The Cost of Demolishing a House

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House demolitions having been having a steep increase in popularity in the previous few years, with the surplus of money due to factors such as COVID, people are considering their future options for their homes or investment properties. Wollongong is growing particularly fast, with on average 200,000 residents moving to the area each year, you can see why new money coming into the area brings new ambitions.

How Much Does It Cost to Demolish a House in Wollongong?

As noted on – “The cost to knock down a house isn’t as expensive as building a new one, but it does need to be done correctly. The projected average cost is $17,000 for a three-bedroom house. Unfortunately, many factors affect the price to demolish a home, and the price could run as high as $40,000.”

This demonstrates that the cost for demolishing a house is never static, with so many factors that play into each demolition, the job can oftentimes be more expensive than originally quoted, due to unearthing or discovering items that drastically slow the process down or add a factor to mitigate. These factors are very important to think about when considering a to demolish your house and are discussed below. Our house quotes can vary significantly from the low 20’s to the high 40’s depending on the specifications of the quote and the building.

What are some common types of demolition?

– Part Demolition

Part demolitions are popular and are when the owner wants to only remove part of an existing structure within a property. Most of the time, this will just be a shed in the backyard and the concrete slab it is sitting on, making for a quick and easy clearance that is quite cost effective. On the contrary these types of demolitions can be the most-costly as well, depending on what is to be removed. Part demolitions that involve removing walls and keeping other areas intact can become costly due to the high-pressure nature of using machines in small spaces or the cost of time when hand stripping is required.

– Total or Full demolition

These are the most common types of demolition, removing all existing structures to the ground level in preparation to build. If a new structure is being constructed on the land, then removing all materials down to ground level is a prerequisite. With most owners wanting to build their dream home, or something they have designed themselves; this is the reason why total or full demolitions are the most common type of house demo that we do.

– Hand Strip out

Hand Strip outs are less common in home/house demolitions where we leave the existing structure but clear the interior like a blank canvas waiting to be filled again. This form of demolition is very common in large-scale existing buildings, like repurposing a Bunnings Warehouse into a range of smaller retail outlets which is a project we just completed. However, this can be done on a smaller scale and hand strip outs are typically for when removing brickwork or walls with the intention of keeping the lower level, or with safety concerns for people or structures close by.

demolition service

What factors determine the cost of a house demolition?

  • How big?

How big the house largely impacts the cost of demolition it. The surrounding area that needs to be demolished and excavated and the total size of the site impacts the cost of wastage as well. In saying that, often you can get single story homes that appear cheap and easy to bring down, however they may be built with asbestos, have many trees / stumps in the backyard and a big concrete footprint. Larger homes are typically going to cost more and that comes down to the size of the house resulting in a slower demolition. This means more labour hours and more machine hire hours coupled with more waste costings, shows evidently why big homes are typically more expensive than your standard single story wood home

  • What is being demolished and what is the house made of?

This point is lightly touched on in the previous point, where materials make up most of the costing aspects of a demolition, so what materials comprise your home and the surrounding block largely determines the price of the quote we will give. Materials that we cannot recycle incur the largest costs as we are not able to get any money back on these materials due to the higher costs associated with wasting materials that cannot be used again such as plasterboard, asbestos, plastics etc. Whereas items that are considered valuable may be items such as stainless steel, brick, copper, tiles and other materials that can be easily recycled or made into other products such as aggregate – the main product out of materials such as brick, tiles and concrete. Trees over 3 metres can also incur a higher cost due to the legal nature of having an arborist come and remove the tree and the stump as a matter of necessity to ensure clean flat ground for the builder. When you chuck a couple of gum trees into a quote, you can be sure to expect the quote to be significantly higher and slightly slower than the norm as they must be removed, the stump needs to be ground and the green waste to be disposed of.

  • Property Accessibility?

Property accessibility can greatly impact the speed at which the demolition can take place with demolitions that require a more complicated entry for the machine and the trucks will obviously result in a slower and more costly job. This factor is also important for what is surrounding the building that is coming down as if you have a cleared block with no obstructions then the demolition operator can bring a structure down a lot quicker and a bit more indiscriminately without the fear of safety or damaging neighbours property. So, the ease of access of the machines and trucks as well as what surrounds the structure can impact the speed and therefore the cost of a demolition greatly.

  • Hazardous materials?

Hazardous materials are a costly factor in many home demolitions, with asbestos being actively used in building very extensively up until the 1980’s and not even banned until 2003 in Australia. What this means for many home owners is that somewhere in their homes is likely to be the material known as asbestos or combination of other materials including asbestos which we now know is incredibly dangerous and fatal when exposed to it directly and over long periods of time. You will find asbestos in the eaves, under cladding and commonly used in the wet areas of homes (bathrooms). What this means for you, is that one must consider the possible additional costs associated with a demolition. These can sometimes come as a surprise to the homeowner, as asbestos reveals itself halfway through a demolition and can unfortunately be an extra drain on the funds.

Do you need a permit to demolish?

When looking into building or demolishing a home, you are presented with two options for approval. Through a Development Application (DA) or Complying Development Certificate (CDC). Depending on a number of factors, one of these are likely going to be more suitable for your situation than the other. A DA is an application submitted to your local council and specific requirements will vary depending on the local council your block resides on. CDC’s have been in place since 1998 and have been put in place so that low impact developments and demolitions can bypass local councils saving both time and money.

How can you reduce the costs of a house demolition?

Have you ever heard of a demolition sale? I saw one for the first time the other day and thought to myself what a great idea. Having worked for a demolition company for a while now I am learning quickly the valuable items that often just end up in landfill due to the costs associated with removing it for the company. On the other side of this, is a large number of builders and collectors that would find the value in these items and the gap is connecting these people together. By having a demolition sale, you’re allowing those aforementioned builders and people alike the ability to remove many of the materials from the house well before the demolition kicks off.

Steps to follow before a demolition:

When the team arrives to demolish a home, this is usually one of the last steps in the process. Before demolition, you will need to:

  1. Determine where you will live during demolition. If you’re planning to live onsite, decide if the noise or commotion will affect you directly
  2. Get an inspection to identify asbestos or mould threats
  3. Ask for quotes from multiple demolition contractors with correct references, certifications and insurance
  4. With help from a contractor or lawyer, determine which demolition permits are needed
  5. Apply for the right permits and ask for a timeline
  6. Expect a building surveyor to visit the property to confirm the details in your permit request
  7. You may be told to seek an asset protection permit which covers common areas such as driveways, footpaths, and crossovers.
  8. Once you receive council approval, discuss with your contractor the safeguards needed before work begins
  9. Before work begins, make sure electricity, water and gas have been cut off. Work with your building contractor if these will be restored when your new home or project is complete. Also, consult with your demolition expert before cutting off the source of water
  10. Stay in close touch with your contractor to find out about unforeseen problems which may become increased costs
  11. Make sure that all debris is hauled away per your contract with the demolisher
  12. When the excavation has completed, your land needs to be restored to a usable, safe condition.


These are steps advised by Canstar Australia –

For more information be sure to reach out to us via email –