Construction Management Engineering

Commercial Demolition Guide and Related Costs

Commercial Demolition

Commercial demolition requires more scrutiny and care than residential demolition It involves the partial or complete destruction of unusable or abandoned retail structures, office buildings, and warehouses, among other commercial buildings. Commercial demolition is also known as industrial demolition, as it involves tearing down commercialized buildings.

These buildings may contain dangerous materials or be severely damaged. Therefore, it would be safer and cost-effective to tear them and use the land for other profitable purposes or sell it.

Are you new to commercial demolition? If yes, this article will help you learn some key things about it, including demolition cost, methods, and tips to help you find the best commercial demolition company. So, let’s get started with the basic things, shall we?

What type of structure should I call for commercial demolition?

  • Health care
  • School
  • Factory
  • Pool
  • Pavilion
  • Church
  • Auditorium
  • Parking lot
  • Warehouse
  • Gymnasium
  • Office
  • Shopping malls, and many more

How are commercial buildings demolished?

There are several demolition approaches used in demolishing commercial buildings. Here are some commonly used methods:

1.      Hand demolition

This building demolition approach is not the fastest. However, it has several advantages that make it an effective method. For instance, hand demolition involves the use of hand tools to demolish a building.

These tools ensure that a significant number of building materials are still reusable. Materials such as power cords and LAN cables remain intact upon demolition by hand. As a result, it saves on future costs.

2.      Mechanical demolition  

Commercial demolition contractors often use this method to tear down commercial structures. This method involves the use of high-end technologies and heavy machines to bring down the building. Such technologies and machinery require skilled operators to get things done.

Therefore, this approach requires experts to do the job because the skills are not self-taught. Some machines used include wire rope pills, hydraulic excavators, and wrecking balls.

Industrial demolition contractors use this method quickly and can tear down a storey commercial building in a few hours. However, the risks associated with this demolition approach are not few.  They include dust, uncontrolled or unintentional collapse, flying debris, and vibration on the adjoining buildings, just to name a few.

Most of these risks are not a big problem when you hire a certified and well-managed commercial demolition company. Therefore, you don’t have to worry much about them.

3.      Demolition by implosion or explosion

This method is the most effective and efficient way to demolish your commercial building. It saves you money and time because it brings down a multi-storeyed structure in a series of controlled and calculated explosions. Commercial building demolition by implosion or explosion is the best option when tearing down buildings in areas that pose significant threats to the ecosystem and the people around.

However, it requires the company offering commercial demolition services to have an expert team in the industry. The case is so because it requires a team with a special set of skills in handling explosions.

Many structures, except timber and brick structures, can adapt to this demolition method. To avoid violating codes regarding demolition, consider seeking necessary documents and legal permission before commencing the demolition process.

Now that you’ve known about demolition methods, what’s next? Perhaps the costs, right?

How to determine commercial demolition costs

Typically, commercial demolitions costs are tied to the building’s square footage. The demolition costs for commercial buildings range between $4 and $8. Therefore, to get a rough picture of how much it will cost you to demolish a commercial building, multiple its square footage by the estimated range.

However, these costs can differ depending on various factors as discussed below:

1.      Location

The costs of demolishing both commercial and residential buildings vary widely depending on your location. Usually, demolition costs are low in the Midwest and South and high on the West and East coasts. Besides, some cities discourage tearing down commercial buildings, making it expensive to demolish your building in such locations.

Let’s take an example of the DC area.

What is the demolition average cost per sf for a commercial building in the DC area?

Regardless of the commercial structure being demolished, the average demolition cost per square foot in the DC area ranges between $5 and $8. However, this cost might exceed that estimate if the building has hazardous material.

2.      Unique factors that determine commercial building demolition

Other than the location of the building, multiple special factors can influence the demolition prices. One of the factors is if the building has dangerous materials such as asbestos. The industrial demolition company serving you may charge an extra $2 or $3 per foot squared to remove such materials.

The cost of the demolition permit is another factor that determines the overall commercial demolition cost. The demolition permit fee ranges from $200 to $10,000. The higher the demolition permit cost, the higher the commercial demolition cost.

Disposal cost is another notable factor that determines demolition cost. During the commercial demolition process, a lot of debris is hauled into a landfill. Various types of waste cost differently. The distance between the building and disposal facility also influences the final industrial demolition cost.

How to get a demolition permit for a commercial building in Lawrence County?

All commercial demolition in Lawrence County requires you to have a demolition permit as per Code. Sys. Also, Code. Sys determines the demolition permit cost. Here is a quick guide to help you get a demolition permit in Lawrence County:

You need to apply for the permit at the county’s Building Safety Division before starting the demolition. The Building Safety Division will review your application. The appropriate city workers will go through your application to determine your compliance with the city’s adopted codes, such as fire and trade codes.

You have to wait for 30-days before starting the demolition. This period is a mandatory requirement to ensure that you get verification from water, electricity and gas utility providers. Visit Lawrence County’s official website to get the entire process and see a sample demolition permit application.

Commercial interior demolition

While demolition simply means bringing down an entire structure, you can also demolish some parts of the building, leaving other areas intact. Perhaps you’re wondering why you should consider interior demolition, right? Well, commercial interior demolition allows you to update your building to suit your needs.

Here are some things you should know about commercial interior demolition:

How much does it cost for a commercial interior selective demolition job done?

On a national average, the commercial interior demolition cost ranges between $7,000 and $9,000, including disposal costs. However, this bill varies widely depending on various circumstances that determine the overall demolition costs. Here are some factors influencing the final cost of interior demolition:

·         The type of materials being demolished

This factor is the most significant contributor to the total interior demolition cost. A brick wall produces heavier debris than drywall. Since the disposal fee depends on the weight of the debris, the cost of demolishing a brick-made wall is more than that of a drywall-made wall.

·         The size of the interior being demolished

Commercial interior demolition contractors often calculate the costs depending on the size of the area demolished in square footage. The bigger the size, the higher the interior demolition cost.

·         The commercial building’s accessibility

Some areas are difficult to access, making them more expensive to reach. As a result, industrial demolition contractors transfer that expense to the customer. Therefore, you will pay more for that.

·         The project complexity

Commercial interior demolition is a complex task. However, the degree of complexity varies depending on the modifications you want to make. The higher the project complexity, the higher the price.

·         The contractor you hire

Different commercial interior demolition contractors charge different prices. Therefore, it is worth analyzing the available options and selecting one that suits your budget.

How to select the perfect commercial demolition contractor

While you may get tempted to perform a commercial demolition yourself, we recommend hiring demolition experts to do it for you. We have many reasons behind this recommendation. Some of them include:

For LLCs, liabilities related to the demolition are handled by the commercial demolition contractor. Secondly, in case of damage to property or injury to an individual, the demolition contractor is insured to protect you, employees and tenants.

The third reason is that a small mistake in the presence of plumbing or electricals can lead to a series of expensive costs to rectify them. Therefore, letting your demolitions needs be handled by professionals can save time and money, as they are experts in what they do.

Tip: whether you’re doing complete or interior demolition, find an insured and licensed commercial demolition company to handle your needs. Besides, consider contacting multiple demolition companies to get the best customer service and price.


Don’t let your commercial building be reported for being unsafe or whatever reason. Contact commercial demolition contractors within your locality to get things done professionally and avoid any risks associated with demolition handling.

Ensure that they adopt the best demolition method to avoid any controversies. However, this shouldn’t bother you a lot. Your primary role is ensuring that your commercial demolition contractor is certified, insured and licensed by the responsible agencies. They will handle the rest.