Demolition Questions: How Much Does it Cost to Demolish a House?

(3.5-min read)

So, you've either purchased a more run-down house in a desirable part of town or you're thinking about demolishing your existing home on your land. One question you may have is, "Is it worth it?" To dive even deeper into this question, you're probably asking the main question, "How much does it cost to demolish a house?" The most straightforward question is...well, it depends. In this piece, we're going to break down some of the factors contributing to the difficulty and cost of residential home demolition.

Residential Demolition Factors

Whole House Demolition vs. Foundation Preservation

In most instances, such as following extensive fire damage, weather damage, or just disrepair, home demolition will include removing absolutely everything — foundation and all. If a home is built on a concrete foundation, the price of eliminating that slab will be factored into the cost of the demolition. If, however, the homeowner would like to preserve the foundation of the home for more a restorative rebuild, that can price will change.

Locational Factors During Home Demolition

When bidding home demolition jobs, many demolition professionals will assess the difficulty of demolishing the structure. Some factors in difficulty include how to demolish a home without damaging any surrounding properties or structures,  access to various sections of the yard to make it easier to use heavy equipment, and more. If there are low-hanging powerlines, possibly a backyard pool, no access to the backyard, or if there are other houses and fence structures built very close to the home, these can all make a demolition project much more complicated and can increase the price.

Hazardous Materials Demolition and Disposal

A demolition professional will inspect the property before demolishing it. During this inspection, they will likely assess if there are any hazardous materials included in the structure's construction, such as asbestos or lead paint. If hazardous materials are present in the building, this will significantly affect the price of the residential demolition. Not only will these materials make demolition more challenging, but the cost to properly dispose of hazardous waste differs significantly from non-hazardous waste.

The Cost of a Do-It-Yourself Demolition

Many believe that they can save money by performing a do-it-yourself demolition. After all, how hard can it be to destroy something? As it turns out, do-it-yourself demolitions are not only often more costly than professional home demolitions, but the lack of experience can make them immensely time-consuming affairs. Experience is crucial in these regards — knowing how to demolish a house, how to dispose of the debris, and how to do so all safely and legally. Unforeseen scenarios can lead to costly hurdles that can cause a do-it-yourself demolition project to cost far more than what a professional demolition company would charge for the same project.

All in Told, How Much Does a Home Demolition Cost?

Industry averages on home demolitions can run anywhere from $5,000 up to $23,000, depending on the size and complexity of the project. It is crucial to keep in mind that these are very much averages and do not reflect every home demolition. For a more accurate demolition price quote, one would need to contact a respected demolition professional.