconstruction + Demolition

Combine the two methods for a sensible way to conduct your demolition project. Once all of the valuable materials in a home are salvaged, you can use a hydraulic excavator or other machinery to level the house. 

Use a demolition contractor in New Jersey who prioritizes safety during the demolition process. While there is risk involved with operating such heavy machinery, it can be done carefully with the right training and experience.

Teardown and Debris Removal

The final steps in the demolition process after teardown include debris removal. First, the valuable and hazardous materials are cleared out, so now you have a big pile of trash ahead of you. Rent a dumpster or haul away the debris so that you can prepare the land for your next project. 

Consult a Trusted New Jersey Demolition Contractor

Now that you know what to look for in a demolition contractor, New Jersey property owners can see why Mikula Contracting is the team to hire. Our expertise and safety protocols set us apart from any other demolition company. In addition, we are environmentally conscious and can transport any materials to their proper donation center. 

Contact Mikula Contracting to schedule your home demolition today. 

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