Guide House Demolition

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Environmental Impact

In a rural area it is likely that a wildlife survey undertaken by an ecological consultant will be requested by the local planning authority, as part of the pre-application process for a replacement dwelling.

If evidence of endangered species is detected (typically bats, barn owls, badgers and great crested newts), a further report will be required from a specialist before work can proceed, and this will recommend the time of year that demolition work can take place and the mitigation measures required, such as providing alternative habitats.

Cost


A large part of the cost of demolition is landfill and haulage, so costs can be reduced if there is scope to reuse or dispose of non-toxic waste on site — such as clean hardcore for drives, paths, terraces and soakaways.

The time taken for demolition work depends on scale and complexity but will typically take four to eight days. If the building is a semi or terraced house, the adjoining buildings will require support following demolition, adding to the cost.

If there is specialist work required, such as removing asbestos (often found in the form of cladding, roofing and rainwater goods) this can complicate issues. There are strict rules on the removal and handling of asbestos, and it can be best to get a report and quote from a specialist contractor.

Demolition Method

The following order of works is typical for demolishing a house:

  • Cut off and cap all services such as main water and sewer connection, electricity, gas and telephone.
  • Erect site fencing and protect the site; erect scaffold if required.
  • Hazardous material (i.e. asbestos) removed under licence or by specialists if necessary.
  • Soft strip all loose items, kitchen, sanitaryware, and remove all cabling, lighting, plumbing, radiators etc.
  • Remove all doors, windows frames, linings, internal/external timber mouldings etc.
  • Strip roof and lead flashings.
  • Remove structural timbers, joists and trusses.
  • Demolish walls, salvaging bricks for example. Unwanted materials can be removed for crushing.
  • Break up remainder and grub up foundations and redundant drains.
  • Planning Permission

Working With Neighbours

If you are demolishing a property other than a detached house, the likelihood is that adjoining neighbouring properties enjoy a right of support — a special type of easement recognised and protected in law.

When you undertake demolition works, you have a duty to support the remaining portions of the building and to ensure the new building continues to do so.

The same right of support applies if you are excavating ground adjacent to a neighbour, for instance for foundations or a new basement.

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