What To Do Before Demolishing a House
Sometimes, finding an empty lot in a well-established neighborhood can be difficult. In such cases, you have two options: you can either buy a recently-built home or purchase and demolish a house.
A new home is likely to cost a lot more than an old building because the investor wants to recoup their money. It’s also difficult to modify a new house because you spent most of your money buying the property. In that case, an old home is likely to be more affordable because it’s outdated. Such a house may consume a lot of energy and have broken down windows and doors. It usually needs a lot of work before you can occupy it.
The main advantage of buying an old house is that you can tear it down and rebuild a new home according to your specifications, without spending a lot of money.
Here are a few things you need to know before you demolish a house:
1. Not every old house can be demolished
Due to the historical significance of some houses, the law may restrict the demolition of these buildings. Therefore, before you buy a property hoping to demolish and rebuild it, find out whether it’s a monument.
In some districts, the authorities may allow you to do some minor interior renovations and rehabilitation without changing the outside appearance of the house. This is the case for many foreclosed houses.
2. Make waste management a priority
Some houses were built during the early 1900s when safety regulations were more relaxed. That means these homes may contain harmful substances such as lead-painted walls and asbestos.
Before you demolish a house like this, identify all the harmful waste. Then, find a way to deposit the waste safely. As you do so, adhere to the local rules and regulations.
You should also find out if you need a permit for demolition and waste management. Failure to do so can result in high fines from the local authorities.
3. Preserve what works
If you demolish a house and start building from scratch, it may cost more than tearing down the house partially. For example, you don’t have to construct a different foundation. You can use the old home’s foundation and add to it if your house is slightly bigger.
If the door handles still work, don’t throw them away because you can reuse them with your new doors. Give your home a mix of the old and new.
Before you tear down the old house, consult with a structural engineer and architect to see what you can keep.
4. Involve the neighbors before you demolish the house
People were living in that neighborhood before you bought your house. Therefore, it’s common courtesy to introduce yourself to the neighbors and tell them you’re planning to tear down the house so that they can be mentally prepared for the situation.
Also, ask the neighbors to keep their children away from the construction site. Take additional precautions to secure the construction site and restrict unauthorized entry.
Telling your new neighbors about your construction project also helps to avoid unwanted complaints to the authorities.
Demolishing a house and building your dream home is the best way for you to own property in a prime area where empty lots are not readily available. However, before beginning the project, do the things mentioned above to avoid getting into trouble with your new neighbors, paying hefty fines to the local authorities, and losing money.