Knock Down, Drag Out: How To Have Your Garage Demolished Swiftly And Safely

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Even the most sturdily built garage will not last forever, and if you have an aged, dilapidated garage on your property you may wish to have it completely demolished, either to erect a new garage in its place or use the extra space for other purposes.

However, while demolishing a garage isn't as big or complex a job as destroying a full-blown house, it is still not a task to be taken likely, and easily-avoided mistakes can significantly hamper your demolition plans. To make sure that your upcoming garage demolition goes smoothly, be sure to keep the following advice in mind while you arrange and supervise the tear-down:

Arranging your garage demolition

The first step of arranging any garage demolition is having the garage inspected. This will ascertain the strength of the structure and the materials used to create it, and help your chosen demolition service prepare for the task in hand and select the most effective demolition equipment. Generally, this inspection can be conducted by the demolition company itself, but care should be taken if your garage is several decades old -- garages from this era often contain dangerous asbestos, and will have to be inspected by specialised asbestos inspection services to ensure safety.

You will also have to choose the method by which your garage will be demolished. Free-standing garages can be quickly and efficiently torn down using heavy demolition equipment and excavators; however, garages which adjoin your home can be more difficult to deal with. To prevent accidental damage being dealt to the rest of your home, these attached garages often have to be demolished by hand, a time consuming process that minimises disruption and tends to be quite environmentally friendly.

Demolishing your garage

Once the garage has been fully inspected and prepared for demolition, it can be torn down safely. This can be quite a loud and disruptive process, so you may wish to be elsewhere while the process takes place. Depending on local laws and the scale of your garage demolition project, you may also be required to inform neighbours and nearby businesses about your demolition works

Dealing with the aftermath

Once your garage has been fully demolished, you will have to figure out what to do with the salvage, rubble and waste building materials left over. If your garage was in reasonably good condition, much of the salvage can fetch a good price as recycled building materials -- old-growth structural timber and reinforced concrete are particularly valuable, and your demolition company may be interested in purchasing some of your salvage by giving you a discount on demolition costs.

If your garage was a substantial building with full-blown concrete foundations, you will also have to decide what to do with the bare concrete floor left over. If you intend to build a new garage in place of the old one, these foundations can be left in place and reused as long as they are in reasonable condition. If, however, you wish to return to bare earth, your demolition company may be able to offer foundation excavation services.