You recently inherited an old vacant San Francisco home that’s been in your family for years. But upon closer inspection, the house is in such disrepair that it needs to be demolished before someone gets hurt. Although home demo is a relatively straightforward process it can be intimidating if you’ve never done it before.
After doing some research you’ve decided to coordinate the home demo and debris haul off yourself. Here’s how to ensure that the entire process goes more safely and seamlessly.
Home Deconstruction vs. Mechanical Demolition
There are two ways to take apart a house: mechanical demolition or deconstruction.
As the easiest, fastest and least expensive of the two a mechanical demo is done using hydraulic excavators and other heavy machinery. The average cost of a mechanical demolition runs between $4,000 and $14,000, and the resulting debris is typically hauled off in dumpsters or trailers for disposal.
A home deconstruction, or “demolition by hand”, is the process of manually stripping and taking apart a house piece by piece so that the building materials can be salvaged. That usually means that the homeowner is responsible for hauling off and lawfully disposing of the debris afterward.
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a large percentage of the debris resulting from a house deconstruction can be reused or recycled, including the bathtubs, light fixtures, doors, window glass, copper pipes and even the floorboard nails.
When doing home demo, the most cost-effective, environmentally friendly approach is to combine both methods- which is what you’ve decided to do.
Find a Good Home Demo Contractor in San Francisco
First, find a good home demolition contractor that can walk you through the process and present all your options. You will need some permits from the city, so find out who’s responsible for pulling those. Be sure to get any proposals and estimates from contractors in writing. After doing some research you’ve selected a demolition company that’s done several projects in the Nob Hill neighborhood.
Get a House Inspection
Before starting on the actual home demolition, you’ll need to schedule a house inspection because all older structures in San Francisco must be inspected for the presence of:
- Lead paint
- Rotted wood
- Other hazardous materials
If the structure contains hazardous materials like lead or asbestos, it’s best to hire a remediation specialist to handle the problem.
Since electricity and gas are potential health threats, when demolishing a house be sure to give the utility companies two weeks-notice so they can turn those services off.
Schedule a Salvageable Debris Pickup
Before doing the actual deconstruction, you’ll need to schedule a pickup and removal for any salvageable materials that can be recycled or reused, like:
- Unpainted wood
- Scrap metal
- Electronics (e-waste)
You can donate many salvageable items to a local Bay Area charity like Habitat for Humanity. It’ll also make life much easier if you can find a junk removal company that can drop off the donations for you, in addition to taking the rest of the materials to designated recycling centers.
Demolishing Your San Francisco House
Once the house deconstruction phase is over it’ll be time for the mechanical demolition crew to do their thing. Since the home has sentimental value you’ve decided to spend a couple days with your sister down by Fisherman’s Wharf so that you don’t have to watch.
Typically, the demolition professionals will deploy a large hydraulic excavator to knock down what’s left of the house and then remove the trash via dumpster or dump truck.
If it’s a total demolition they’ll go all the way down to the dirt and even remove the foundation. After the demolition team is through the site where the home once stood should be completely clean and the soil leveled.
What Comes Next After the Demolition?
Now that your old house has been demolished, you’ll have to decide what to do with the lot. You could always hold onto it as an investment or build a new custom home from scratch. But that decision can wait for another day!
Reliable Home Demo Debris Removals in San Francisco
Lawfully disposing of the debris after a home demo can be a real headache, especially when you have more important things to do. Save yourself the hassle by contacting the demolition debris and junk removal experts from West Coast Junk. Our affordable, reliable, no contact residential, commercial and business services include lawful junk removals, junk disposals and junk haul offs in San Francisco for appliances, electronics, furniture, clothing items, construction debris, yard waste and much more.
If it’s a DIY home deconstruction, our friendly WCJ team can even give you a hand! And we’re always happy to drop off your donations at the Bay Area charity of your choice. Before getting started on your next home demolition project contact the junk removal pros at West Coast Junk to schedule a convenient pickup appointment.