What’s involved in demolishing my existing house?

Once you’ve decided that you’re going to knock down your existing house and build a brand new home on the same land, the first major task is to demolish your old place.

The cost and complexity of your demolition will depend on several factors including the size of your old dwelling, the materials it is constructed from, and the ease of access to the site. Clearly, a large house made of brick or concrete is going to be harder and take longer to demolish than a small fibro house.

Additionally, there will likely be house foundations to remove, outdoor zones like patios, pools and gardens to be dug up to make room for your brand new home. But before you grab that sledge hammer you need to understand the demolition process. ZAC Homes handles the demolition on behalf of our clients but many building companies will require you to arrange the demolition yourself. Either way, you need to know the requirements.

Step-by-step demolition

In this article, we’re assuming that you’ve already checked that your house can be demolished and replaced with a brand new home.

The first step in the demolition process is to obtain the necessary permits. Then you need to arrange for the removal of services, vegetation, and more. Once the site is safe the demolition crew can move in. At ZAC Homes we arrange for the demolition to take place and include that in the contract, however, most builders will not arrange demolition on your behalf. They will usually recommend some reputable companies you can hire yourself. We recommend that you use a professional demolition crew rather than attempting the job yourself.

Obtaining permits

For the demolition of your house to proceed, you’ll need either a Complying Development Certificate (CDC) approval or a Development Application (DA).

In most cases a Demolition Application can be approved under Complying Development so it can be done directly through a Private Certifier negating the need to go through the local council. This is assuming the work complies with NSW Exempt & Complying Development Codes 2008 and the Section 10.7 Certificate that applies to your property stipulates demolition can be approved under Complying Development.

A Section 10.7 Planning Certificate is issued by your local council and gives information on the development potential of a specific block of land including any planning restrictions that apply to the land as at the date of issue. This includes the zoning of the property and state and local planning controls.

All applications must be lodged via the NSW Planning portal www.planningportal.com.au

If a Development Application is required, it is applied for via your Local Council and rules vary.

The CDC process generally takes around 21 days in total. During this time, as property owner you are required to hand out letters to neighbouring properties letting them know that demolition work will be taking place. The letters must be distributed at least seven days before demolition starts. Additionally, any trees that need to be removed from your property will need separate approval from the council if they are eight metres or taller or are noted as a significant tree to your council area.

Disconnect and remove existing services

An essential step is to arrange to have your utilities removed before your house is demolished. This needs to be arranged well in advance. The water, electricity, Internet and gas supply will need to be removed from the property, including all pipes and meters. This allows builders to start from a blank slate, without having to worry about old systems interfering with construction work.

Building demolition

The removal of an existing house involves deconstruction and demolition. Deconstruction is the selective dismantling of a structure to preserve its components for recycling, re-purposing, and waste management. As it is usually done by hand, it is more labour-intensive, time-consuming, and expensive.

Deconstruction also includes the removal of hazardous materials such as asbestos which is governed by strict removal and disposal requirements. After hazardous and recyclable materials have been removed, mechanical demolition can begin. In short, the house is removed using excavators and other heavy equipment which is the most efficient and cost-effective way to complete home demolition. This stage of the demolition is relatively quick with the block cleared in a matter of a few days, and the waste removed to an appropriate waste management facility.

Demolition Clearance Certificate

Once the demolition is complete and the land is clear you will need a Demolition Clearance Certificate. This certificate is essential to prove that your block of land is safe, clean and free of any asbestos, all of which are necessary criteria before the construction of your brand new home can commence.

How can ZAC Homes assist with your demolition?

At ZAC Homes, we take care of everything from design, approvals, demolition (if required) and construction.  ZAC Homes builds with trust, respect, integrity and pride, which we work hard to deliver to every client. Call us on 1300 350 793 or send us an online enquiry and our team will work with you to design and build your dream home.

Want more information?

Contact our team using the form or using the details below

Phone: 1300 350 793

Email: sales@zachomes.com.au

Address: Unit 6, 119 Coreen Avenue, Penrith, 2750

Book an appointment online or visit us at our display homes at Box Hill and Marsden Park

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