Demolition

HOUSE DEMOLITION PROJECT PLANNING

  • House square footage — How big is the home you want to be demolished? 
  • Materials used to build the house — What material is your home made of?
  • Foundation — Will you be keeping your foundation? If not, how thick is it?
  • Access — How close are your neighbors? Are there nearby trees or landscaping you want to be kept intact?

INTERIOR DEMOLITION PROJECT PLANNING

  • Square footage — What area of your house do you want to be demolished, and how big is it?
  • Utilities — Are utilities shut off? Will any plumbing or electrical need to be relocated?
  • Access — How easy is it to access the area? Is it upstairs, downstairs, basement, etc.?

CONCRETE REMOVAL PROJECT PLANNING

  • Concrete square footage — Roughly how much area does the concrete cover?
  • Concrete thickness — How thick is the sidewalk or driveway you want to be removed?
  • Access — Is the concrete easy-to-access, or are there any nearby obstacles?

POOL REMOVAL PROJECT PLANNING

  • Size — How big and how deep is your pool?
  • Type of pool — Is it an inground or above ground pool?
  • Material — What is your pool made of (e.g. vinyl, gunite, fiberglass, etc.)?
  • Water level — Does your pool still need to be drained?
  • Access — Is the pool easy to get to with equipment?
Disposal of demolition debris is a major part of the cost of demolishing a home. Getting a rough estimate of how many roll off dumpsters you'll need for house demolition disposal makes it a lot easier to estimate the overall cost of demolition.  The number of dumpsters required to dispose of house demo debris will depend on the size of your home and the materials used to build it.  Here is a rough estimate of how many 40-yard dumpsters it will take to dispose of common-size houses that are stick-built...

How Many Dumpsters Does it Take to Demo a House?
House Size Amount of Debris # of 40-yard Dumpsters
1,000 sq. ft. 135 cubic yards 3.5
2,000 sq. ft. 270 cubic yards 6.75
3,000 sq. ft. 405 cubic yards 10.5
 

How many dumpsters do I need to demolish a 2,000 sq. ft. house?

To simplify things, we’re going to take a more detailed look at how many dumpsters a typical stick-built 2,000 sq. ft. house will require. Because all houses are different, your exact results may vary considerably. Factors that can impact the required number of dumpsters include whether the home was built with a wood exterior or brick, on a concrete slab or with a basement, deconstructed for reusable materials prior to demo, and more.

First, let's calculate how many cubic yards of C&D (construction and demolition) debris the home will have from materials like wood, siding, roofing, lathe or drywall, and other miscellaneous components making up the home. Here, we are looking at only debris from the home. We're NOT including the concrete foundation and any tree canopy or green waste to remove. Those will be calculated separately.

Calculating the cubic yards of demolition debris is simple and involves converting the cubic footage of the structure to cubic yards while also accounting for the air space in the building (0.33).

For our 2,000 sq. ft. house example, let's assume our home is 2 stories and the dimensions are 40 ft. x 25 ft. The formula and calculation are:
  • C&D debris, including wood, siding, roofing, drywall, etc.
  • (Length (ft) x Width (ft) x Height (ft) x 0.33) ÷ 27 = cubic yards of demolition debris
  • (40 ft L x 25 ft W x 20 ft H x 0.33) ÷ 27 = 244.4 cubic yards of debris

To get the number of dumpsters needed for this portion of the debris, we divide our roughly 245 cubic yards of debris by the cubic yard capacity of the dumpster.
  • 245 cubic yards of debris / 30 cubic yard dumpster = 8 dumpsters
  • 245 cubic yards of debris / 40 cubic yard dumpster = 6 dumpsters
For any significant demolition project, the hired dumpster service will need to be available for multiple trips back and forth to the landfill or recycling center. The dumpster company will deliver a container (or more in some cases) to the site of your intended demolition. You then fill up the dumpster, and the company loads it onto their truck, hauls it to the landfill/recycling facility, empties the container, and brings it back to the demo site, repeating this process until all the debris is gone.  Plan ahead so the dumpster company can dedicate a truck or two to your job for part or all of a day.  

BARN DEMOLITION VS. BARN DECONSTRUCTION

Many people don't realize that demolition isn't the only option when it comes to getting rid of an unwanted barn. Demolition is most definitely the most common option, but deconstruction is a close second.  Deconstruction is like reverse construction. Rather than bulldozing the whole barn down, it is carefully dismantled piece by piece with the intention of salvaging as much wood as possible.
Because deconstruction is done by hand rather than heavy equipment, the process is more labor-intensive than demolition. This means that deconstruction takes longer and tends to be costlier than demolition. However, that extra time and money can pay off.

If you intend to sell the salvaged barn wood, the money made could offset the cost of deconstruction. So, under the right circumstances, you could essentially have your barn removed for little to no cost, while keeping material out of our landfills and wreaking havoc on our environment.

Barn Demolition Process

Demolishing a barn is extremely straightforward. The barn is torn down using heavy equipment, like an excavator or bulldozer, until there's nothing left standing. From there, the debris is loaded into a dumpster and hauled off the property.

Barn Deconstruction Process

  • Take things off the walls and remove everything from the interior of the barn.
  • Dismantle the exterior of the barn, such as paneling and windows.
  • Carefully tear away the roof of the barn.
  • Remove rafters and support beams.
  • Finish removing remaining posts.
  • Clean up around the perimeter of the barn, leaving no scraps behind.

POOL REMOVAL & POOL DEMOLITION

Pool removal typically involves draining the pool, drilling holes in the bottom, demolishing the top, and filling the pool with the rubble and additional dirt soil. However, above ground pool removal is less complicated, involving just draining the pool, tearing it down, and hauling it away.
 
Removing your pool has many benefits.
  • You save time and money on swimming pool maintenance.
  • If you sell your house, it may increase the number of potential buyers and make your home easier to sell.
  • You no longer have the additional hazards and liabilities that come with pool ownership.
  • You have more yard space for other activities or landscaping opportunities.
  • If you have young children, removing your pool eliminates any potential safety hazards associated with pool ownership.

1. Partial Pool Removal or Pool Fill-in Method

How it works: Partly removing and filling in a pool is the most common form of pool demolition. It involves draining the pool, punching holes into the bottom, demolishing the top layer of the pool (18" - 36"), placing the rubble in the bottom of the pool, filling in the pool with additional dirt and topsoil, and compacting the soil. Unless your city requires it, the partial fill in can be done without the oversight of an engineer technician.

Advantages: This type of inground pool removal is often the most affordable option, and is also the fastest to complete (typically 2-5 days).

2. Partial Pool Removal or Pool Fill-in with Engineered Backfill

How it worksThis partial removal method also involves draining the pool, punching holes into the bottom, demolishing the top layer of the pool (18" - 36"), placing the rubble in the bottom of the pool, and then backfilling and compacting. However, the fill-in of the pool is done under the supervision of an engineer technician.

Note: This method is typically only used when the city requires it, but if you're not confident in your contractor's skill, this may be a good route to take.
 
AdvantagesThis method is also a fast, affordable option, and has the added benefit of knowing the area has been properly compacted.

Disadvantages
  • This will be something you have to disclose to future buyers of the property, and it could affect the value of your home.
  • If this method isn't performed properly, there is an increased risk of sinkage, swelling, or lack of proper seepage.
  • A majority of cities consider the area of the former pool to be non-buildable, meaning no additions or dwellings can exist there. However, the area is still suitable for sheds, concrete, landscaping, trees, etc.

3. Full Pool Removal with Non-Engineered Backfill

How it worksThe pool is drained, and all materials (e.g. concrete/gunite, fiberglass, liner, re-bar, etc.) are removed and hauled away. The area is then filled and compacted without the supervision of an engineer.

Advantages
  • Although you will have to disclose that you fully removed a pool that was once on the property, it should have little to no impact on your home's value.
  • With no concrete buried in the old pool, the risk of sinkage and seepage is greatly reduced, even eliminated.
Disadvantages:
  • A majority of cities consider the area of the former pool to be non-buildable, meaning no additions or dwellings can exist there. However, the area is still suitable for sheds, concrete, landscaping, trees, etc.
  • This option is more expensive than partial removal.

4. Full Pool Removal with Engineered Backfill

How it worksThe pool is drained, and all materials (e.g. concrete/Gunite, fiberglass, liner, re-bar, etc.) are removed and hauled away. The area is then filled and compacted under the supervision of an engineer who performs density testing and submits a final engineer review declaring the area "buildable."

AdvantagesThis is the best method for maintaining your home's value. In the eyes of real estate and builders, it's as if the pool was never there.

Disadvantages: This is the most expensive option.
 
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