Avoid These 9 Common Hiccups for a Hitch-Free Demolition

Now that you’re ready to build the house of your dreams, it’s time to get the old one out of the way – it’s time for demolition. It may be emotional as you get started and you can expect it to get stressful at one point or the other. However, you can make it as smooth as possible by following what professionals have to say and by learning from their mistakes.
With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of hiccups you’ll want to avoid as you move along with your demolition project. Keep reading and discover what you need to be wary of, from initial plans to the clear plot ready for building.

Hiccup #1: Skimping on Planning and Preparation

Don’t mess it up even before getting started. Planning your demolition project in great detail is a must regardless of the size or time you have on your hands. You want to be as thorough as possible, outlining what, when, and how you want it done.

Aligning your scope of work and the timeline you’re looking for through building (and site) assessment will greatly help throughout the process. Proper plans and preparations will help you find the best contractors, save money, and ultimately follow the process effortlessly.

Hiccup #2: Overlooking Permits and Regulatory Compliance

You cannot kick it off until you’ve received demolition permits and getting these can take quite some time. While the demolition contractors often have great insight and offer help more often than not, it’s your obligation to have it in order and follow regulations.

We strongly recommend getting in touch with the local government and only acting on official information to be found on the council website. To lodge an application, you will need site plans, evidence of notifications and site inspections, contractor details, and development/planning approvals.

Hiccup #3: Misjudging Project Estimation

This one’s closely connected to the first two hiccups we’ve already discussed. Project estimation is no easy task for experienced construction and demolition crews, so the same goes for homeowners. Misjudging it can affect your plans down the road so it’s important to manage expectations properly.

Take a good look at your plans and the scope of work, so that you can realign them and alter the timeline now if needed. Contact a couple of contractors and walk them through your plans as well as the site to get a better idea of how viable your estimates are.

Hiccup #4: Dropping the Ball on Communication and Coordination

Many owners, managers, and contractors report that communication is crucial yet also the greatest challenge they face in demolition projects. Clear communication is essential to a stress-free and, even more importantly, successful demolition.

Once you’ve agreed on the project specifics, make sure you are just as clear on reporting and how you want to do it. This means following your contractor’s best practices but also asking for professional, timely, and frequent updates from the site.

Hiccup #5: Neglecting Safety Measures

Safety is your top priority and we cannot emphasise this enough. It’s your site and your project, so you want top safety protocols established and implemented even if you will not be there around the clock. This starts with choosing competent, experienced, and reliable contractors but it does not end there.

You want to ask for a clean and organised site at all times, which is a great starting point. You also want noise and dust kept to a minimum together with other regulations in place, from training and PPE to general hazardous materials awareness.

Hiccup #6: Fumbling Waste Management and Recycling

After a proper pre-demolition survey, you’re bound to have a better idea of your house structure as well as salvageable and potentially hazardous materials. This will affect how you deal with waste management and if recycling can lower your overall costs.

Make sure you have the correct protocols to deal with asbestos in place but also use every opportunity to recycle. Reusing materials on-site can save a lot on transportation and new purchasing costs, while reselling and donating can bring extra money and tax benefits, respectively.

Hiccup #7: Betting on Unreliable Equipment and Machinery

Experienced contractors will tell you how important equipment always turns out to be. Reliable and well-maintained machinery can make all the difference and even a pricey wet plant hire can be better if it means a hitch-free demolition project.

Determine the scope of work, site accessibility, and proximity of nearby structures as you choose fitting equipment to work with. Factor in your budget, sure, but do not bet on unreliable equipment just as you would not bet on an unreliable crew.

Hiccup #8: Ignoring Weather and Environmental Factors

Don’t underestimate mother nature and factor in weather conditions in your project expectations. Winter often means more troubled construction and demolition sites, which should make for serious consideration.

High winds kick up a lot of dust and you should factor in additional safety measures in such circumstances. High precipitation and rain can make the soil softer, which can create accessibility issues for heavy machinery, require new hauling plans, or even create landslides.

Hiccup #9: Settling for Inexperienced or Unqualified Crew

Last but not least, it’s important to take a long look at the contractors you go with. An experienced crew will recognise most of the above-mentioned issues and act swiftly to resolve them, ultimately keeping your project on track.

While budgeting is important, going for a minimum hourly rate with your demolition crew does not necessarily mean you’ll pay the least in the end. Consider the training they have, experience, and reliability before vetting new hires or letting them operate machinery.

Final Thoughts

Both owners and demolition contractors want a hitch-free project and this often comes down to careful planning, serious management, clear communication, and perfect delivery. While there is a lot more to bear in mind, the hiccups above make for a great deal of stress we’ve seen on-site. Keeping these pitfalls and simple tips in mind will surely help you toward more successful operations, where purpose, professionalism, and hard work prevail.