How to Do Demolition Estimates

Written by susan s. davis
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How to Do Demolition Estimates
Demolition projects require estimates that contain detailed, accurate and reasonable costs. (Demolition machine image by Andrew Breeden from

Costs associated with demolition projects can vary widely. Depending upon project details, it is possible to get different estimates from building and house demolition experts in specific regions. Many variables will affect a demolition project and that can make it challenging to accurately calculate an estimate. According to Hometown Demolition Contractors, the average range for home demolition projects can cost from £3 to £9 per square foot of space. Some of the factors involved in determining demolition prices can include location, environmental issues, equipment and labour costs, overhead, insurance and required permits.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Define the location and scope of the work. Visit the site to get a preliminary idea of what is involved in the project. Observe and note if there may be any issues with lead paint, asbestos, access for heavy equipment, septic systems, underground utilities, debris removal and other concerns. Ask about specific plans for the site. For example, if there are plans to rebuild this may affect how the project is handled and costs involved. Find out the expected condition of the property after the demolition project is completed.

  2. 2

    Use a word processing chart or spreadsheet template to input data obtained from visiting the site location. Make columns for a description, type of building, equipment, labour, debris hauling, overhead office expenses, insurance, permits and any other costs specific to the project. Use this form to enter the costs for each category as you become aware of them. Consider comparing your chart or spreadsheet to estimates from professional demolition companies. Use a demolition matching company like Service Magic to receive referrals in your region, by filling in the blanks on the website template.

  3. 3

    Calculate all of the costs for each column in the chart or spreadsheet. Consider extra costs for foundation removal, heavy machinery and excess debris hauling, which can be as costly as £6,500 to £16,250 or more. Figure in additional costs for extraneous and required permits depending upon the type of project. Call or visit the website of the local department of buildings or other entity in the region where the demolition project will occur.

  4. 4

    Find out about particular state and municipal costs associated with demolition projects. According to, prices for permits can range from £16 to thousands of dollars depending upon regional rules. For example, towns near the city of Chicago have imposed municipal costs for as much as £6,500. Add those figures to your total. Review all of your data several times and verify contractor costs. Finalise the total when you are satisfied that you have covered all of the relevant information thoroughly.

Tips and warnings

  • Consider attending a demolition estimation seminar such as one offered by Demolition Industry Consultants.
  • Contact experts in your area about specific contractor issues as necessary.
  • Be knowledgeable about your competition to create a winning, successful and accurate bid.
  • Review information several times and verify all of the data to ensure accuracy and prevent business losses.
  • Document in writing all backup information connected to the estimate, such as salvage, landfill and subcontract pricing. This information could be needed as evidence if any dispute arises.

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