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Advice on demoing an old house

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by dswinnerjr, Apr 24, 2007.

  1. dswinnerjr

    dswinnerjr LawnSite Member
    Messages: 30

    I am researching this subject as a potential customer wants a bid on demoing two old houses. I know about calling in the utility companies to check for gas lines and pulling the service to the houses. But the question I have is in regards to tearing down the actual houses, should I just get an excavator with a thumb attachment or a skid steer with a grapple. I really think the skid steer would not be the way to go as I would have to get too close to the house.

    Any advice would be appreciated!

  2. SinjonAssociates

    SinjonAssociates LawnSite Member
    Messages: 115

    Some more details would be helpful. 2 story? foundation material, basement, etc??? Also most building departments will require epa testing for asbestos and other potential health risk areas. A neighbor of mine spent $25k to have asbestos removed from a 1800 sqft ranch before they tore the house down. The drywall mud had asbestos embedded in it!!!
  3. dswinnerjr

    dswinnerjr LawnSite Member
    Messages: 30

    wow! that's good information, I woulda never thought of that. I am expecting a call today from the building permit office so I will ask them that.
  4. tallrick

    tallrick LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 682

    Once you get the beaurocratic stuff out of the way, the actual demo will depend on the construction of the house. With no basement and a wood fram even a skid loader can do the job, but you need solid tires and be careful not to get inside the home especially if two-story. Track loader was the preferred demo method. For a home with basement, go for the excavator. In fact if you can get one always use an excavator for demo as it is the safest way, you're far from the action. You may want the skid steer anyway for cleanup unless you're using a thumb in the excavator bucket or better yet a grapple or claw. The few demo jobs I did were with track loader and clamshell. That's the hard way compared to the trackhoe.
  5. Dirt Digger2

    Dirt Digger2 LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,396

    hire a professional...theres a lot that can/will go wrong...you need to know where your trucking the material to, you need to know if the dumpsite will take what you are giving them, like mentioned above you need to know if theres hazerdous materials...ripping down a house is very dangerous and unless you have a good bit of experience running a trackhoe i wouldnt reccommend you do it.
  6. ChadsLawn

    ChadsLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,110

    blow it up...LOL sorry had to..
  7. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    You have to find out what the local landfill will accept you may have to gut the house. Like remove the roofing if its a metal or duroid,drywall,metal piping,plastic piping,insulation and all other non wood items. Once the house is a wood shell then it can be knocked down with a excavator.

    Have to get the utilities disconnected and the proper permits for your area etc.

    If you never done any demo work you may want to try something smaller before you take on a 2 story house.
  8. tallrick

    tallrick LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 682

    FUNNY! That was the way a friend got rid of his old house. But only good for rural locations.
  9. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    Easiest way of getting rid of a house is matches and some newspaper and stand back and watch it burn. Burn baby burn :laugh:

    Local volunteer firedept has burned a few houses down for contractors and when they start they burn hot especially the old ones.
  10. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    I agree, call the fire dept and ask if they need a few houses to burn and use for training. They do it all the time here.

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