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How Much Does it Cost to Demolish a Commercial Building?


Over most of the five years to 2021, construction values have increased.

The demolition and wrecking industry is expected to gain ground over the next five years.

There is an expected rebound in consumer spending that will encourage the construction of new retail, commercial, and office space in high-value areas with existing buildings.

This scenario will likely require demolition projects to move forward.

If you are an owner of a commercial building and you are considering reconstructing or rebuilding, knowing how much building demolition costs a commercial building will help you plan and prepare for this project.

The Demolition and Wrecking Industry in the US

Operators in the demolition industry primarily wreck and demolish buildings and structures, sometimes selling salvaged materials.

Other services that come along with commercial demolitions include:

  • Clearing and recycling of debris
  • Interior strip outs
  • Handling of asbestos and hazardous materials
  • Site remediation (decontamination and waste disposal)
  • Concrete cutting
  • Explosive demolition

Commercial Demolition Industry Activities

commercial building demolition costs - Big Easy DemolitionThere are different levels of commercial demolitions.

Commercial site demolitions are considered high-risk construction work and should be accompanied by safety procedures.

Before completing a commercial site demolition, a professional demolition company will ensure that the following is completed:

  1. Secure the work area and consider an exclusion zone.
  2. Ensure there is adequate public safety and access to any roads and walkways. If commercial demolition is in a public place then safety measures will be implemented.
  3. Fire risks are observed and preventive plans should be in place.
  4. Completely remove all utility services from the property including power, water, and gas, and ensure all lines are completely removed from the property.
  5. Set up debris systems to ensure any debris is removed to prevent any build-up
  6. Ensure operators will demolish storey by storey
  7. Brace walls and floors
  8. Remove any ornamental stonework
  9. A thorough inspection of safety gear, machinery, and equipment
  10. Ensure operators are fully informed, trained, knowledgeable, and supervised
  11. Disseminate demolition plans to all personnel

The Demolition Process

After all the preparatory activities for a commercial demolition are done, the work on commercial demolition can begin.

Depending on the size of the structure, it should take approximately 3-7 days to complete the demolition.

For larger buildings located in the heart of the city, commercial demolition can take weeks.

The following activities complete a commercial demolition process:

  • Pre demolition planning and analysis
  • Total or selective demolition of buildings (e.g. offices, warehouses, and apartments)
  • Total or selective demolition of structures (e.g. sports stadiums and oil rigs)
  • Demolition and rehabilitation of sites following fire or industrial explosion
  • Environmental cleanup
  • Asbestos removal
  • Selective dismantling and facade preservation of historic buildings
  • Implosion demolition of buildings and structures
  • Removal, disposal, and sale of materials from demolition sites, including recycling

Estimating Commercial Demolition Cost

The average cost to demolish a commercial building in the United States is about $30,500.

Factors to Consider

But this will vary because there are several factors that come into play to determine how much your commercial building demolition will cost.

The varying factors that can have a say on the final costs involved in commercial demolition are:

Size of the Area

This one goes without saying. It is a known fact that the larger the property that will be demolished, the more tools and machinery are required to demolish it. Similarly, there will be more waste to be hauled and disposed of.

Materials Needed

Your final budget in commercial demolition costs will be affected by the wide range of materials required to demolish your structure. These materials have different costs attached to them.

commercial interior demolition costs - Big Easy Demolition

Kinds of Demolition

The different types of demolitions require different materials and labor. If your demolition needs the use of heavy machinery and equipment, you will have to put in more buck for your commercial demolition.

Removal of Hazardous Materials

Older properties may contain asbestos, an extremely hazardous material, and its removal will require a specialist. Hence, removing it will add to your overall costs, but this is something you cannot compromise spending on.

Access to the Site

If your commercial structure is located in the heart of the city or in the middle of a very busy street, the commercial demolition cost will definitely cost more.

The reason for this is there will be more precautions needed to be taken to ensure the safety of structures and people nearby.

The need for scaffolding for safety measures will also add up to costs.

Special Circumstances

Once the location and the national averages are considered together will all other factors, there are special circumstances that can increase commercial demolition cost like:

  • Demolition permits can cost around $200 to $10,000 or more if you are in a city that discourages demolitions.
  • Disposal cost to haul debris to a landfill. This cost will depend on the type of debris, such as wood, concrete, plaster, or metal, and how far away the building site is from the closest disposal facility.

It’s important to note that the quote from your demolition contractor handles the entire demolition process.

It will be helpful to know upfront how much permits and debris removal can add to the total commercial demolition cost per square foot, based on national averages.

If you want to cut costs, you can handle debris removal and hauling yourself by calling a dumpster or hauling company.

This can make a difference in your overall budget for your commercial demolition project.

How to Price Demolition Work?

When it comes to pricing demolition work, there are a few key factors to consider. First and foremost, you’ll need to determine the square footage of the area to be demolished. This will be the primary factor in calculating the overall cost of the project.

One common method for determining demo cost per sq ft is to use a commercial demolition cost calculator. These tools take into account a variety of factors, including the size and complexity of the structure, as well as any hazardous materials that may be present. It’s important to remember that other hazardous materials, such as asbestos or lead, can increase the cost of a demolition project.

After you’ve come up with an initial estimate of the demolition cost per square foot, it’s a good idea to seek a more precise quote from a trustworthy demolition company. This way, they can closely examine the site and provide a more thorough estimate that takes into account all of the unique aspects of your project.

Below are the average interior demolition costs of different home areas, including labor.

  • Interior wall: $0.30 -$6.40 per sq. ft.
  • Room: $4 – $6 per sq. ft.
  • Ceiling: $4 – $6 per sq. ft.
  • Floor: $400 – $1100 per room.
  • Kitchen: $500 – $3000 per kitchen.
  • Bathroom: $550 – $1500 per bathroom.
  • Basement: $5000 – $25,000 per basement.

It’s important to remember that the cost of demolition work can vary widely, depending on the type of building, the location, and many other factors. By doing your research and working with a reliable demolition company, you can avoid any unexpected costs or complications along the way and get an accurate estimate.

Get a Few Estimates From Professional Demolition Companies

Demolishing commercial buildings needs more scrutiny and care than residential demolition.
There are several factors that need to be considered to determine the commercial demolition cost of a particular demolition project.

If your project is massive, you can expect a higher concrete demolition cost.

The accurate measurement of how much you will be spending for a commercial demolition will be determined by the demolition company that will be doing the job.

It is wise to get estimates of commercial demolition costs from multiple demolition contractors who can give you a thorough understanding of what you’re being charged for and how much. Contact us today for commercial demolition services!

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Big Easy Demolition is a licensed and insured company providing demolition services for both home and business.

We proudly serve the areas of Metairie, Slidell, New Orleans, Kenner, Laplace, and all throughout the Greater New Orleans area.