How to ensure your house demolition project goes off without a hitch

Demolishing a property can be quite a complicated business. If you intend to demolish a house in the near future and are a bit concerned about the potential issues that may arise, read on for some advice on how to make sure this process goes smoothly.  

Establish clear lines of communication with your demolition contractor

It is absolutely vital that you discuss your expectations regarding the outcome of the project with the demolition company. Before the work begins, sit down with your contractor and state what your exact requirements are. If, for example, there are parts of the property which you would like to keep, such as a garden shed, a separate garage or a tree, then make sure to say so during the conversation. This will reduce the chance of the demolition company destroying something that you wished to preserve and ensure that should they make a mistake of this nature, you will have the right to seek compensation.

In addition to clarifying which areas of the property should (or shouldn't) be demolished, you also need to be clear about what will happen to any non-hazardous waste materials, after the demolition work is complete.  It's quite possible that you may be able to salvage and reuse these materials for your own construction project or sell them on for a profit. Rubble and soil, for instance, can be used for road aggregate and landscaping, respectively, whilst surplus masonry can be used to construct or resurface driveways. Similarly, lighting and plumbing fixtures, along with other items such as tiles, stonework, windows and cabinets, may be reusable. As such, it's worth talking to your demolition contractor about this issue. Remember, if you fail to discuss this before the project begins, your contractor may simply dispose of these items at a local refuse site.

Don't forget about your neighbours

Unless the property is located in an extremely secluded area, it's likely that there will be several neighbours nearby who may be affected by the noise, dust and general upheaval that the demolition work will cause. If you don't bother to consult with them before the project starts, you may find yourself having to deal with angry complaints throughout the process itself.

As such, given that most house demolitions take at least a few days, it's important to go and speak to those living in neighbouring properties, to let them know the timescale of the project and to what extent it may interfere with their daily schedules. In addition to providing them with this basic information, make sure to tell them if any of the heavy machinery or contractor vehicles will temporarily obstruct lanes or roads in the immediate area, so that they can be prepared for this and adjust their own car route accordingly.