Although a total asbestos ban was implemented in Australia in 2003, this ban did not effect the asbestos already in Australia’s housing supply. As a result, a large amount of Australian houses currently contain asbestos in one form or another…
For the uninitiated, demolishing a house can be a daunting task. There are countless factors that can effect the time and cost of your demolition job, lots of paper work to sign and then there’s the actual structural demolition!
To make the whole process a little less daunting we have put together a series of blogs called 'So you want to demolish a house'. Each instalment will walk you step-by-step through the process of demolishing - from getting a quote to the actual demolition.
In our first instalment we talked all about getting a demolition quote, and the sort of factors that will effect the price of your demo job. This time we are taking a look at what comes next after you have decided on a demolisher and signed your quote.
Under the NSW Planning and Environmental Assessment Act the demolition of pretty much any structure counts as development. This means that approval is required before your demolisher can get started.
This approval can be obtained in one of two ways:
The first, is by applying for Development Approval (known as DA) from council. This involves applying directly to your local council. It is worth noting that each council has its own requirements when it comes to applying for a DA so it pays to do your research.
The second option is by organising a Complying Development Certificate (known as a CDC) which can be arranged by your contracted demolition company. In this scenario a third party certifier sends your application to council. Since CDC is a set requirement across all of NSW the requirements are always the same, regardless of what council your property is in.
Generally speaking the CDC process takes 21 days in total: two weeks while the application sits with council followed by an additional seven day waiting period.
During this time you are required to hand out letters to neighbouring properties informing them that demolition work will be taking place. These letters must be distributed at least seven days before demolition begins.
In addition to approval from council, all services must be disconnected from the property prior to demolition. This includes electricity, water, gas and NBN access if the property has it. If you pick Home Demolitions as your demolition contractor we can organise electricity, water and NBN disconnection for you.
A final thing to consider is whether the property has any air conditioning units. If it does the units must be professionally degassed before demolition can begin. Air conditioning units contain either R22 or R4 gas, and both are harmful to the environment. Under the Ozone protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act of 1989 it is illegal to discharge these gases into the environment and harsh fines apply for doing so.
A common misconception about the demolition industry, and by extension those that work in it, is that demolition contractors have little concern for the environment.
To many, the demolition industry is characterised by machines blasting exhaust, huge clouds of dust, and rubble strewn everywhere. Not only is this stereotype untrue, it couldn’t be further from the truth.
At Home Demolitions we take great care to limit the impact our demolition operations have on the environment. Many of us at Home Demolitions have young children and as a result are deeply invested in a sustainable future for the next generation.
Obviously, demolition operations will always have some level of negative impact on the environment, such as wasted resources and disturbing soil; however, this base level of impact is as much the product of modern society's constant need for new development rather then the fault of the individual demolisher. After all we are simply responding to a need in the market to remove unwanted and derelict properties.
To make up for the unavoidable environmental damage that takes place from operating heavy machinery and destroying unwanted housing, Home Demolitions has practices in place to both reduce and offset any negative effects to the environment caused by demolition works. These practices include:
Sediment Control: During demolition and excavation works soil becomes disturbed, both a side effect of removing the house and tracking trucks and excavators over the site. This can lead to accelerated erosion or soil and sediment being carried off the site by rain and polluting local waterways.
To prevent this from happening we use Geofabric fencing at our demolition sites, a type of sediment control fencing that allows water to pass through while catching any soil or sediment. Not only is implementing such sediment control measures the responsible thing to do, it is also required by law.
Material Salvaging and Recycling: Home Demolitions leads the way in environmentally sustainable demolition practices by salvaging and recycling bricks, tiles, wood and other fittings from our demolition sites. These salvaged materials are sold at affordable prices through the Recycled Building Centre. The environmental benefit of recycling materials is twofold: less material ends up in landfill and old building materials are reused reducing the need to manufacture new materials.
Reducing Air Pollution: Before commencing demolition works we make sure that any air conditioners on the property have been properly degassed to prevent gas being discharged during demolition.
During structural demolition one of our labourers also sprays down the building being demolished with water to prevent dust and debris being disturbed and rising into the air.
Asbestos Removal and Renumeration: By carrying out asbestos removal work Home Demolitions is helping to get this dangerous substance out of our communities and contributing to an asbestos-free Sydney. All removed asbestos is safely and legally disposed of.
Before it was banned by the Australian government in 2003, asbestos based products were a commonly used building material. Today, 15 years on from the ban, asbestos is still found in most Australian homes that have been built or renovated before 1990.
As a result, asbestos can be found everywhere from walls, to underneath tiles, in pipe insulation, in wall cladding, in fencing and even in roofing - which was the most common use for asbestos up until the 1980’s.
Asbestos roofing products include asbestos cement shingles and corrugated asbestos fibre and cement sheets; the former of which saw use in Australia for over 40 years and is often referred to as ‘Super Six’.
The name Super Six is used colloquially to refer to all corrugated cement building materials; however, Super Six is technically a popular brand of corrugated cement sheeting products created by building product manufacturer James Hardie. James Hardie ceased manufacturing Super Six in 1985.
Today, James Hardie continues to make cement fibre products, although obviously these new cement fibre products contain no asbestos.
As well as roofing, super six was also used to construct garden walls and as fencing.
Super Six is generally white to grey in colour (however it was often painted) and is hard and brittle.
Although super six is classed as a non-friable asbestos product because the dangerous asbestos fibres are encased in cement, this classification isn’t always accurate.
After prolonged exposure to the weather the cement in Super Six can wear down, exposing and releasing the dangerous asbestos fibres contained within. These fibres could become airborne and inhaled or fall to the ground and make their way into local waterways.
If super six, or any product containing asbestos for that matter, are found in your home they must be removed before demolition can begin. Each piece of a material containing asbestos must be removed by hand, being careful not to damage or break it. The discarded asbestos is then wrapped in plastic and placed in a skip so it can be taken offsite and legally disposed of.
It's hard to believe that Christmas is just around the corner!
That's right, Christmas 2017 is less than a week away which means soon the new year will be upon us. Although no one knows for sure what the future holds, the Home Demolitions crew are pretty confident that 2018 will bring with it plenty more houses to demolish!
With that in mind we thought we would indulge in some nostalgia by taking a look back at some of the more memorable demolition jobs we performed this year:
5. Demolition with a view
Coming in at number five is this house in Dover Heights. Even with a steep gradient to contend with and torrential rain we were able to knock this job out quickly. In just a couple of days the site was a blank slate and ready for the builder to get to work on.
Why it made the list: Sure, there may not have been anything particularly unique or stand-out about the demolition job itself, but that stunning view of the Sydney CBD is one we soon won't forget!
4. Surprise in store
This asbestos cladded fibro home was covered in a brick facade. This particular brick facade job was so convincing that it wasn't until we started removing asbestos panels in the laundry toward the back of the dwelling that we were able to determine that the dwelling wasn't made out of brick at all, it was an asbestos cladded fibro house with a brick facade!
Why it made the list: It's not often that a brick facade job is this convincing!
3. Penrith's taste of the wild west
Hidden in the backyard of a normal-looking brick home in suburban Penrith stood this orange monstrosity. Constructed of wood covered in sand and painted, this bizarre structure looked like it belonged in some sort of theme park.
Why it made the list: Although we have certainly seen our fare share of sheds, shelters and other small structures in the backyards of houses we demolish, we have never seen anything quite like this!
2. Cubby house demolition
This cubby demolition proves that no job is ever too small for Home Demolitions. Plus it was a great excuse to get the youngest member of our team to work!
Why it made the list: not only was our tiny excavator operator more than up to the task, he was incredibly photogenic too!
1. Katoomba RSL
At the beginning of the year Home Demolitions was brought in to provide emergency demolition and asbestos remediation works at the fire ravaged Katoomba RSL. The job was big and fairly involved, requiring all three of our excavators and excvator operators.
Why it made the list: The Katoomba RSL club really was the heart of the community and although we are sad to see it damaged by fire and demolished, we feel honoured that we could be involved in clearing the way for what comes next.
From all of us here at home demolitions we just want to wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy and safe new year.
To everyone who engaged our services this year, recommended us to a friend or even just read our blog we would like to say a huge thank you!
We love what we do and are excited to perform more top-notch demolitions in the new year!
Aside from costs, one of the most common things people want to know when they are considering demolishing their home is how long it will take.
As with a lot of these general demolition questions there unfortunately isn’t a simple or ‘one-size-fits-all' style answer.
The reality is that every house is very different and is composed of a variety of factors that will all impact the demolition time required.
With that in mind, we thought we would provide a quick overview of these factors and how they can affect the time required to demolish your home.
Note: The following information assumes that you are going the traditional demolition route.
The first, and possibly biggest, variable that impacts demolition time is the presence of asbestos.
In the past we have written rather extensively about the asbestos removal process and what is involved in demolishing a house containing the dangerous substance.
Without going into too much detail, asbestos removal is tedious and time consuming as each panel containing asbestos has to be removed by hand. Depending on the size of the house and how much asbestos is present this could take anywhere between a couple of hours or a couple of days.
Some asbestos removal cases are particularly involved, such as an asbestos cladded fibro home we demolished that featured a brick veneer (photo below). In order to access the panels for removal the brick veneer had to be demolished by hand, resulting in a week long asbestos removal job.
Once the asbestos has been stripped and tiles have been removed from the roof, structural demolition can begin. Structural demolition is performed with an excavator and involves systematically knocking down one part of the structure at a time.
This is where huge variations in time can occur, depending on what material the house is made out of and how big it is.
As well as size, the slope of the land and street access also play a role in the time required for your demolition. The more accessible the site, the larger the truck that can access it. A larger truck means that the removal of debris and recyclable materials happens quicker, potentially speeding up the process.
Some other factors that affect your demolition timeline include:
- Demolition letters and asbestos removal letters which are sent out to neighbouring properties a week and two weeks respectively, before work can commence.
- If there are trees on the property that need to be removed. In particular larger trees will require a licensed arborist and may require council approval to cut down.
- Depending on the council, a sediment control plan may need to be in place on the site. This could include on-site sediment control measures such as erecting Geo-fabric fencing.
So, there you have it. While this is by no means a comprehensive or definitive guide to the factors that can affect demolition time, it should provide you with a basic understanding of just how long it could take to turn your property in to a clean block of land.
Earlier this year Home Demolitions was contracted to demolish the Katoomba RSL.
Unfortunately the circumstances surrounding the demolition of this community icon were far from desirable as the building had sustained significant structural damage due to a fire. The fire started in the building’s roof but was put out by the local fire brigade before it could spread to any neighbouring buildings.
With repair not an option and dangerous asbestos exposed from the fire damage, the Home Demolitions crew were brought in to perform emergency demolitions. The demolition and following rubble disposal was one of the bigger jobs we have undertaken, requiring the use of three of our larger excavators.
Close to a year later and the owners of the RSL were so impressed with our performance on the job that they called us back to demolish an old house that shares the block with the now demolished Katoomba RSL.
Although the cottage wasn't damaged in the fire, it was due for demolition for another reason: the owners we eager to free up more land so the new Katoomba RSL can be bigger and better than ever.
The small brick cottage was a fairly straight forward job, only requiring one of our excavators.
It was a real treat to be able to return to the former Katoomba RSL site to ‘finish the job’ so to speak, demolishing the old house and usher in the construction of the new RSL building.
The whole crew here at Home Demolitions looks forward to visiting the new Katoomba RSL once it is completed and grabbing a well deserved drink!
Check out some snaps of the demolition below:
In a somewhat controversial move, the NSW State Government has voted in favour of demolishing the Sydney Olympic Stadium in Olympic park, Homebush.
That’s right, the stadium that brought us Cathy Freeman’s win in the 400m sprint, the Rabbitoh’s historic grand final win in 2014, the Socceroos' victory over Uruguay that got us into the 2006 world cup, and of course, the opening ceremony of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games that launched the fleeting career of pop ‘icon’ Nikki Webster, is due to be destroyed and rebuilt.
The epic knockdown rebuild of the Sydney Olympic stadium, currently known as ANZ stadium, will be accompanied by the demolition and re-construction of the Sydney Football Stadium in Moore Park. All up the project is expected to cost $2.3 billion.
The demolition of the old Olympic Stadium and construction of the new stadium is due to kick off in 2019 and be opened to the public in 2022. Work at the Sydney Football stadium will commence in 2018 and be completed by 2021.
The logic behind the project is to construct a new stadium better suited to the types of sports regularly played in Australia. This includes an expanded seating capacity of 70,000 - 80,000 sports fans for the rebuilt Sydney Olympic stadium and 45,000 sports fans for the new Football Stadium.
The NSW State Government also stated that Sydney’s sporting infrastructure had fallen behind the rest of the country and that construction of the new stadiums will make Sydney Australia’s number one destination for big events.
The project has been a long time coming and was first floated in parliament back in 2015.
Understandably not everyone is on board with some members of the government cabinet unsure as to why a state of the art facility that is less than 20 years old needs to be rebuilt.
Although opposition leader Luke Foley was in support of building a new Olympic Stadium, he was against rebuilding the Sydney Football Stadium in Moore Park, skeptical that the venue would ever be able to fill it’s proposed 45,000 seating capacity.
If your house was built between 1920 through to 1990 there’s a good chance it contains asbestos. While some houses, like the humble fibro shack, wear their asbestos loud and proud, other homes have been renovated to conceal any asbestos. A preliminary site inspection can help to determine if and where any asbestos is located.
Regardless of where the asbestos is located in your house, it is important that it is disposed of correctly. Unfortunately, this process is fairly time consuming as each element containing asbestos must be carefully removed, wrapped and then gently placed in a skip for proper disposal. Although tedious, there is no other way to safely remove unwanted asbestos (is there any other kind?). For this reason asbestos costs roughly three times the amount to remove as other building materials. The removed asbestos is then taken to a specialised site and disposed of. It costs roughly 30 cents to dispose of one kilo of asbestos (about $330 a tonne).
I get it, asbestos is expensive and time consuming to remove, but how much will it actually cost to demolish an asbestos clad home? Unfortunately, there is no straight forward figure as the presence of asbestos is just one of the many factors that can impact the price of a home demolition. Generally speaking, demolishing a one story family home containing asbestos will cost somewhere between $15,000 to $22,000; however, this number will vary greatly depending on other factors such as the material the house is made out of and the amount of asbestos present.
All quotes include the cost of an asbestos certificate, which is required by council and builders in order for new construction to commence on the site of your demolished home.
With 30 different local government areas in The Sydney Metropolitan Area, each with their own specific twists and variances to the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act (1979) - it's no wonder that the process of applying to knock down a house to build a new one seems daunting to say the least. With approximately 18,000 new developments being approved in NSW over the past year alone, it's surprising that no one has yet managed to streamline the rigmarole of managing development, particularly for straight forward residential structures.
Defined as ‘development’ under the aforementioned NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act; Demolition of just about any structure technically requires consent of local Council. Exceptions are made for authorised works that fall into the category of ‘exempt development’, ‘complying development’ or under a Council Order.
Some demolition work is permitted under State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 as ‘complying development’. If you meet all requirements of the SEPP for ‘complying development’ you can lodge a Complying Development Certificate (CDC) Application with most Councils or an Accredited Certifier.
In saying all of this however, the exact specifics as to what may fall under The State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) (2008) is a subjective matter open to many avenues of interpretation. Further, the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act of 1979, as the year suggests is a little antiquated to say the least, with the majority of definitions pertaining directly to development of properties on "Crown Land" - so what does this mean for you, the aspiring developer, who knows?
Depending on the particular style of your home, whether it be double brick, vener, timber or a fibro shack - certain preliminary site works will need to be undertaken to ensure efficiency and safety throughout the duration of the demolition process.
At the top of this to do list comes the removal of any asbestos containing elements or fittings of the house, commonly Australian homes built from 1940 through to 1990 will contain asbestos products within area most susceptible to prolonged exposure to moisture or heat "think of wet area splash backs and fireplaces or stove surrounds" whilst some homes have been renovated to conceal, contain or even hide these fibre board products, some simply display their past loud and proud, as is found in the essential Australian classic, fibro shack.
So, if any material that contains asbestos need to be removed prior to demolition, and the entire house is made out of fibro asbestos board, where does this leave you at the end of the day. Well, as seen from the images above and below, the answer is, not much!
Although painfully time consuming, there are no known alternatives to the process of carefully removing each panel individually, wrapping in a protective film and delicately placing each section in a skip for transport to a treatment facility. Whilst taking a little longer in prep work, the removal of remaining materials such as the timber frame and concrete slabs is generally pretty quick given that very little is in the way to stop the brute force of a 25 tonne excavator.
It's the first day of Winter - What better reason to get rid of your old swimming pool "and entire house" because really, who wants to go swimming in Sydney's icy cold weather?
Bbbbb.......But cant you just fill the pool in with soil? Sure, if you want a giant un-drainable muddy swamp. What about demolishing the pool, leaving the concrete and adding a top layer with clean fill, great idea, just as long as you don't plan on building anything on the site ever again.
If your'e considering a knock down rebuild but aren't too sure whether you want to keep your pool or do away with it with the rest of the house, contact Home Demolitions today for answers pertaining to all of your swimming pool related queeries.
Shown here at almost 20x speed, the demolition of this house on Sydney's Northern Shore actually took about a day to complete, but hey, why not enjoy all the action compressed into a handy bite sized video!
Not to be confused with the 1993 Snipes vs Stallone dystopian blockbuster Demolition Man, this recent drama film is about a man that loses a loved one which results in the entirety of his life being questioned. Dealing with complex thoughts and emotions, Gyllenhaal the main character finds solace in dismantling various items around his home which eventually leads to demolishing the whole house.
The movie itself scores a 7/10 on IMDB and even won a couple of small film festival awards. Although saddened that this film doesn't focus on the Demolition aspect of things "we would have loved to have seen a 20 tonne excavator become a plot twisting love interest" it may be worth a watch if you're a fan of Jake Gyllenhaal or director Jean-Marc Vallée "notable for directing some film called Loser Love?"
"How much will it cost to demolish my house?" ~ Great question!
Well, if you're reading this, it's most likely that you're trying to get a rough idea on the cost of demolishing your existing house "presumably to build a new one" because, let's face it, there's a whole heap of varied information across the internet but not a lot of definitive answers.
But why is that? Well, the cost of demolishing any structure is subject to a multitude of variables which can dramatically dictate the total cost of the project, for example, asbestos contaminated materials are not only more labor intensive to remove, requiring the employment of trained professionals but also costs approximately 3 times as much to safely dispose of in contrast to other materials like concrete or timber.
Other factors range from the particular gradient of the property, the existence of established trees or plants, the placement of essential services like water, gas and electricity through to the properties proximity to the nearest recycling or disposal facility.
"Gosh! Just tell me a price." Anywhere from $10,000 to $80,000, these are the extremes of either end but for your average Sydney 3 bedroom home, you will be looking at around fifteen to twenty thousand dollars.
You may be a couple years off beginning your new development, heck - you may not even have purchased a house yet but it's always better off knowing what you're getting yourself into because lets face it, you cant build your dream home until you remove the existing structures from your land.
Our simple online quote request tool takes just a couple of minutes to complete and enables our staff to give a fast and accurate quote based upon our many years of experience and knowledge. Feel free to request your obligation free quote today!
Home Demolitions comes across personal safes and even commercial grade security lockups on a regular basis, the reason being that safes are notoriously heavy objects, often weighing in excess of hundreds of kilograms and so, many people simply opt to have the old heaving hulks of steel dealt with by a 20 tonne excavator. This particular safe however was already damaged and was no longer serviceable rendering it nothing more than an extremely awkward paper weight.
Whilst a new excavator is nothing out of the ordinary for Home Demolitions, heck, we upgrade our machinery and equipment to keep up with the latest technology more frequently than some people change their undies! But, for the past decade or so, we have solely used Komatsu brand excavators and by all means, we still love our existing Komatsu models but every once in a while something new, something exciting, something outstanding comes along and it's simply too hard to resist.
This Sumitomo is a middleweight multipurpose excavator which is absolutely perfect for pretty much all nature of demolishing, it has more than enough weight and power to bring just about any structure down whilst maintaining a nimble versatility that enables it to squeeze into even the tightest of housing blocks. Unlike other manufacturers of excavation equipment, Sumitomo includes a plethora of nifty tools and features ranging from a neat'o blade attached to the front (perfect for creating perfectly level ground) all the way through to an oversized cup holder which fits even the most super sized coffee without a problem.
Although brand spanking new, this gutsy little tracker has made a big impression on the Home Demolition staff with some operators waiting in line for a chance to take it out for a spin. We're looking forward to see how it goes over the next couple of weeks. . . and who knows, maybe we'll go pick up a couple more!
There are many reasons to demolish a house; Maximising your properties value, the existing structure is no longer safe or to make way for new developments to just name a couple. As previously discussed, demolishing a house with tenants can bee tricky at times but what if the tenants have no legal lease agreement and refuse to leave - does this warrant demolishing a house? In this particular instance, a house located in Sydney's lower north shore suburb of Northbridge was inhabited by about twenty thousand squatters whom flat out refused to leave.
Fortunately for these bumbley little honey making insects, Home Demolitions had no intention of destroying their home and leaving them hive-less. As man kind is now staring to learn, bees are a crucial part of our ecosystem and without them, the world as we know it will pretty much come to an end.
The site had already been fenced, salvage and asbestos removal was ready to commence but the bees remained, few people were game to go anywhere near the swarm of ever increasingly angry yellow necked stingey doodles. Sure, extermination companies would be happy to come and well, terminate the bees but surely there is a better way? Knowing nothing of bees but assuming them to have some inherent value considering that an established hive sells for upwards of a couple hundred dollars. A couple of local bee keepers found on a local business directory all raised their hands when asked if they wanted to come and re-home this crazy bunch of pointy butt buzzers. It soon became a race to see who could get to the bees first to reap the sweet benefits of a perpetual honey making machine.
With the little buzzing picnic ruiners gone, procedures were able to continue as per normal. The house was prepped, demolished and the land was grazed to a nice clean and level lot for the building of a future dream home.