Demolish it, or polish it


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Demolish it, or polish it

Posted: 7 Apr, 2020
Auther: Craig Edwards

With costs to renovate and extend far greater per square metre compared with building a new house, many people are opting to demolish and rebuild instead.

Building statistics show that the percentage of new built houses in established suburbs is a growing trend, so what are the costs and pitfalls of demolition?

The cost of demolition generally ranges between $12,000 and $40,000. Things that impact the cost include:

  • Size and construction type of house
  • Whether or not there is clear access to the site
  • The size and number of trees to be removed (you may need to apply to your local council for a tree removal permit)
  • Whether there is a swimming pool on site that needs to be removed
  • The amount and quality of salvageable items
  • The presence of asbestos

Most houses built in Australia before the 1980s probably have some materials in them that were made from asbestos. Asbestos in its undisturbed form generally doesn’t cause us any problems, but its removal must be handled by a fully qualified and licensed professional to ensure it is disposed of in accordance with regulations and once removed, the site is checked by an independent hygienist and a clearance certificate issued prior to commencement of the rest of the demolition work.

Likewise, the amount of salvageable items such as timber flooring, hardwood timbers, feature doors, leadlight windows, marble fire surrounds, etc., and appliances will also influence the demolition cost.

Your demolition contractor will be required to obtain a demolition permit from your local municipal council. You should allow approximately one month for this to be issued. And don’t forget to arrange for the disconnection of gas, water and electricity services from your utility suppliers. Again, this can take up to a month to process and your demolition work cannot start until all services have been safely disconnected.

Like registered builders, demolition contractors in Victoria need to be registered with the Victorian Building Authority, and with that are required to carry insurance.

Be wary of cheap quotes. Ensure your demo price includes everything below ground too, like any concrete footings, old septic tanks etc. If it appears too good to be true, it probably is.

If you’re unsure of anything, then Comdain Homes can assist you with any questions you may have.