How Long Does a Commercial Demolition Take?

For most construction projects, demolition is a natural part of the process. If you haven’t managed to secure a totally vacant lot, you’ll need to build demolition into your project plans and timeline. When planning for demolition, you probably have a few questions such as “Does a commercial demolition take a long time?” and “how many days does a commercial demolition take to do?” Luckily for you, we have the answers to these questions below.

Before the actual demolition, there are several steps that commercial demolition teams need to take to ensure a safe and effective demolition. As shares, several factors could prolong this phase of the project. These factors include asbestos removal, permit procurement, utility disconnect, and parts salvage.

Since old buildings frequently contain asbestos in various elements of the structure, this can be a tedious process. Depending on the size of the team, skill level, and how extensive the amount of asbestos is, this part of the process can last anywhere from several hours to days. The location and amount of the asbestos drive the timetable for this part.

Once the asbestos is removed, you can move on to the next part of the project: procuring a permit. In the United States of America, you will usually need a local agency to approve the proposed demolition. There aren’t any hard and fast timelines for how long this may take. Local city and county offices will take as long as they take to process and approve the permit, unfortunately. 

The size of the project can also affect the amount of time it takes for the project to gain approval and secure a permit. Smaller projects might fly through the process, whereas larger projects could require submitting your plans for a full review and even waiting for an onsite inspection to get completed. This is why it’s important to be flexible in your timeline, as this part of the process can take weeks.

In addition to asbestos removal and procuring a permit, you’ll also need to terminate or remove all the utilities correctly. This part of the job needs to go to the professionals, so you will not only have to factor in the time it takes for utilities to get removed, but also when they can pencil you into their schedule. Once powerlines and waterlines are removed, you might also need an inspection before proceeding.

Finally, you’ll need to factor salvaging parts into your timeline. This step can take a great deal of time, depending on what you are salvaging. To speed up this step, you might want to contract professionals to salvage instead of doing it with your team.

Once all of the preliminary steps are done, a total demolition can take anywhere from an hour to a week. As points out, larger projects mean more time. Selective demolition is a more careful process, so it can take weeks or months to complete.