Whether your demolition project is because of a devastating event like a fire or because of a happy occasion such as the renovation of a cherished family home, demolition is actually a very delicate procedure that requires sensitivity and tact in addition to great skill. It’s important to make sure the demolition company you hire for your project is up to the task. Before you sign on the dotted line, here are some important questions to keep in mind.
Is complete demolition really necessary?
Complete structural demolition is rarely the first choice. It should only be used in cases where a building is completely beyond repair to prepare the site for reconstruction. You should feel comfortable asking if total demolition is required, or if your goals can be achieved through interior selective demolition. This will affect the permit applications, the environmental impact and the overall cost of your demolition project.
Safety should be the first priority of any reputable demolition company. This applies to the safety of their team and of any people or property in the area surrounding the project. Ask for a description of the company’s safety procedures. These procedures should cover the physical safety of the project and the long-term safety of the environment in the event of discovering hazardous materials during the demolition.
Who handles municipal permits?
The City of Toronto has an extensive list of by-laws for the construction industry, some of which differ based on the age and the location of the structure slated for demolition. Any demolition company you choose should have a thorough understanding of the local by-laws and be ready, willing and able to handle the complex application process on your behalf.
What is the process to dispose of hazardous materials?
If toxic substances like lead, asbestos or mould are found during the course of demolition, your contractor should have a firm plan in place to handle the safe disposal of these materials. That’s why it’s a good idea to ensure your demolition company is also an environmental remediation specialist. Also, do they use eco-friendly cleaning products on the job? Melaleuca products, for example, are safe for the environment and can still tackle tough cleaning jobs with using toxins and harmful chemicals.
How are the proceeds from salvage value handled?
On a demolition project, salvage materials that are sold for recycling can help to keep those materials out of the landfill. It can also offset the cost of your demolition project. Be sure to ask the demolition contractor you’re considering for a project how the proceeds from salvage materials are factored into the cost of your job.
The rules surrounding construction and demolition are many, and with good reason. There are constant changes to the standards and procedures around harmful materials at the federal, provincial and municipal levels of government. Reputable demolition contractors stay on top of these changing regulations. Taking the time to ensure the demolition company you hire for your project is thoroughly qualified is a decision you will never regret!