Demolition companies help people prepare for new home construction or a remodel. Demo professionals can help take down houses, apartments, decks, garages, outbuildings, commercial buildings or complexes. Companies can provide total demolition services to remove all traces of an existing structure, partial demolition services to prep for a major renovation or interior demolition to prepare a space for remodel work. Some companies will even demo an old swimming pool. Several factors affect the cost of demolition services.
Geographical region affects the cost of demolition services. Contractors living in metropolitan areas with more traffic congestion, cities with a higher cost of labor and regions with higher dump fees will generally charge higher rates.
According to New Home Source, the average cost of razing a home nationally is $8,000–$15,000. Prices can vary as widely as $3,000–$30,000, depending on the home size, the amount of debris created, the total weight being hauled away to the dump (is there a large concrete patio?) and the area of the country the house is in. Large-scale teardown projects are typically completed with heavy machinery such as backhoes.
Demo pros can strip the interior of a room or an entire house down to the drywall in preparation for a home remodel. The cost of an interior demo generally includes dumping fees, gas and labor. Interior jobs are typically done with handheld power tools, pry bars, sledge hammers and smaller jackhammers to better preserve the structure of the house. Here are examples of interior demo costs from Matt’s Hauling and Removal in San Diego, California:
12x15 kitchen demo: $1,250
16 work hours, debris contained in 9-cubic-yard trailer
Break out kitchen island
Remove all countertops and shelves
Remove all cabinets (uppers and lowers)
- Leave kitchen bare to the drywall
6x9 bathroom demo: $900
10 work hours
Cut out tub, shower and shower tile backsplash
Remove tile floor
Tear out cabinets
- Leave bathroom bare to the drywall
Retaining part of a structure, such as the foundation or part of the framework, may be necessary in historic neighborhoods with special zoning and regulations. Some people also simply want to preserve part of the home. Costs are still based on dumping fees, business overhead, labor and gas costs.
Removing a smaller structure on a property, such as a garage, shed or trailer, costs less than a home demolition. Costs vary depending on the weight of the structure, materials, accessibility (can the pros drive their trailer right to the site or will debris have to be hand carried to a truck or trailer?) and other factors. charges the following for outbuilding demolition and removal:
Sheds made of tin: $350–$400
- Sturdy wood or heftier-built sheds with a foundation: $700–$900
One unique demo job that Matt’s Hauling and Removal worked on was removing horse corrals and two structures that filled a 40-yard dumpster. The cost $2,500, $600 of which was for the dumpster rental.
The quantity of debris that a demo generates affects the total cost. Most demo companies roll the estimated dump fees into the total project quote. The heavier the dump loads (especially concrete and gravel), the higher the cost.
Asbestos and lead
Depending on location in the country and what year a house was built, local regulations may require testing for asbestos or lead prior to demolition. These tests will increase the overall demo fees. For example, the Los Angeles County South Coast Air Quality Management District requires a signed asbestos survey report prior to any demolition or renovation.
Dump fees aren’t cheap, says Matt of Matt’s Hauling and Removal. "Clients want us to haul something away for $40 sometimes, but they don’t realize that the minimum dump fee in San Diego is $46. That doesn’t even account for our labor and gas."
- Be realistic about the quantity of material that will need to be hauled away when it comes to preparing your budget.