You have found the perfect piece of property to build your dream home. The problem is there is a nightmare of a house already on the property. What can be done? Tear it down yourself.
Tearing down a house is not something that is as easy as it sounds. It requires planning and carefully picking the house apart so that it can be easily loaded into trucks and hauled away. Hiring a company to tear down a house can cost up to $50,000. You can do it for under $10,000.
Things to Take Care Of
The first thing you need to do is inspect the house. Make notes of where the main walls are, how the roof is tied together, and how the house is separated from space to space. Make note of any area that is an obvious addition to the home. Then find and mark the main electrical panel, the main water line and the main sewer line.
Preparing For Demolition
Call up the rental equipment company and order a high hoe. This machine has a long singular arm with a bucket on it. Tell them you would like a pick bucket attachment which is a bucket that has a secondary jaw to pick up debris. This makes picking up debris easier for beginning machine operators.
Hire a trucking company to haul the debris away. This is going to be most of your cost as waster disposal can be very expensive.
Hire a plumber and electrician to cap the plumbing lines and disconnect the electrical service all the way back to the service pole or box.
Rip It Down
Starting in the front of the house where there is substantial room to maneuver, scrap the claw of the bucket across the top of the roof line. This will break into the roof, but pull the debris to the outside of the house allowing it to fall next to the house. Continue to do this until one side of the roof framing is exposed. Then side wipe the roof framing continuing to always pull out with the bucket keeping the debris from falling into the house. Load this debris into one of the dump trucks.
Reposition the machine so that you can push the other side of the roof to the side with your bucket. This will remove the entire other side of the roof wit hone movement. Break it up into sections on the ground and load it into a truck.
Starting at the top of the front wall, pull the wall forward starting from the corner. Pull the sections down and away to a corner. Then clear the them away or load them into a truck for disposal. If there is a second floor, only remove the front wall and then move to the floor.
For 2nd story floors, you simply get the bucket under the floor and lift the bucket arm up. this takes out the middle of the floor in pieces. All that will remain are the sidewalls and those can be pulled down to the outside with the remaining floor material on them. Clean up the debris before continuing.
For floors that lead to the basement, work carefully starting in a corner and scraping forward. Try not to drop a lot of material into the basement as it will be harder to remove later. Clean up all the debris and load it into the trucks.
You will want to start away from where the sewer and main water line come into the building. Tear down the foundation by pushing it inwards. After you do this, scoop out the debris and load it right away. Once all you have left is the wall with the plumbing into it, make sure that a plumber is on-site with you in case you hit the main or the water line. Tear down the remaining wall or walls and load up the trucks. Clean up any remaining debris.
This sounds fairly simple, but this entire process takes roughly a week to complete, only 1 day of which is tearing down the house. Depending on your municipality, you may need a permit to tear down the property.