Demolition Cost: 2022 House & Garage Prices Per M2 UK

Why demolish your house or garage? There are many reasons, but the commonest is that you intend to rebuild with something new. You can level something small like a garage or a shed by yourself. But, for a house or oversized garage, it is best to use a specialist demolition contractor who knows the applicable regulations and has the equipment.

The cost to demolish a detached property differs with size and other factors. Typically, removing a load-bearing wall costs £1,000-£2,000. But, to level an entire house ranges from £7,000-£30,000 or £80-£115/m2. In comparison, demolishing a typical single garage costs £1,000-£3,000.

Usually, demotion contractors calculate a quotation based on the property’s floor area. However, other factors increase or decrease the overall cost. Therefore, in this guide, we will consider the prices charged by specialist contractors and the factors affecting those charges. 

Depending on the circumstances, contractors can use three different demolition methods, either separately or as a bespoke mix-and-match method, and we’ll look at these. We will also discuss the regulations governing demolition projects, and the restrictions imposed by the government and local authorities. Finally, we will also cover the steps involved when demolishing a building. And how to find a contractor qualified to do this work.

How Much Does House Demolition Cost?*

You could demolish your house yourself. But, there are many regulations you must comply with. Therefore, we do not recommend this route. It is much easier to hire a demolition contractor who has all the necessary tools and can help you understand the various laws.  

The following table shows house demolition prices charged by specialist contractors. The charges depend on the property’s area in square metres but do not consider the other factors described later. 

Estimated House AreaHouse SizeCost RangeAverage Cost
80 m2Small House£6,400-£9,200£7,800
120 m2£9,600-£13,800£11,700
160 m2Medium House£12,800-£18,400£15,600
200 m2£16,000-£23,000£19,500
220 m2Large House£17,600-£25,300£21,450
250 m2£20,000-£28,750£24,380

* We estimated the costs of these projects from various resources. They are approximate, do not include VAT, and you should only use them as a benchmark for your research. If you want accurate quotes, contact a specialist contractor or use the form on this page. The contractor can then take into account the different circumstances relating to your project.

How Much Does Garage Demolition Cost?*

Garages are much easier to demolish. And if there are no special requirements, it is common for householders to take on the removal as a DIY project. However, many old garages use corrugated asbestos cement roofing panels, which can only be removed by a registered asbestos handler. Furthermore, you will also require help when removing the waste from the site. Therefore, we recommend using a contractor to level your garage rather than doing it yourself.

Garages built from the 1940s to 1980s do not usually accommodate the larger car sizes commonly found with modern vehicles. Therefore, you might have to level your existing garage and rebuild it. Furthermore, you can make room for a house extension by demolishing a modern garage that uses valuable space and is in the way. The following table shows garage demolition prices usually charged by specialist contractors. The charges depend on the garage’s floor area in square metres but do not include factors we will discuss later.

British architects specify standard sizes for UK garages, and we have used some of these sizes when calculating the cost ranges and average costs in the table.

Estimated Garage SizeGarage SizeCost RangeAverage Cost
6m x 3m (18m2)Single Garage£1,000-£3,000£2,000
8m x 4m (32m2)£1,760-£5,280£3,500
5m x 6m (30m2)Double Garage£1,650-£5,000£3,300
8m x 6m (48m2)£2,640-£8,000£5,320
5m x 9m (45m2)Triple Garage£2,475-£7,425£5,000
7m x 9m (63m2)£3,465-£10,400£6,930

* We estimated the costs of these projects from various resources. They are approximate, do not include VAT, and you should only use them as a benchmark for your research. If you want accurate quotes, contact a specialist contractor or use the form on this page.

Demolition Price Factors & Influences

The estimated costs discussed so far, do not contain price factors or influences, which can only be determined by a site visit. This point explains why it is essential to get demolition quotes from qualified and certified demolition contractors based on your unique home. Let’s look at some of the most significant factors.

Size

The size of the buildings determines the method of demolition and the time needed to do the job. These, in turn, determine the regulations to comply with, the equipment required, and the necessary manpower. Therefore, you can see that more extensive properties cost more to demolish than smaller properties.

Location

The location of your property in the UK governs the labour rates and the contractor’s charge. Places in London and Southeast England cost upwards of 10% more than elsewhere in the UK.

Accessibility

The accessibility of the property determines whether the contractor can easily reach it. Depending on the demolition method used, the contractor will require various large earthmoving vehicles and other equipment types. Usually, large low-loaders deliver these machines to sites that need wide, straight roads with a minimum of sharp corners. Incompatible types of roads create significant access difficulties, which cost more to overcome. You also have to overcome the problems encountered when your neighbours’ properties crowd yours and cause access issues.

Preparation

Before beginning the project, you must cap and make all gas, water, electricity, and drainage services safe. Depending on the size and type of building, this work might be expensive.

Demolition methods

There are three general methods of demolition:

  • Explosive – This is the most efficient way to remove large buildings such as apartment blocks or factories. When other structures surround the buildings, contractors use explosives to collapse the building onto its own footprint. Thus, protecting the surrounding structures from damage. This method is rarely used for domestic demolition.
  • Top-down – Contractors use this method when they wish to remove each storey separately or have limited working space. They start at the top and use large wrecking machines to remove each storey, working toward the ground level. 
  • Hand – This method is the slowest but also the safest. Contractors use hand tools to remove the structure, starting at the topmost storey and working to ground level. If you want to re-use or recycle material, this method is probably the easiest as materials can be sorted and removed, one category at a time.

It is possible to mix and match these methods depending on your objectives. For example, contractors can first remove recyclable materials by hand, followed by the top-down approach to remove the bare shell.

Hazardous materials

In the past, many hazardous materials were used in construction. However, as health concerns came to light, the government introduced more legislation to prevent their use. Probably, the most dangerous material used in construction has to be asbestos, commonly used in many applications up to the 1990s. For example, garage corrugated roofing panels, indoor domestic panelling and ceilings, rainwater guttering, Artex ceiling covering, and pipe insulation. These products now contain asbestos-free materials.

By law, if your building was built before 1999, you must commission an asbestos survey before demolition to determine the extent of the hazard. Then, if the survey finds asbestos,  you must use specialist contractors trained to handle the substance. 

Trade Associations

Many cowboys trade as demolition experts. And, they probably charge less than the going rate. Although paying less might be tempting, try to use a certified contractor. The National Federation of Demolition Contractors (NFDC) has a database of accredited contractors who use the organisation’s Code of Practice. The member contractors might charge more than the cowboys, but they follow industry-standard guidelines in training, are more experienced than the average builder, are subject to regular quality audits, and have a recognised complaints procedure if there are any problems.

Salvage

Many buildings contain valuable materials that can be re-used or recycled. If the materials can be separated into categories, their value can be offset against demolition costs. Reputable contractors will already include the scrap value of salvageable materials in their quotation, sometimes significantly reducing the overall charges.

UK Building Regs & Planning Permission

There are various regulations you must comply with when demolishing a structure.

Planning Permission

Unless you live in a conservation area or a listed building, you probably won’t need to apply for planning permission. However, planning approval depends on the structure’s size, the extent of demolition, and the type of surrounding buildings, such as hospitals or schools. So it is worthwhile consulting your local authority for advice before starting the project. Typically, you must gain demolition approval for buildings or structures such as the following:

  • Outdoor memorials or statues.
  • Unsafe buildings.
  • Pubs, bars or restaurants.
  • Cinemas, concert halls and theatres.
  • Buildings in a conservation area.
  • Listed buildings.

Building Regulations

Before starting a demolition project, you must give the local authority at least six weeks’ notice. Then, if necessary, they will provide specific conditions you must comply with. 

You must also adhere to certain general Building Regulations. And those specifically dealing with asbestos removal and ingress of water. 

Health & Safety

Demolition is a dangerous occupation, so the principal contractor must comply with the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 and submit a Health and Safety plan showing how they intend to make the site safe.

Party Walls

If your building is semi-detached or a terraced building, you must consider your neighbours’ rights. You must provide support to the other properties during and after demolition. And negotiate a Party Wall Agreement before commencement.

Environmental Requirements

The planning department will require ecological reports detailing the project’s effects on native wildlife. This includes: 

  • A wildlife survey for endangered species.
  • Provide replacement nesting places for endangered species such as barn owls and bats.
  • The report will also specify the time of year to start the project to minimise damage to wildlife.

Demolition Project Timelines

Demolition duration and timelines will depend on the building’s size, the number of operatives in the workforce, and the number of machines. However, expect it to take one to two weeks for a typical three-bedroom detached property. In comparison, a semi-detached or terraced building will take longer because of the additional structural support required by law. In addition to the time needed to demolish the building, also take into account sorting recyclable materials and removing waste from the site.

How Are Residential Buildings Demolished?

You must follow recommended procedures to comply with the regulations and keep the worksite safe. Let’s consider steps for hand demolition and separating recyclable materials, the most common demolition method for domestic properties.

  1. Check with the local authority that you don’t need special permissions.
  2. Consult with Building Control to set up inspections. 
  3. If necessary, negotiate with your neighbours to comply with the Party Wall Regulations.
  4. If the building is old enough, conduct an asbestos survey.
  5. Choose a reputable demolition contractor. Preferably a member of the National Federation of Demolition Contractors (NFDC).
  6. Cap and make all electricity, water, gas, and drain services safe.
  7. Make the site secure by erecting fencing.
  8. Erect scaffold for the workforce.
  9. Remove hazardous materials such as asbestos using registered specialist contractors.
  10. Remove all recyclable materials such as electricity cables, kitchen and bathroom fittings, plumbing materials, doors, windows, and easily accessible timber.
  11. Strip roof of tiles and lead flashing.
  12. Remove structural timber such as roof rafters and floor joists.
  13. Demolish and remove bricks and concrete blocks.
  14. Lift concrete pads, foundations, and redundant drains.

Get Demolition Quotes

If you aren’t suitably prepared or don’t use a reputable demolition contractor, the necessary costs involved in levelling your house can escalate out of control. Your project needs careful planning and compliance with the regulations governing your project; otherwise, the costs of demolition will spiral. Therefore, if you want everything to go smoothly, hire a reputable demolition contractor who can also advise on how to comply with the regulations.

Complete the form on this page, and we will submit the project details to up to four qualified contractors. Then, they will provide you with reasonable quotations for the work.

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