Demolishing a house is not done lightly. It is essential to take many precautions because it involves risks at different levels. But above all, administrative procedures are necessary. Whether the demolition is partial or total, you must first request authorization. Then there is the question of the cost of the work, because calling on a demolition company is a matter of common sense.
Demolishing a house: what precautions should be taken?
There are many safety precautions that need to be followed to ensure that a home demolition proceeds safely. It is therefore appropriate:
- Place a security perimeter by fencing the site in order to prohibit access to anyone other than the team in charge of the demolition,
- To protect :
- public roads,
- all adjoining land.
- To control :
- the plan of the underground pipes,
- overhead power line,
- the telephone line.
- To support load-bearing walls,
- To equip each person working on the site with PPE, i.e. Personal Protective Equipment,
- To only use equipment suitable for the chosen demolition method. It can be a bulldozer, a demolition shovel, a demolition grapple, even explosives.
We do not demolish a house like we knock down a simple interior partition to enlarge a bedroom, for example. These are two very different actions, having no measure in common. Whatever the demolition technique used, it is imperative to entrust this type of work to a specialized company.
Demolition of a house: what does the law say?
The legislation is very clear: the total or partial demolition of a building can only be carried out after authorisation, with the exception of certain very specific cases.
Demolition of a building without a demolition permit
It is not necessary to apply for a demolition permit if you wish to demolish a building:
- Unhealthy, insofar as the insalubrity of the building is declared,
- Following a court decision,
- Representing a threat because it is in a state of ruin.
In all other cases, a demolition permit is required.
Compulsory demolition permit: in which cases?
It is mandatory to start with apply for a demolition permit before starting work in the following cases:
- The construction to be demolished is erected in a protected sector or is classified as a historical monument,
- The obligation to apply for a demolition permit is established by the Municipal Council.
In order not to make any misunderstandings, it is necessary to inquire beforehand at the town hall of the commune and more particularly at the service of Town planning.
To apply for the demolition permit, it is necessary to complete the form Cerfa N°13405*03 and drop it off at City Hall.
Permit to demolish without reconstruction
Before starting the demolition work, it is imperative to obtain a permit to demolish without a reconstruction project. This is done using the form Cerfa N°13405*05 which can be obtained on the official site of the public service.
Demolition permit with reconstruction project
Acquiring land with a ruin may require demolishing this old building in order to build a house later, or partially demolishing the old building to be able to develop it. These are two relatively common scenarios. All you have to do is attach a demolition request to the building or development permit application.
Apply for a demolition permit
The demolition file must be sent in four copies, by registered mail with acknowledgment of receipt, to the town hall of the municipality concerned. The decree (decision of the town hall) is sent to the applicant by registered letter with AR. Work can begin from the date specified by the town hall by means of a receipt which also indicates the registration number.
At the end of the investigation period, the absence of a response from the town hall can be considered as a tacit agreement. It is strongly recommended to ask for a confirmation of non-objection to the demolition project.
Another possible scenario: the town hall refuses to grant the demolition permit. The person concerned may request a review of the decision.
How much does demolition of a house cost?
Demolishing a house is expensive and that’s normal because the scale and dangerousness of the work require the intervention of a company that works on the site with specific machinery. We do not demolish a load-bearing wall or a house if we are not in the business, even if we are convinced that we are very good at DIY (in all modesty).
Calling on a demolition company allows you to respect the land, which will facilitate a possible reconstruction. It is just as essential to spare the neighboring constructions, the public areas located around the site. It is also essential to ensure the safety of people because this type of work exposes risk of serious accidents. Finally, entrusting this work to a demolition company makes it possible not to have to evacuate the rubble and other waste since the professional takes care of their collection and their routing.
The cost of demolition is commensurate with the scope of the work. The larger the house to be demolished, the higher the budget. However, the price per M² is decreasing. The complexity of the demolition work must also be taken into account.
Other factors may lead to an additional cost: the unsealing and the asbestos removal. It is important to have a diagnosis established in order to know if the house to be demolished is contaminated by lead or by asbestos. The cost of the diagnosis varies between 80 and 150 €.
This point is very important because in the presence of asbestos, for example, the waste will have to be managed differently. There are strict standards that must be met. There is at least 30 €/M² for asbestos removal, 250 to 300 € for each ton of waste removed and recycled.
Thus, to demolish a house with asbestos, the amount is between 250 and 500 €/M².
The cost of demolishing an asbestos-free house with an area of 100 M² is in the range of 9,000 to 23,000 €.
These are only average prices. It is essential to request several quotes from local demolition companies to be able to compare prices and services. The comparison of demolition quotes is interesting because the price of the operation can vary from 25 to 30% from one company to another.