Demolishing A House In Sydney
Updated: Apr 8
So you’ve contracted your designer and builder and plans are finally locked in – this is where you get to have a breather and pass the baton over to your builder to get the party started!
What does it cost to demolish a home in Sydney?
Of course the end price is dependant on many factors including the size and materials used in your home, how much asbestos needs to be removed and whether any materials are to be salvaged for reuse or recycling.
In 2021 Canstar estimated the cost for home demolition in Sydney to range between $58 per square metre for a wooden frame house, up to $70 per square metre for a brick home, although in our rapidly evolving world, prices can be impacted by supply and demand.
In our experience, it typically costs around $20k to have a 60’s or 70’s era house demolished – based on a 3 bedroom house with tiled roof on bearers and joists floor frame on brick piers. This assumes asbestos cladding, eaves and wet areas.
Often asbestos is also found in the ground, under concrete slabs and paths. It’s often stuck to the concrete which means the entire concrete waste is contaminated. It’s impossible to know how much asbestos is present in the building or quote with absolute accuracy until we get to work, so keep around $10k contingency for unforeseen asbestos costs.
Another cost when demolishing a house is the Council levy for asset protection insurance against damage to public spaces such as roads, gutters, drains, nature strips etc. Make sure when you review your contract that this allowance has been included or that you have factored this additional cost into your budget.
demolishing your house: things to keep in mind
Prior to commencing, you'll need to have your gas and electricity services fully disconnected with your service provider, while water remains in service.
You'll need your Construction Certificate organised, including paying your Council Bond to insurance against potential damage to public spaces such as roads, gutters, nature strips or drains during the construction process.
It’s usually necessary to remove immediately surrounding landscaping to make space for the new build. We scrape back to virgin land and sift out any left-over debris from the old house to give a clean start.
If you’re planning a new driveway for the build, we’ll usually remove this now and lay gravel to use during the build process, so your site doesn’t turn to mud! This also protects against dirt being tracked out onto the road and ending up in the storm water system.
If you're planning to remove any trees to make way for your new home, you'll need to plan ahead to acquire council permits. You'll usually need to replace any removed trees, so it's good to think about where you might position them.
Can I demolish my house if it still has a mortgage attached?
On a side note, when we're preparaing to do a knock down rebuild home for clients in Sydney, we’re sometimes asked whether you are allowed to demolish your home if it is still mortgaged. In short, if your home has a mortgage on it, then it is still partially owned by the bank, so you need your bank’s consent to demolish it. It’s a good idea to secure your finance and construction loan as soon as your building quote is finalised. You'll usually need a 20% deposit towards your construction loan, otherwise be prepared to cover the Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) in order to be able to borrow up to 95% of the projected home's value. Banks often allow you to use existing equity in your home to cover your deposit which can help make renovating more affordable.
The great thing about a Construction Loan is that your bank essentially becomes a co-client as they maintain partial ownership of the new build, so they generally want to oversee the build process to ensure quality and compliance throughout your project. This is an added layer of protection for you to ensure you end up with a high quality build.