View Full Version : House Demolition

02-15-2006, 11:37 AM
Hi new Im new to the the site, and have found it to be so useful, I'm curently doing acrage mowing for Developers in Houston Texas, I Have a McCormick 102HP CX 105, 4x4 Cab Tractor, and Iam looking into doing House Demolition for the Home Builder My Father Works For, Most of the Houses are around 1000 to 1500 sq feet and are peir and beam, I was told that the curent rate they are charged is 2500 to 3000 per house. I was woundering if i decided to get into this what type of Equipment could I get by with.

I was thinking:

I, Getting a front end loader for My Tractor with a few different types of buckets witch i was going to buy one even if i dont get into house demo

II Buying something like a Bush Hog Back Hoe attachment

III Renting some equipment

Doing this Work For His Company is a minimum of 15 to 20 houses a year
and maybe a chance of doing demo for 4 other home builders in the area, that the company owns
Increasing to 40 to 50 Houses a year.

Any Sugestions are welcome

Any Sugestions

02-15-2006, 01:21 PM
I wouldn't buy anything smaller than a 12K mini excavator, at the absolute minimum. An excavator in the 17-18K range is going to be a little more acceptable, but I think you could get by with something smaller. Trying to outfit your tractor with a loader and/or backhoe will be a mistake for the job you are trying to do. The backhoe will not allow you to swing 360 degrees like an excavator will, so if you need to put material directly "behind" you, it's impossible. You'll also need a hydraulic thumb for the excavator to assist in grabbing and placing material.

As far as renting goes, your job schedule could be very spread out and it would cost you just as much to rent as it would to buy so renting in this case might not be the best option.

02-15-2006, 03:20 PM
Thanks for your information, i was not thinking about not being able to swing around 360, thanks

02-15-2006, 04:57 PM
Yeah, spinning 360 is a big part of demo. I'm sure you could level a house with a TLB combo, but it would be painstakingly slow and once you had it in a pile you'd still have to load it and that could take an eternity as well.

02-15-2006, 05:17 PM
i agree go with a 312 or similar size its just so much easier and the thumb is a bonus

another downside to a loader is saftey,if u were tearing it down by loader what if it was to colapse onto u?

also whenever we do demo we salvage EVERYTHING that u can re-sell say copper piping or wiring any salvageable beams or doors/windows it takes longer but u can make a little extra money than just ripping it straight down just a thought :waving:

02-15-2006, 05:27 PM
Cool thanks alot, what type of price could a get a used excavator for,

Gravel Rat
02-15-2006, 06:08 PM
One thing not meantioned is tires and nails don't mix it doesn't take much to ruin a set of tires with demo debris. A 12,000lb excavator would be the absolute smallest I would go I seriously would be looking for a 160 size machine (16 ton) as you need the reach.

You need to beable to reach the roof with the bucket to get that part torn off first or punch the roof in so the walls cave in. You definatly don't want to start at the sidewall and the roof come down ontop of the machine.

You want the walls to contain the debris then you can start picking at it with the bucket and thumb separating as best as you can the duriods or non wood roofing materials.

Once you got the house down you need to beable to walk the machine up onto the debris so you can get high enough to chuck the separated junk into 40 yard bins.

02-15-2006, 06:09 PM
Depending on the year, you could be looking at from $20K+ for an older machine to around $35-$45K for a 10 year old Cat 312,311. Look on ebay for some quick ideas on prices. The only way you will be able to do it effeciently and safely and make $$$ is to get an excavator. Plus consider what other doors having the excavator will open for you. Jump in with both feet!!!

02-15-2006, 07:24 PM
a 'roll-off' container truck (tandem axle / 30-40 yd box, minimum + air lift tag would be nice) and an excavator w/ thumb and aux hyd for 'concrete breaker' - that will nicely fit in the drop box. Probably 16,000# would do the trick.

check out 'swap-loader' or 'Magnum' for nice dropbox / truck interface. You don't need to get out of truck to hook up or drop, + they have capacity to 64,000# recently 4axle truck w/swaploader + 3 boxes sold for $25000 on Craigslist. a good used ex in the 16,000# range will set you back about that much too. Check your license, insurance + dump fees and projected hours/costs to do each house and get a 'pay-back' figure.

The tractor is not too helpful except final grading, as confined qtrs and weight required to break out concrete (foundations + slabs + fireplaces) + holes in your tires... a crawler or ex is best for demo.

02-15-2006, 07:41 PM

Hey man, whats your email, I would like to trade some info about Houston.

02-15-2006, 08:30 PM
We do quite a bit of demo. We have done large interior demo jobs such as schools and large (relative) exterior demos such as gas stations, cafes etc. Houses that small are no problem with a 12K excavator. You could spend more and get a 160 but you don't need it. Especially since your only getting 3K per house. This is a list of equipment I use for a typical demo. 1 Takeuchi TB53 equpped with thumb, 95XT with the following attachments Grapple bucket (a must), 750 pound Okada concrete breaker, and a dirt bucket and of course dump trucks and tractor trailer depending on size of job. As far as iron goes you don't need that much for what your trying to do. However if I may say Skag is right on. Depending on how the houses are laid out and your ability to run an excavator you MAY get by with an excavator with the appropriate attachments and your tractor. The Mcormicks are good tractors but this is an industrial project not an ag based one or light landscaping. They are slow and not heavy enough for heavier construction type work, but it may get you by until you can aquire all that you need. If you can get 3K for a small house like that which sounds like a slab on grade construction that is not bad money depending on what your proximity to a dumpsite is and what if any tipping fees you have. I demoed a gas station last fall that was 3500 square feet with half being two stories last fall. We had it knocked down to the footings and hauled off in eight hours. This was with two operators and one truck driver. You may be able to get 2-3 houses out in a day not bad money.

a couple things to think about before you tear into one of these types of projects. Get a locate on all underground utilites, PHYCALLY check that all services are shut off and or capped to the house. Be aware of fire hazards during demo. OSHA specs a certain number of extingushers per square foot of project (not to mention about a hundred other things). Be sure all houses have an asbestos free certificate and that the owner has applied for the appropriate EPA paperwork and that the permits if any are in hand before starting. I would not break a board until the above has been accomplished to your satisfaction. There may be other things to consider in your area. Talk to a reputable demo company about any local conditions concerning demo that you may not be aware of.

02-15-2006, 09:59 PM
I would go with a hitachi 120 sized machine with a thumb. a smaller machine would work fine but its so much easier with a larger machine. a machine that size would also enable you to do a huge variety of other work. or you could rent it out when you are not using it.

02-15-2006, 10:32 PM
For demo work if you call Habitat for Humanity sometimes they will come by and recycle lots of items to be used in their houses. Also for anyone that does demo work call your local fire departments and see if they would like to do training on the houses before you demo them if timeline allows. I am a firefighter and we love to get houses to burn, cut holes in and various other types of training.

02-16-2006, 12:14 PM
Hey firecapt13 I'm a firefighter for the city of Houston Texas, good to meet another firefighter.

Southern Yankee My email is whtractor200@yahoo.com for some reason i could not PM you,:confused:

Hay thanks alot for yalls information, I am planning on picking up either a used Volvo 610 or vnl42T or possibly a kenworth T800, and a trailer for my tractor, that way I could have all my equipment and tools on site when I'm Mowing, I just soled my one ton Dodge, so iam in the market,

I am very serious about getting in to this, but I'm going to do some more Research, Seams like a lot of People in the Houston area do acreage mowing
and Its seams hard to find need jobs, I guess I should just try harder :laugh:
I plained on trying to get into Right-of-Way mowing for Pipline companies but Man that seams to be a very discreet business and seems like the good ole boy plays a big part,

All of the advice is Much appreciated

02-16-2006, 12:18 PM
The company is paying about 2500 to 3000 for Pier and beam constrcution demolition,

The fella who has done slab removal charges about 2500 just for the slab.

02-19-2006, 10:30 AM
What do you guys pay to dump C&D (construction & Demo debris) out there? Here a 30CY container cost 200 drop charge and 75 a ton. average demo box can weight 6- 12 tons (no concrete just wood or plaster) so $650 -$1100 a container. The cheapest house i have demo is $10,000 and the highest is $18,000 and these are average to small house around here. Buy the way I use a John Deere 160 Clc with a Geith 2 over 3 Grapple just ordered a G.R. Mfg. demo screen and counterweight for my machine. But plan on getting a bigger machine for demo probably a John Deere 240D

Gravel Rat
02-19-2006, 03:55 PM
Wood debris here is 75 dollars a metric ton at the landfill not sure what the bins cost as most house demo is done by excavation contractors and its hauled away in a gravel truck. There are alot of places where a rolloff truck can't go with a 40 yard bin because of overhanging trees etc.

With this realastate boom we are having here not many houses get torn down they are renovated instead. With new house construction at a rate of 150-200 dollars a square foot its mighty pricey to build a new house.

To demo a house here you need to strip ever ounce of drywall (wallboard) out of the house its got to be separated the landfill charges 200 dollars a metric ton. The wiring has to be pulled out it has to be separated so anything non wood has to be removed by hand before you knock it down with a excavator. When you load the bin it has to be nothing but wood if its mixed it can't leave the jobsite.

It is why if you can remove the drywall and insulation and let the firedept practice with it you will save a bunch of money plus you will save time.

Most of the time the excavation contractor will burn the house themselves knock it down burn it onsite. Old dry framing burns fast it doesn't take long but like I said the inside has to be gutted.

So the homeowner has to hire a labourer at 20-25 dollars per hour to gut the house depending on the size it could take a week so thats 200 dollars a day or 1000 dollars. Then they have to hire a junk removal guy like me to haul away the non wood items my labour would be say 500 dollars dump fee's another 500 dollars depending on the amount of drywall. Then excavation contractor comes in they are 1000 dollars a day plus their truck is another 500 dollars then dump fees

1000.00 to gut
1000.00 to haul way non wood debris
1000.00 for the excavation contractor
1000.00 for dump fees
4000.00 dollars approx to demo a 2000-2500 square 2 story house

02-19-2006, 07:25 PM
wow I don't wont to bite off more than I can CHEW. I was just thinking about some other business i could get into. other than Tractor Mowing.

I thought about a skid-steer and timber Axe I don't see many people around here with those yet.

Oh well I guess I need to do More research

Thank everyone for your Information