Choosing the right people to demolish your KDR house

Demolition Project

Now that you have made the decision to go down the knockdown rebuild (KDR) path, have spoken to your builder who has inspected your KDR block AND you have signed a building contract for your new home, it’s time to think about the demolition.

Each step of the KDR process, leading up to the commencement of your new home, requires careful planning and research to ensure your project keeps on track and you are covered by relevant insurance policies and guarantees. Choosing a demolition contractor is no different, and it isn’t something you can DIY, unless you are a registered specialist. It’s important to get this first step of the site preparation right!

Some areas to review in your research on the contractor for your project include;

How do I find a demolition contractor?

It is always good practice to obtain a few quotes so that you can compare what is included in your demolition project cost. Your knockdown re-builder should be able to recommend demolition contractors from previous projects, attesting to their procedures and the state of the finished site. In addition, your local council may be a good source of recommendations after working with local contractors within their municipality. A drive around your area can provide a further resource as you notice other KDR projects, taking note of signage and if possible speak to the owners to get a referral.

What will they take care of?

Your licensed and registered demolition contractor will co-ordinate your entire demolition, from acquiring the relevant permits and insurance right through to the removal of all structures, debris and rubbish. In addition, they will co-ordinate the service removal process with the necessary authorities and providers, including;

  • Water – removal of mains waters, storm water and sewer drain lines,
  • Gas – removal of all gas lines and meter,
  • Telephone – removal of cabling,
  • Pay TV – removal of cabling,
  • Electricity – removal of all incoming supply lines.
What should they include in their demolition quote?

Foremost, your demolition quote should include the acquisition of a demolition permit for your specific property via your local council. In addition, an asset protection permit which may include a bond payment, is mandatory to cover the costs of any damage that may occur to council assets during the demolition process. Council assets refers to anything the general public uses such as footpaths, kerbs and channels.

You can ask your demolition contractor what items on your site may be recyclable, which not only reduces the impact on landfill but can also provide opportunities to bring your overall project cost down.

If your KDR site includes dangerous items or contaminated materials such as asbestos, your demolition contractor may require the services of an additional certified technician to remove the items safely and to provide a safety clearance certificate (e.g. Asbestos Clearance Certificate).

Some KDR sites will contain established trees and shrubbery, which may require additional council permission before removal. Your contractor can advise on what is required and will include any additional permit fees in their quotation.

Temporary fencing is required during the demolition process to protect the safety of the public and to keep trespassers off your property, and should be included in the quotation.

What should I check before the demolition starts?

Everything is set to go, but to be safe, one last check before the demolition starts!

  1. Signed HIA New Home Contract with your chosen builder
  2. Sighted demolition permit (be sure to check the validity period)
  3. Sighted asset protection permit (be sure to check the validity period)
  4. Review your demolition contractor’s public liability insurance (to protect against any damage to neighbouring properties/structures)

Once your site is clear of all structures, relevant trees and services, it is important to maintain this condition until your new home construction begins. Often, empty blocks can become dumping grounds for rubbish, which if not attended to, can delay the start of your new home.