Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Demolition - how I saved $12,000

House before the flood
I had to start sorting out demolition of the old house. It's actually makes me really sad as  I don't want to demolish the house. Even empty and gutted it still has character. I feel like I'm letting it down.

I try really hard not to be too emotional about it all. In reality, it's the same cost to repair the house back to what it was before the flood, which is low set and not flood proof as it is to knock it down and build new. Unbelievable as it seems, I've done the figures and renovations, particularly on an old home, are more expensive per square metre than building new.

My builder doesn't do demolitions but has a supplier that does demolitions for his clients for a flat $20K. That was way over my budget.

I put together a spreadsheet of every demolition company that serviced the Brisbane area and sent out a bulk email with all the following details:

Good morning,

I have a flood affected home that requires demolition and/salvage.  The details of the property are as follows:

- Low set timber post war property
- Structurally in good condition if to be moved
- Tiled roof
- Home approximately 85.0m2
- Floorboards are 60mm x 19mm tongue and groove hardwood floors in a black japan finish
- 1 x hardwood 850mm x 2040mm door with feature panel and obscure glass panel
- 1 x set of french doors
- 1 x set of doors with 8 glass panels
- Approximately 29 original casement windows
- Approximately 25.0m2 of asbestos lining to the rear deck
- Structure is on (approx) 48 x 200mm square concrete posts to be demolished (plan attached)

Photos are attached. If you are interested, could you please quote for the following as separate items:

(1) Demolition of dwelling and asbestos, clean up and removal of debris
(2) Salvage credit (if applicable)
(3) DA
(4) Sewer Cap Off
(5)Termination of Power

The property is located at .... Schedule at this point is for removal some time within the next month. 

Look forward to hearing from you.

I sent this out to 31 demolition companies and had prices ranging from $8500 ext GST to $18,000 ex GST. All were given the same brief so the range between the highest and lowest prices were quite extreme.

I contacted some of the companies and let them know the lowest written quote I had received. Astonishingly, some of them dropped their price to match without hesitating. Some of them as much as $4,000.

I wasn't just motivated by price, I also wanted to make sure that as much of the home as possible was recycled. The floorboards, possibly the windows and some of the weatherboards on the outside I think could be salvaged so I shortlisted the candidates based on how much they would salvage.

I can't make any decisions or appoint anyone until the final approval comes through, but based on this, a bit of time and research has saved me $12,000. I'm pretty happy with that.


  1. Love your work!!!

    That's exactly what I've been doing throughout our owner build journey. I love it! But MrB thinks I'm nuts :)

    Look forward to following your journey.


    1. Thanks B!!! I'm hoping that I will get lots of advice and comments here. This is my first building project and as I'm pretty much doing this on my own I'm grateful for any words of wisdom I can get! It's a little daunting, but really exciting at the same time.

      How is your house going? xx