Home tear down costs

photography by Lisa Russman

We know our clients are concerned about how much money a home tear down costs, it’s naturally the first thing we all wonder about, right? But, after decades of working with local families to help them build their dream homes after a teardown, we can tell you what factors amount to the ‘true cost’ so you can make an informed decision. After all, the point of evaluating whether home tear down costs are worthwhile is because you want more time and space to be with your family. So one of the major costs, if you’re not prepared, is how this process can quickly suck up your time and energy.

The first time-saver is doing your due diligence on land use. You likely have your eye on a town with fantastic schools that are walking distance to literally everything. But before you get too excited, talk to the town or hire a real estate professional to research whether the municipality is open to teardowns and new builds. There may be historical considerations on an older home or local restrictions that would thwart you before you even start.

Once you’re sure you’re working with a tear down friendly town, you need to know that you may not need to raze your home completely. If you still have a solid foundation or a functional part of the structure, your town might ease up on those restrictions. This could save you time as well as money not having to take everything down. At this point, working with an architecture team gives you the best overview of how to mitigate costs while getting the home you’ve dreamed of.

Permits. They don’t just cost you money. While each one comes with its own fee, yes, they can also cost you time. Not only can townships take a long time to issue permits based on the volume of paperwork they’re dealing with but the building team you hire can also impact the timeline and costs. There are demolition, electrical, and foundation-related permits, as well as inspections to schedule and likely toxins to check for which is a common practice in older homes. 

Demolition and deconstruction costs are determined by the size of the home as well as the local cost of goods and labor in your area.  If this is something you need to finance, remember there’s a monthly cost to pay back this loan plus interest. Your team will help you understand your financing and repayment options. A bonus saving that many homeowners don’t consider is the value of recycling demolished materials. Check into salvage yards, metal collection, copper recycling, etc to recuperate some funds. If you’re able to use machines to intentionally remove recyclable materials from your home, you may surprise yourself with the total savings.

Insurance and utilities. You must disconnect your water, sewer, gas, and electricity. While your team of professionals knows to handle this with care, we want to remind you this is a necessary cost. Insurance is something you may not have considered or you may not realize what’s actually covered by your policy. Most homeowner’s insurance plans do not cover the cost of a do-it-yourself demo. Save yourself the heartache now and check the details of your policy! That could mean if you hurt yourself or damage the property during demolition you might have some major costs to incur. By bringing in a team you will have a layer of protection because they likely won’t cause any additional damage and your demolition insurance will be effective. 

You can have the home of your dreams in your favorite neighborhood and by understanding the true cost of your home tear down costs, you’ll be ready for anything!