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Need Demolition Help? How to Find the Right Team

So you find the PERFECT place for your new home. The only problem? The ugly eyesore left by the previous owners.

What to do if you have your own idea of a housing beauty?

Demolish the old house!

A demolition team will remove the old structure safely so you can get on with business. Here are some easy guidelines for finding just the right team for the job.

Do You Need a Demolition Professional?

Demolition teams are needed anytime you are tearing down an entire house. When the project is smaller, a general contractor can usually take care of the situation.

If you decide to go with a demolition squad, before you even hire someone, decide with your contractor if there are any salvageable materials. There may be items you can use in the new construction, or donate to Habitat for Humanity or other similar organizations.

The best way to find a demolition team for your project is to get several recommendations from your general contractor. The demolition market is small, and if you don't live in a large city, your selection of teams may be small.

So trust your contractor, but also perform an in depth interview. In larger areas, there are organizations you can contact for recommendations. JD Elder of Elder Demolition of Portland suggests, "Calling the local Contractor Plan Center will get you a list of respectable companies."

Be complete in your interview process.

  • How long have they been in business?
  • Are they licensed and bonded?
  • Does their written contract meet your approval?
  • Can you see a copy of their insurance?
  • Will they provide references?

The demolition teams' responsibility for the project is varied. They include:

  • Obtaining the demolition permit
  • Getting an asbestos check
  • Contacting utility companies
  • Arranging for cleanup and removal of materials
  • Completing the demolition on time and budget

There are special precautions regarding potentially hazardous materials. "Urban areas require a Hazardous Materials Survey that defines materials such as asbestos and leads that are regulated under OSHA," says Elder, "The removal of these materials requires a licensed abatement contractor." Your demolition contractor is responsible for taking care of these issues.

What to Expect During Demolition

  • Most home demolitions will require the use of cranes, tractors, excavators and even explosives. Wrecking balls are not generally used on homes.
  • It can take up to week, depending on the size of the home.
  • Dust can be problem; use water to keep it down so you don't get fines (or angry stares from neighbors).
  • Notify neighbors of the demolition ahead of time. Being aware that the noise and dust will be temporary can go a long way toward good neighbor relations.

Kathy Wilson is a home and garden writer, author and consultant and is the home decorating expert for LifetimeTV.com. Visit her for more home and garden ideas at http://www.TheBudgetDecorator.com and

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