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View Full Version : How to price 2 story house demo?


icex
06-17-2011, 12:29 AM
I got a call to price out a demo on a 2 story house. I got to go look at it tommorow. Here we just burn the houses, we usualy don't haul them off. How should I price tearing it down? Also, I have a 304 excavator. Is it going to be basicaly impossible to tear it down or could I build a small ramp from tearing the side out and then get to the roof if its not to tall?

ksss
06-17-2011, 01:16 AM
I got a call to price out a demo on a 2 story house. I got to go look at it tommorow. Here we just burn the houses, we usualy don't haul them off. How should I price tearing it down? Also, I have a 304 excavator. Is it going to be basicaly impossible to tear it down or could I build a small ramp from tearing the side out and then get to the roof if its not to tall?

I have taken down 2 story buildings with my mini ex. Bigger is better but it can be done ( I say that without seeing what your looking at but two stories is two stories). What I have done is demo a portion of it and then use that demo material as a ramp to access the higher portions of the house without working directly under the project.

SiteSolutions
06-17-2011, 12:32 PM
I'm looking at two different demolition jobs right now and both have at least a couple elements that would be too big to do with a smaller mini-ex, so I've priced rental machines. I think a 16,000 - 18,000 pound machine would be perfect but nobody seems to have one so far. There are some 28,000# machines, which I may get just to have the extra size and speed.

Your 304 could probably do a lot of it, maybe all of it, if you're patient. Big question mark for me would be the foundation: Is it on a slab or crawlspace? How big are the footers? I saw a 48,000# excavator stopped on a house demo job yesterday; the whole slab was cleared and then he hit the footers and they were monsters. Had to rent a machine with a big hammer to break them up. Find out what the cleared property will be used for and whether you have to get the footers out, then make sure you have a plan in case you run into some over-built 2' wide x 2' deep reinforced footers.

icex
06-17-2011, 06:29 PM
I quoted it at $3,500 and that includes renting a excavator and burning it then burrying. The excavator would be $1000 for a day which aint to bad, thats from CAT.

YellowDogSVC
06-17-2011, 06:53 PM
I quoted it at $3,500 and that includes renting a excavator and burning it then burrying. The excavator would be $1000 for a day which aint to bad, thats from CAT.

Wow. Even in land owner right's Texas, burning and burying construction debris would be an EPA or Texas Environmental Quality issue. Are you sure it is legal to do that and "not just what everyone does."
In real estate, if the land is sold, anything buried has to be disclosed in many locations. Down here, burying materials makes the land an uncertified landfill.. or illegal landfill and it can cost you later.

I would make sure that you have all the facts on the clean-up regulations. I know that local volunteer fire departments can get a waiver from the state to "practice" burn a house and then it's just a matter of waiting until it cools and cleaning it up. It takes a little money out of our pockets but the fire departments get excellent training and work on their skills so I don't complain.

Check your state regulations and make sure your insurance covers demolition of structures. You might find that you need roll off containers or dump trucks to haul debris which will bring the price up.

SiteSolutions
06-17-2011, 08:05 PM
A buddy of mine works in commercial real estate appraisal and we've discussed a few demolition jobs lately. For estimating demolition for appraisal purposes, they use $4/ sq ft for a stick frame building. $5 / sq ft for concrete block.

Hope you can get it all in one day; burning is a lot slower than hauling away.

icex
06-17-2011, 08:09 PM
Wow. Even in land owner right's Texas, burning and burying construction debris would be an EPA or Texas Environmental Quality issue. Are you sure it is legal to do that and "not just what everyone does."
In real estate, if the land is sold, anything buried has to be disclosed in many locations. Down here, burying materials makes the land an uncertified landfill.. or illegal landfill and it can cost you later.

I would make sure that you have all the facts on the clean-up regulations. I know that local volunteer fire departments can get a waiver from the state to "practice" burn a house and then it's just a matter of waiting until it cools and cleaning it up. It takes a little money out of our pockets but the fire departments get excellent training and work on their skills so I don't complain.

Check your state regulations and make sure your insurance covers demolition of structures. You might find that you need roll off containers or dump trucks to haul debris which will bring the price up.


Everyone burns it around here and burries it, I don't know how legal it is I just know that everyone burns it. I have burnt a house before but they hauled it off to a free landfill with their own time.

4 seasons lawn&land
06-17-2011, 09:01 PM
I priced 1 at 5k which is what it ended up costing me after the dumpsters and 160 rental.

icex
06-17-2011, 10:57 PM
I priced 1 at 5k which is what it ended up costing me after the dumpsters and 160 rental.



I can rent a 200C excavator for $900 a day delivered and picked up. This is all going to be burnt (i hope)

SiteSolutions
06-18-2011, 01:11 AM
Just sayin', I always try and figure what it could cost me if things go bad or slow or I f**k it up, and base my pricing on that... then if things do go wrong, I don't lose my shirt; if I do good and things roll my way, I make out great. Sounds like a 10k job to me (without seeing it or running any numbers.)

I don't have a moral objection to burning but it seems like more machine time and a mess to clean up for the next few days. With trucks or dumpsters, it goes bye-bye in the box and it is gone, no mess. Again, how clean it has to be depends a lot on what the property owner wants to do with the land once the house is demo'ed.

As for the machine, that's a decent price. I'm still looking for a 18,000# machine to rent but I will probably have to step up to a bigger one like that and pay the big bucks.

icex
06-18-2011, 01:14 AM
Just sayin', I always try and figure what it could cost me if things go bad or slow or I f**k it up, and base my pricing on that... then if things do go wrong, I don't lose my shirt; if I do good and things roll my way, I make out great. Sounds like a 10k job to me (without seeing it or running any numbers.)

I don't have a moral objection to burning but it seems like more machine time and a mess to clean up for the next few days. With trucks or dumpsters, it goes bye-bye in the box and it is gone, no mess. Again, how clean it has to be depends a lot on what the property owner wants to do with the land once the house is demo'ed.

As for the machine, that's a decent price. I'm still looking for a 18,000# machine to rent but I will probably have to step up to a bigger one like that and pay the big bucks.


I understand. They said most other bidders bid $4500. This is my first bid so I'm probaly bidding to low but atleast I'll know for the next house.

Their going to place a doublewide on the lot when this house is gone. It has a basement so I'm going to knock the blocks over in the basement and fill 'er up and crush the blocks and backfill with topsoil.

SiteSolutions
06-18-2011, 01:22 AM
That sounds like a plan anyway. Definitely don't want to discourage you!

Make sure you layer the stuff in when you fill the hole, mix some dirt in as you go and walk the machine across it to pack it down every foot or so of fill to keep from getting a lot of voids in there that will turn into sink holes.

Good luck and take some pics!

YellowDogSVC
06-18-2011, 10:21 AM
Everyone burns it around here and burries it, I don't know how legal it is I just know that everyone burns it. I have burnt a house before but they hauled it off to a free landfill with their own time.

what I have found and are seeing in times of budget crunches, is that the state or feds will selective enforce (make an example) out of random contractors. It wouldn't hurt to know the rules and educate the customer and maybe you can pick up more work by being more efficient with containers.

I guess it depends on your location.
Again, I would make sure my insurance covers what I am doing just in case something goes wrong.

I'm by no means a demo expert but have taken houses, barns, and offices down with the mini ex and bobcat. Another company uses a backhoe but I see too many tire problems.

Good luck

icex
06-18-2011, 10:59 AM
what I have found and are seeing in times of budget crunches, is that the state or feds will selective enforce (make an example) out of random contractors. It wouldn't hurt to know the rules and educate the customer and maybe you can pick up more work by being more efficient with containers.

I guess it depends on your location.
Again, I would make sure my insurance covers what I am doing just in case something goes wrong.

I'm by no means a demo expert but have taken houses, barns, and offices down with the mini ex and bobcat. Another company uses a backhoe but I see too many tire problems.

Good luck


I just talked to a buddy of mine that does reclamation of mines and demolitions. He said its legal as long as you don't burn shingles, tires, tar, siding, anything that produces a dark black smoke. The best materials to burn are the ones you can't haha.

The reason why everyone burns here is it's more effiecent. He told me however he woulden't even touch that house for no less than $5k

YellowDogSVC
06-18-2011, 12:11 PM
I just talked to a buddy of mine that does reclamation of mines and demolitions. He said its legal as long as you don't burn shingles, tires, tar, siding, anything that produces a dark black smoke. The best materials to burn are the ones you can't haha.

The reason why everyone burns here is it's more effiecent. He told me however he woulden't even touch that house for no less than $5k

take that advice. If you underbid, like I did awhile back, and run into a problem, you will be sorry you didn't pass on the job. Let's say you need extra soil to finish compacting the basement.. that will eat into your profit if you have to haul it in.

In my case, I underestimated the weight of the demo materials and got hit with overweight charges on my containers. Ate up $1000 in profit right off the bat. If I had just ordered an extra two containers and priced accordingly, I would have been okay. My bid was 2k less than the competition so 2 extra containers would have still had me $1000 less than the competition.

$1000 comes in handy when you have repairs or unplanned days off. I left money on the table so to speak. Not trying to rip off my customer but I should have charged more just for the fixed costs (containers).

4 seasons lawn&land
06-18-2011, 03:20 PM
take that advice. If you underbid, like I did awhile back, and run into a problem, you will be sorry you didn't pass on the job. Let's say you need extra soil to finish compacting the basement.. that will eat into your profit if you have to haul it in.

In my case, I underestimated the weight of the demo materials and got hit with overweight charges on my containers. Ate up $1000 in profit right off the bat. If I had just ordered an extra two containers and priced accordingly, I would have been okay. My bid was 2k less than the competition so 2 extra containers would have still had me $1000 less than the competition.

$1000 comes in handy when you have repairs or unplanned days off. I left money on the table so to speak. Not trying to rip off my customer but I should have charged more just for the fixed costs (containers).



yup thats what happened to me. The 30 yarders were 3 or 4 hundred each. A couple of them ended up costing me a grand each and the other 3 were overweight too.