How Much Does Demolition Cost Per Square Foot? [Calculator]

How much do demolition jobs cost?

We will be looking at standard rates from popular services and factors that influence such demo prices. Our cost guides also touch on demolition costs per m2 and the components that make up such pricing.

Overall, this section discusses the different costs of demolition per square foot.

About Demolition

Before we get into details on the cost of demolition, it’s proper first to consider what demolition entails.

This is simply a controlled dismantling of a building structure. It’s preplanned and executed so that expected outcomes are realized.

We recommend demolition for many situations like an old building, a severely damaged building, and weakened parts of a building.

Also, demolition becomes necessary when the design life of the building is completed and when modifications are to be made to the building’s interior.

Demolition And Its Financial Implication

When remodeling a home, a lot of demolition occurs. These may be necessary to free up space or change the style of the building.

These are just a few of the many possible reasons for demolition. However, our focus is not on the bases but instead on the cost of demolition.

Just as the subject of demolition is quite broad, so is the project’s cost. It’s logical to expect a lot of variances when it comes to the cost of demolition due to the many possible types.

In this article, you’ll learn all of that and more. By the end, you should have an idea of the cost implication.

Demolition Techniques Affect Costs

The type of structure you have will determine the technique applied for demolition. This, in turn, impacts the overall cost of the project.

Examples of demolition techniques include the wrecking ball method, manual demolition, bursting, pressure jetting, thermic lance, and pusher arm.

Other demolition techniques include the deliberate collapse method, concrete sawing, and implosion technique.

When it comes to knowing how much of an impact these techniques have on cost, there’s no way of knowing for sure without inspecting the targeted structure.

In other words, you’ll have to call for an on-site assessment to help determine the type of demolition method to adopt. Also, the size of the structure will play a role in deciding demolition costs.

With this said, let’s get into more specifics on the cost of demolition, among other things.

Factors Affecting Demolition Costs

Having discussed the costs associated with varying types of demolition projects, it’s time to consider the different cost-influencing factors.

These give you a better understanding of how pricing is fixed. These include the size of the property, the materials used, and the contractor hired.

Other factors include location and accessibility, demolition method used, debris cleanup & disposal, and hazardous materials’ presence (or absence).

Others include the type of foundation, overall condition of the structure, attached or detached design, and existing utilities.

  • Size of the Property

The size of most demolition projects plays a primary role in determining the costs.

More extensive properties or structures will typically attract higher demolition fees than smaller ones. However, per sq. ft., they may give discounts for larger projects.

This helps you make more significant savings.

  • Materials Used

What type of material is your structure made of?

Some materials are known to be more challenging than others. For example, demolishing a concrete structure is more complicated than demolishing a wooden frame.

This directly impacts demolition costs.

  • Contractor Hired

Who gets hired for a demolition job is likely to influence the cost of demolition.

Contractors have their unique pricing structures. That is why it’s best to contact multiple contractors to compare quotes. This way, you can choose the best possible deal you can find.

  • Location & Accessibility

The location has a significant impact on the cost of demolition. Certain areas are known to have higher living costs than others. These tend to be more prominent cities.

As such, it’s not uncommon to find higher demolition costs in such areas compared to smaller cities and towns.

  • Demolition Method Used

We earlier mentioned the different demolition techniques there are. Each method has its benefits and disadvantages.

These methods can be broadly classified into those performed manually and where heavy machinery is used. You’ll have to discuss these options with a contractor.

  • Debris Cleanup & Disposal

Most of the costs discussed above include debris cleanup and disposal.

That is because a lot of contractors include that in their service. Without debris cleanup and disposal, you’re likely to have a lower demolition cost. However, you’ll still need to call for cleanup.

  • Presence (or Absence) of Hazardous Materials

Some demolition sites can be hazardous based on the materials used in construction.

Examples of such hazardous materials include asbestos and lead paint etc. Here, a more careful approach to demolition is applied as hazardous materials need to be removed first.

  • Type of Foundation

There are different types of structural foundations to contend with during demolition.

For some, their removal isn’t as challenging as others. A demolition contractor will have to look closely to determine the level of challenge posed and provide a cost estimate.

  • Overall Condition of Structure

The overall condition of your structure matters.

Weakened structures may pose more significant risks than those that are pretty sturdy. The structural integrity of the building is assessed to determine the level of risk and applicable costs.

  • Attached or Detached Structure

Structures such as garages may be attached to the main building or detached from it. Attached systems tend to pose more challenges during demolition as you must carefully dismantle them.

These tend to be more costly compared to demolishing detached structures.

  • Existing Utilities

Is your structure connected to utilities? Most buildings are.

Before demolition is executed, all such utilities need to be removed or disconnected. This takes more time and could add to demolition costs.

Now you have an idea of the cost of demolition. While rough estimates have been given above, you’ll do well to call a demolition contractor to assess your project to come up with a more substantial cost.

How Much To Charge For Demolition [Cost Calculator]

Here is how much to charge for demolition work estimated with a guide of cost calculator indices.

Estimating the demolition cost of a building can be an easy and challenging process. In other words, your level of understanding of demolition cost estimation will determine how it’s perceived.

This article is targeted at homeowners seeking partial or complete demolition services.

So, are you wondering what it takes to estimate or quote a demolition job properly? Here, you’ll find all the information on what’s involved and how to proceed.

At the end of the article, you should better understand how demolition rates are prepared.

  • Cost Of Demolition

If you wish to call for the demolition of your building, there are many things to factor in.

The national average for demolition is around $4,000 to $14,000. This cost applies to a home measuring between 1,500 and 2,000 sq. ft. The average price per square foot is about $5 to $15.

Apart from house demolition, several other types affect varying costs. It’s also important to note that demolishing a house comes with multiple scenarios.

In other words, there’s no single cost for house demolition due to several factors.

To further understand demolition costs, we’ll need to consider other types, such as mobile home demolition and commercial demolition. There are also shed demolition, garage demolition, and barn demolition.

Let’s discuss each of these with details on costs.

  • Mobile Home Demolition Costs

If you have a mobile home you wish to demolish, the national average for its teardown is around $3,000 to $7,000. Demolition costs are mostly charged per sq. ft.

For a mobile home, you’re likely to incur a fee of around $3.50 to $5 per sq. ft. This includes debris removal and disposal.

It’s vital to know that size matters when it comes to demolition. So, an average single-wide trailer home (measuring 15 ft. wide x 72 ft. long) should cost anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000.

There’s an increase in demolition costs for larger mobile homes such as double-wide trailers with starting prices of $7,000 and higher.

  • Commercial Demolition Costs

Commercial demolition has a national average cost of $4 to $8 per sq. ft. Because these types of demolition projects tend to be typically more extensive, they often cost more to execute.

Depending on the commercial demolition project being performed, costs could vary widely from $1,500 to $48,000 or higher.

One of the good things about commercial demolition is the discount that applies to larger projects. In other words, you’re likely to find prices per sq. ft. dropping as the square footage increases.

The more the area, the lesser you’re likely to pay per sq. ft.

  • Shed Demolition Costs

If your type of demolition project involves a shed, the national average cost is between $500 and $2,000.

Sheds aren’t usually as large as homes hence the lower demolition costs. Cost is affected by many factors, including your location, the size of the shed, and the materials used in construction.

Who you hire, the type of foundation, and the type of demolition used all impact demolition costs. These and several other factors (to be discussed shortly) contribute to the eventual cost of your shed demolition job.

You’ll need to speak with your demolition contractor to have a definite cost amount.

  • Garage Demolition Costs

This is another demolition job with a national average cost of around $1,000 to $3,000.

This fee covers debris removal and disposal. Depending on the size of the garage, among other factors, demolition costs could vary from $700 to as much as $10,000.

This can be not very clear for persons seeking to arrive at a definite amount. To be possible, you’ll need to consult a demolition contractor for an on-site assessment of your garage.

Such inspection will determine how much will be paid for its removal. It’s also important to note that costs can vary from one contractor to another.

  • Barn Demolition Costs

The national average cost for barn demolition is between $1,200 and $10,000.

This includes debris removal and disposal fees. You need to understand that such projects are never the same as they could vary by size, building material, and location.

So, it’s logical to expect varying costs. Having the demolition site inspected will help you arrive at the exact prices. Ordinarily, barn demolition projects could cost anywhere from $1,900 to $25,000.

Again, have a contractor assess your project to know possible costs.

Standard Demolition Cost Estimator

First off, proper estimation of demolition costs requires you to leave no grey areas. Grey areas are common, especially where DIY demolition is involved.

More often than not, homeowners tend to focus on areas they’re good at. In reality, demolition projects involve a lot more than pulling down walls.

As a new demolition contractor, you’ll need to be conversant with critical aspects of demolition. These may include a complete understanding of local permits and following all estimation parameters.

In a nutshell, the starting point is appropriately estimating demolition costs is by clarifying or eliminating all grey areas.

The National Average is Important

Whether you’re demolishing a residential or commercial building or structure, you’ll need to understand the national average.

For a residential building, the national average cost is about $8,000, while it’s about $24 for commercial buildings.

However, these figures aren’t enough to help you arrive at an estimate for your demolition project. You’ll need to adopt several approaches.

These range from getting such estimates from more than one demolition contractor.

Additional ways to estimate demolition costs include accurately measuring the structure. An estimate of landfill and hauling costs for debris is also necessary.

Is it an old building? If so, you must inspect such a building for hazardous materials.

Proper estimation of demolition costs should also consider license and permit expenses, among other things.

There are also location-based costs to consider. We’ll need to get into details by looking at each of these critical areas.

i. Obtain Demolition Estimates From Multiple Contractors

Every demolition job is unique. In other words, the cost details for demoing a structure differ from one building to the next. This is hinged on several factors such as the size, location, and lots more.

Demolition contractors also have specific parameters used for cost estimation.

To have a fair idea of cost, you’ll need to obtain multiple quotes from these demolition contractors. An onsite visit may be necessary to carry out measurements.

The multiple quotes obtained give you a clear understanding of what’s involved.

ii. Accurately Measuring the Structure

Demolition costs are priced per square foot. As such, obtaining an estimate of demolition costs will require measuring the structure as accurately as possible. Now, not everyone knows how to measure or calculate square footage.

Luckily, we’ve included information on how to carry out this measurement.

  • Calculating Square Footage

Square footage calculation isn’t rocket science. You’ll need the right tools.

The most common of these include a laser measure or measuring tape. The length and width of the room are taken and multiplied together.

So, a building measuring 40 x 60 will equal 2,400 square feet. Buildings with irregular shapes such as rectangles or squares will require further division into simple profiles.

Measurements obtained are then added together.

With demolition cost estimation, one of the primary things you need to know is that as square footage goes up or increases, the cost per square foot can go down.

iii. Obtain Information on Hauling and Landfill Fees

As part of demolition project cost estimation, obtaining information on hauling and landfill fees is essential. When using the services of a demolition contractor, they might include your hauling and landfill fees in the total cost estimates.

In other words, demolition contractors will mostly handle debris disposal.

However, an understanding of what’s included in the contract is necessary. This is because not all contractors offer debris disposal.

To estimate debris disposal cost, you’ll need to consider the proximity of the demolition site to the landfill.

Also, other factors used in determining hauling and landfill fees include the type of debris and applicable local disposal fees.

iv. Inspecting for Hazardous Materials

Certain circumstances affecting demolition costs are considered unique.

A building may contain hazardous materials that need to be removed. This type of demolition requires a certain degree of expertise and an additional effort to ensure safe teardown and cleanup.

Typical hazardous materials found in buildings include asbestos. The risks involved in carrying out such projects are factored into demolition costs.

Here, demolition costs may increase by about $2 to $3 per square foot to remove hazardous material.

One way of knowing whether a building contains hazardous material is by inspection. It’s best to have reputable demolition contractors perform an onsite assessment of your property.

v. License & Permit Costs are Important

Another tip for estimating demolition costs is factoring in the licensing and permit price. This varies from one location to the next. On average, expect to pay an average of $200.

However, for cities (especially those with lots of historical buildings), license and permit costs can amount to as high as $10,000.

Therefore, to have a fair idea of demolition cost estimates, you’ll need to know what’s applicable in your local area.

vi. Location-Based Cost

So far, several mentions have been made about the impact of location on demolition costs. A clear example is seen in cities with stringent demolition regulations against those without it.

Demolition cost tends to be cheaper in those with lax demolition requirements.

So, what makes a regulation stringent? Such posture is usually taken in areas with lots of historic structures. Also, demolition may be discouraged for purposes of health and safety.

Whatever the case is, not all locations will have the same costing patterns for demolition projects.

Estimating demolition costs follow all the above tips. With these, you have a better idea of how best to approach the issue of demolition cost estimation.