A Guide to House Demolition

A Guide to House Demolition

House demolition is often a necessary way to clear any unsafe structures and make space for new construction projects. If you’re looking to demolish a house, the process can seem daunting. With so much to organise, you may be unsure of where to start.

Luckily, the knowledgeable team at Hill Demolition are experts in the industry and have compiled this handy guide, answering all your burning questions about the demolition process. 

house demolition

Why would you choose to demolish?

No matter what type of construction project you’re working on, it may seem a little counterintuitive to knock down one house to build another in its place. Why would you not simply try to renovate or retain the existing structure? 

In certain circumstances, demolition may be the best option due to a number of factors, including:

  • Safety:

Houses endure daily exposure to the elements and withstand all manner of stress. Consequently, most buildings will experience deterioration over time. If this weakens the structural integrity of the building, then demolition may be the safest option to protect the surrounding landscape and people.

  • Age:

Houses aren’t meant to last forever and if your building has become worn, outdated and unable to meet modern safety standards, the time may have come for a demolition.

  • Cost:

Sometimes, renovation is not a financially viable option as the building is in such a state of disrepair. In these cases, demolition may be the most cost-effective solution.

  • Redevelopment:

As urban areas evolve and populations grow, there is often a need to repurpose existing structures to meet these changing demands. Redevelopment projects can often breathe new life into these communities and spur economic growth.

Do you need planning permission to demolish a house?

Yes, in most cases you will require planning permission to demolish a house. Demolitions are typically classed as ‘developments’ under the terms of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, meaning you will need consent from the local planning authority. This is because your local council has an obligation under The Building Act 1984 to minimise risk and ensure all demolitions are carried out in a safe manner. Even if the building is already in a state of disrepair and deemed unsafe, planning permission will likely still be required due to the impact of demolition on the surrounding area, including any safety or environmental concerns.

There are a few instances where planning permission is not required. For example, if the building you are demolishing is less than 50m3 when measured externally, or it is a detached agricultural building, you will likely be exempt from planning permission. However, it’s always worth checking with your local planning authority to ensure all regulations are correctly followed.

How long does it take to demolish a house?

Every structure is different so each demolition will be too. The duration of this process can be influenced by a number of factors: the age of the building, the complexity of the project, the demolition method used and the site location, to name a few. Before any demolition occurs, the correct preparation must be carried out, such as disconnecting utilities, obtaining the necessary permits and securing the site. This can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks depending on the regulations in your area. This process can also be complicated if your building has hazardous materials present – asbestos, for example – as this will need to be properly disposed of before work can begin.

It typically only takes four to eight days to complete the demolition itself and remove all debris. However, this is only an average estimate and if the building you are demolishing is a terraced or semi-detached house, this is a more complex process that will require additional time to ensure the adjoining buildings are properly supported.

How much does house demolition cost?

Again, the cost of your house demolition can vary depending on the scale and complexity of the project. To get an accurate estimate, your best bet is to consult with a trusted demolition professional like Hill Demolition. They will be able to assess the specific requirements of your project and provide a comprehensive quote with a breakdown of all costs involved.

Here at Hill Demolition, we’ve been providing comprehensive demolition services to properties across London, Hertfordshire, Essex and beyond for over 50 years now. If you’d like advice regarding house demolition, our knowledgeable team is only too happy to help — simply contact us for more information or to obtain a free quote.

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