Planning your build

Thinking of Knocking Down & Rebuilding? What Factors into How Much It Costs to Demolish a House?

The beauty of rebuilding on your existing plot of land lies in the fact that you can have the house of your dreams, without the considerable hassle that comes with moving to a new location. Maybe you’ve grown to be fond of the land in which your current house sits. Maybe you love the surrounding area and have strong ties to the community. Or, maybe you just want a new house on the same block! If so, your first question will likely center around the process of demolishing your house, and how this will factor into the overall cost of the build. Here, we outline what will impact the demolition dollars in your budget.

How Much Does It Cost to Demolish A House?

Considering all of the factors we go through below, including size, accessibility, type of home and the potential presence of hazardous materials, the price can vary greatly. In our experience you would be looking anywhere between $5,000 to $30,000 to demolish your home.

What Do You Need to Consider When Demolishing a House?

We will dive into deeper detail below, but here’s what you need to consider when demolishing your home:

  1. Size of House
  2. Building Materials
  3. Access to Demolition Site
  4. Hazardous Materials (Asbestos or Mold)
  5. Additional Structures
  6. Tree or Landscape Clearing
  7. Distance to Recycling/Disposal Center
  8. Size of House Being Demolished

Size of the House

Yes, the size of your house will impact the overall demolition cost, with some contractors charging by the square foot. In this case, you can relatively accurately estimate the overall cost you will have to foot based on your home size.

Building Materials

Yes, the material used to build your house can have a significant effect on how much your house demolition costs.

A wood-framed house is generally cheaper to demolish than brick or concrete, which are heavier materials requiring special machinery. In many cases, wood can be salvaged and recycled, which will bring down the overall cost of your demolition.

Level of Access to House

Your site grade and access for demolition equipment may also have a bearing. Essentially, if the home you wish to demolish is in a difficult to reach location, this will make it more difficult to transport demolition equipment, transportation vehicles and disposable material from the site, therefore increasing costs of labor, equipment hire and more.

Hazardous Materials (Asbestos or Mold)

How do you demolish a house with asbestos or mold? How much does it cost to demolish a house with asbestos or mold?

If your house was built between 1920 and 1990, there’s a good chance that asbestos was used in construction. This will boost your budget, as asbestos is about three times more expensive to remove than standard building materials – due to the specialist skills, extra labor and treatment required.

The same goes with mold, as the hazardous material needs to be disposed of safely by experienced technicians. Schedule an asbestos and mold inspection of your home before demolition to find out what type of demolition you require.

Other Factors That Need to be Considered When Demolishing a Home

Additional factors that will impact the cost of removing your existing home include:

  • Extra structures that need to be removed, like a shed or pool.
  • Trees or shrubs that need clearing to allow for your new build.
  • Distance to recycling or disposal centers, which adds to transportation costs.

These factors are more specialized factors that can drive up the price of demolition as well. These are not necessarily going to add a great deal of money to your total, but if they apply to you they will need consideration.

The Demolition Process

Before you sign on to demolish your home, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the demolition process. Your supplier may offer to handle everything for you; or there may be parts you need to take care of yourself.

Do I need a permit to Demolish House?

You’ll need the proper paperwork in place before you begin demolishing your house. This involves working with a private certifier, submitting forms to your local county and paying any necessary fees. This process may take several weeks, so it’s better to start early with this part of the process. Most importantly, you’ll need to check whether there are any restrictions on demolition or tree removal.

Services Disconnection

Here, you’ll need to work in close cooperation with your demolition contractor. Usually you’ll need to disconnect your electricity, gas, telecommunications and water/sewer prior to starting the demolition of your house, however check whether your supplier needs water for any asbestos removal first.


It may be a local council requirement for your home to be baited for rodents in the weeks leading up to your house demolition. This is to stop any pests spreading to your neighbours’ homes.

Choosing a Demolition Contractor

Your builder may sort this out for you, but if not, it’s important to choose a demolition company that has all the necessary licences, up-to-date equipment, proven processes, and to understand where and how they will dispose or recycle your building debris. Be sure to find a demolition contractor that will be able to do all of the work you require at a competitive price point.

How Long Does it Take to Demolish a House?

The physical act of knocking down your existing house usually happens relatively quickly – in some cases it only takes a day. But you’ll need to allow around two months to walk through the full process, which needs to be factored into your building project plan.

Most importantly, with your demolition done your site is now ready for the most exciting step: construction of your dream home.

If a knockdown-rebuild ticks all your building boxes, talk to a specialist. G.J. Gardner Homes not only has a huge range of home designs that can be customized for your lot, but we’ll take care of each and every step (including demolition), so you can relax and enjoy your build.