What Are the Risks of DIY Demolition?

Many people across America enjoy doing projects in their home without hiring a professional to do it for them. Known as “do-it-yourself,” or “DIY” projects, this trend has spurned an entire industry. In fact, it generates millions of dollars in annual revenue for national hardware chains that sell materials and tools to consumers that make it possible to upgrade, maintain, and renovate their homes. Many people are motivated to be DIYers by the desire to save money. In many instances, they do actually save money, particularly with relatively simple tasks such as changing light fixtures or adding backsplash tiles. However, in some areas of home construction and renovation, it pays to hire a professional. An example of this is with demolition.

Based on what one might see on television, it would be easy to misunderstand the dangers and costs of performing demolition as a DIY project. After all, it’s as easy as swinging a sledge hammer, right? In some cases, it might be that easy, but for buildings that need to be torn down or sections of buildings that must be removed without damaging connecting or nearby structures, it’s far from easy.

How a Demolition Contractor Can Help
A professional demolition contractor should have a depth of understanding of everything from the permits needed to obtain to the risks involved to whether or not asbestos mitigation must be included and how to protect occupants from danger. There is also the need to eliminate the risk of harm to passersby, and the legal and ethical responsibility for safely discarding the resulting debris. If a homeowner or commercial building operator decides to perform demolition on a DIY basis, they must also consider their liability risk. It’s not an exaggeration to say that one wrong move can result in a catastrophic loss of life and a lawsuit that might cost them everything they own.

Another consideration is the amount of time it takes from start to finish, and the resulting downtime when business cannot be conducted, or the occupants cannot live in the home. When a professional demolition company accepts a job, they will maximize their efficiency because that allows them to start the next job that much sooner.

A respected and reliable demolition company will offer their customers the following:

  • Competitive pricing and a written estimate that is clear and accurate.
  • Demolition services for jobs ranging in size. Note that some demolition companies specialize in larger jobs, while other demolition companies focus on smaller jobs usually within the residential market.
  • Thorough and lawful removal of the resulting debris to an approved dumping site or sites.
  • Self-contained with all the necessary equipment and machinery needed to properly and fully complete the job.

Demolition Work Can be Dangerous
There is often great risk associated with demolition, particularly when one is not trained or experienced or lacks the proper tools and equipment. Serious injury or death can result during demolition work. Buildings can collapse unexpectedly, beams can drop from ceilings, holes can open up in flooring. A professional demolition company will perform in-depth pre-demo analysis of load-bearing walls, existing structural design, and many other factors that should be fully understood before the project begins. Hazardous materials such as lead and asbestos are not necessarily visible, but are dangerous when not handled properly. The cost for hiring a commercial demolition service, like a commercial demolition service in Los Angeles, CA, is often well worth the investment.

Thanks to Nielsen Environmental for their insight into the risks of DIY demolition.