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Construction work is methodical. It requires extensive planning, precision, accuracy, and efficiency. Demolition sounds and seems simpler because the result is a pile of waste. But it’s anything but simple. Plenty of planning and strategy goes into this process. Otherwise, complete chaos would ensue. Check out how to prepare for a building demolition to ensure everything goes according to plan.

Get the Permits

Lower the wrecking ball and the sledgehammer. You can’t just start tearing down a building or house without getting permission first. Demolition is not one of those instances where it’s better to ask for forgiveness rather than permission. You need the go-ahead from the proper authorities.

Contacting your lender and informing them of your demolition plans is essential, especially if you’re not the homeowner. Speaking with the mortgage lender about demolishing the commercial property first saves time and the stress of paying back damages if you didn’t receive approval for your demolition.

Commercial property authorities highly regulate demolition sites. They must meet federal, state, and local requirements. Every state has its set of restrictions and regulations. Plus, you must ensure the building is not a historical landmark because tearing it down will be complex.

You Can’t Demolish the Building Yourself

You better think twice before picking up a sledgehammer or wrecking ball and swinging. It’s always a good idea to know what you’re getting into before you start dismantling the walls of a building and banging the glass out of a window (which you shouldn’t do!).

Get to know the building first and plan things out. You will need a big team of professional excavators to chip away concrete and a team to remove cladding and windows if your building is a skyscraper. In general, learn the structure’s architecture and layout so you know what kind of team to assemble and which tools you’ll need to take down the building.

Gather a Team

Next, you need to gather a proper team. Again, demolition is more than breaking down a few walls and throwing some bricks. The process is strategic and highly dangerous. Therefore, the team you acquire needs the proper certifications.

According to OSHA, labor for wrecking and demolition work falls under the Special Trade Contractors category. These contractors have expertise in the demolition of buildings, dismantling steel oil tanks, concrete breaking for streets and sidewalks, and other structures.

Sometimes states provide a list of pre-approved contractors, so you don’t have to look hard selecting team members. Each member should come to the site with their credentials and paperwork before you sign off on having them demo a site. Gathering a team is the easy part of the building demolition project, but the building itself is challenging. Read below to learn what you and your team must do when inspecting the building.

Survey the Building

Never start demolishing a building without knowing what you’re up against. It may seem harmless and unassuming, but that’s rarely the case. Something is always hidden. Survey the building and the surrounding property.

What Do You Need To Check For?

All property elements, including construction materials, design, usage of the building, and building codes, need checking. You must also conduct a thorough inspection of the building. Check for hazardous materials. Discovering any issues or toxic materials helps determine the best actions to take when maintaining safety during your building demolition.

After inspecting the building, make a list of items to remember when deciding the best way to demolish the building. List the construction method, current structural conditions, and structural system and design. Inspect cautiously and pay attention to the smaller details, as they can help devise a safer and more efficient demolition plan.

Checking for hazardous, toxic, radioactive, or flammable materials is crucial. These hazards can also alter your demolition procedure if you don’t consider them. Avoid surprises by writing these down along with the other inspections, including the areas they’re in.

Remove Hazardous Materials

You must remove all hazardous materials before the demolition. Mixing those materials with the rest of the destruction is dangerous to the disposal process. These materials require separate removal methods you and your team must follow.

Materials like asbestos and radioactive substances require exceptional care. Forgo allowing any standard crew member to remove these substances if they’re unfamiliar with the process. Instead, hire a specialized team of hazardous material experts to remove them safely.

Choose a Method

Every demolition project is unique, and it might seem like there’s no method to your project’s madness—but there is! Selecting a demolition method is crucial because choosing the wrong one could be dangerous to everyone in the immediate area, the neighborhood, and the environment. Outline the demolition site with specifics on the best strategies for each part of the building and the sequence of events your team must follow when deciding the best actionable course.


The implosion method involves wiring explosives throughout the building, causing it to collapse from the inside out. Everyone on the site must be a safe distance away from the building, and you must block off the surrounding area with proper fencing when using this method.

Wrecking Ball

The wrecking ball method is quick and inexpensive. However, it creates a lot of dust, debris, and safety hazards. Workers rarely use this method.

Excavator Demolition

The most common excavator attachments are shears, crushers, and hydraulic hammers. Angling the excavator correctly will topple the entire building.

Selective Demolition

Selective demolition is a more eco-conscious alternative. The industry refers to this method as “destruction” because it retains the structure while removing specific sections. This method works well for remodels, upgrades, and extensions.

Implement Safety Measure

Safety is the next thing to consider after selecting a method. Depending on the one you choose, you must follow specific safety procedures. All personnel should discuss preventative measures to ensure a safe, efficient, unified approach.

Place the proper demolition signage throughout the site. Workers should always wear their PPE gear when near the building. Failure to follow these guidelines will create problems, such as exposure to hazardous chemicals, resulting in catching an occupational disease, and flash fire. Incorporate risk assessments throughout the process. These assessments assist in managing identified risks accordingly and significantly, reducing the chances of incidents.

Manage Waste Disposal

Finally, you need someone to pick up all the pieces at the end. You can’t leave a pile of mess in the wake. That’s when you start looking toward waste management professionals. They’ll give you the rundown on how many dumpster rentals you’ll need on-site and how to dispose of the waste.

Preparing for a building demolition requires a lot of work, but we’re here to help. We always recommend customers use our dumpsters to store concrete, debris, bricks, and any other waste from demolition projects. Our customer service reps are excitedly waiting to hear from you so we can match you with the right dumpster. We’re confident you’ll find one that hauls all the debris accumulated from your destruction project, from 10-yard to 40-yard dumpsters. Let’s ensure your project plans involve proper waste management solutions.

How To Prepare for a Building Demolition