The processes, equipment, and end results of construction are distinctly different than of demolition. Even so, the two are often lumped together and, worse still, many contractors who primarily handle construction attempt to take on demolition jobs. The lack of specific demolition knowledge, experience, and training of a typical general contractor leads to jobs performed in an unsafe, inefficient and ineffective manner. Here are a few of the ways construction and demolition differ, which help to explain why contractors should stick to what they know.
When starting on a new construction project, materials are meticulously planned for. Specific materials are chosen, and specific manufacturers are used to ensure quality and specifications are met. In short, those working with the materials on the job site know exactly what they've got.Materials in demolition are much more unknown. Core sampling and destructive testing can help you get an idea of what's present in a structure, as well as what state it's in, but there are virtually no certainties. And without proper experience and training, testing and assessments may not take place, which forces a contractor to go into a project completely blind. Contamination, deterioration, and material strengths will all be unknown as the demolition work begins without the proper initial phases being conducted by a demolition contractor.
What are the risks of simply looking at the bottom line of each bid for a construction project and choosing the cheapest one? Primarily, that the project will use low quality materials and low quality workmanship. That reasoning often isn't used for demolition work, however. Because the end result will be a vacant lot in most cases, many owners believe that hiring the cheapest contractor is reasonable. There are risks associated with this too, however. Namely, the project will likely fall behind schedule, could be performed unsafely, which could lead to injuries or endangering the surrounding environment or community, and could cost exponentially more money having to clean up mistakes. While the obvious difference between construction and demolition is that one creates while the other destroys, a similarity is that both need to be handled by experienced professionals.
A demolition contractor does more than simply demolish. Demolition is actually made up of three businesses, Contract Performance, Material Handling, and Commodities. That's not to say that construction is simple and straightforward, but it's made up of different aspects. A demolition contractor first and foremost must be able to do the work in the contract. That means demolishing a building, but also doing so in a way that allows for materials to be salvaged and proper safety procedures to be observed. Then, materials from the site need to be properly handled, transported and disposed of or recycled. Certain materials can be sold or re-used, which can cut the costs of the project. Other materials may be hazardous and need to be effectively mitigated.This is a non-exhaustive list of differences, but one that illustrates why any demolition job requires a contractor specifically trained and experienced with demolition.To learn more about our capabilities at Demolition Technologies, contact us by calling 918-379-0966.