Demolition of walls and buildings: price list, tools, permits
Demolition of walls and buildings: price list, tools, permits

Demolition of walls and buildings: price list, tools, permits

Demolition is a constant part of the building industry. It is sometimes necessary to demolish a building in order to create a new one in its place or to transfer the area to completely different investments. Similarly, it applies to division walls, which sometimes require demolition in order to reorganize the living space.

So, how to start the process of demolishing walls or buildings and what demolition equipment is suitable for specific works? These and other topics will be covered in today's article. We will also check how much it costs to demolish a wall or building by professional construction teams.


Not only the owners of single-family houses, but also the users of flats in apartment blocks need to face the necessity to dismantle division walls.  At the beginning, it should be noted that each stage of demolition should be carefully thought out. First of all, you need to determine what type of wall you are dealing with. There is an essential difference between division walls and load-bearing walls. While the division walls can be modified in any way, load-bearing walls are the core of the entire structure. In most cases, load-bearing walls must not be moved!

What are division walls? As the name suggests, division walls separate part of the usable space and divide it into smaller areas. They do not affect the stability of the entire building and do not transfer any loads apart from their own weight and any objects attached to them. From a practical point of view, all division walls can be demolished as you wish.

How to recognize division walls? This can be done in 3 simple ways. The first is a quick look at the building's design, provided by an architect or contractor. Most often they are marked with crossing lines that form something like a grid. The second way is to measure and compare the wall thickness (e.g. at the point where the door frame is installed). Division walls are usually up to 16 cm thick, while load-bearing walls are above 20 cm. The third way is to check if the wall is covered with mortar between its end and the ceiling. Due to the necessary expansion joint, division walls are made using this technique.


The first step to demolishing a division wall is to detect and properly secure any electrical, water or gas installations inside the wall. Therefore, we disconnect the electricity or appropriate utilities, so that the demolition process is completely safe and does not cause additional damage.

The second step is to properly secure the rest of the rooms. If we decide to demolish a division wall in a building in a shell condition, we do not have to worry about dust and debris falling on the floor. It is worse when the house or flat is fully used. Then it is a good idea to use cardboard and cover foils that will protect the floor and the passages to other rooms against getting dusty. However, the floor is the most exposed to damage, so it should be protected in the best possible way, e.g. with the use of fibreboards or plywood, which will cushion falling debris.


If we have everything prepared and properly secured, we can proceed to the demolition of the division wall. The optimal solution will be the use of handy demolition tools, such as jack hammers. First, you need to get rid of the plaster layer, which should not be a problem if you use the hammers mentioned above. Thin plaster layers on a small area can also be successfully hacked off with a rotary hammer. However, you should remember that this is not equipment typically intended for demolition. An interesting fact is that professional construction teams use advanced demolition robots that can be controlled by the operator far away from the demolition site.

The next step is to cut an opening between the top of the wall and the ceiling along its entire length. Important information here: for our safety, we always cut from top to bottom. If the wall is made of bricks, we can demolish it in a way that allows the use of bricks in the future. The problem arises when the division wall is made of reinforced concrete. Then it is better to avoid the use of demolition hammers because of the vibrations that may affect the stability of other structural elements. Instead, drilling holes in the wall and cutting its top layer will be recommended, which will significantly facilitate demolition.


In contrast to division walls, load-bearing walls play a very important role. They constitute the backbone of the entire structure and transfer the weight of subsequent storeys and the roof to the ground. Therefore, their demolition can seriously affect the stability of the entire structure and contribute to wall cracking and, in extreme cases, even the collapse of parts of the building. For this reason, any interference in the load-bearing wall structure should be previously consulted with the architect or contractor of the project.

After removing the load-bearing wall, it becomes necessary to replace it with a special joist, most often in the form of a wooden beam. Its task will be to transfer the ceiling stresses to the remaining walls. If the demolished load-bearing wall covered a large area, then the building of columns that will provide additional support should be considered. The maximum width of the demolition of the load-bearing wall usually does not exceed 5 meters.


Before demolishing a wall, its role should be determined, i.e. whether it is a load-bearing or division wall. The qualification of works for rebuilding will depend on the type of wall and its function. What is rebuilding? Well, it is an action that changes the functional or technical parameters of a given building (except for its cubature, building area, external dimensions and number of storeys).

The demolition of a division wall is not considered as a rebuilding, so a demolition permit is not required in this case. Of course, you need to make sure if the demolition of a given wall to 100% will not interfere with the structure of the facility. Unfortunately, in the case of demolition of a load-bearing wall, an appropriate permit is required each time. According to the construction law, this action qualifies for rebuilding, and thus interferes with the structure of a building object.


We can do all demolition works ourselves or we can contract out such a service to a specialized renovation and construction company. What is the price of demolishing a wall? It's hard to talk about specific rates, because it all depends on the type of facility, the size of the walls and the scope of services. For example, the prices for the demolition of an average brick wall thickness range from 40 to 60 PLN / m2. Thicker walls mean a greater expense, which can even exceed PLN 100 / m2.


A demolition permit is required for:
•        historic buildings and under conservation protection
•        buildings over 8 meters high
•        buildings less than 8 meters high if they are less than half their height from the site boundary
•        buildings that do not require a building permit and are protected as historical monuments.

Important! The permit for the demolition of the building must be requested before the start of the demolition works. Otherwise, this action will be considered as unauthorized construction.
The application for a demolition permit should be submitted to the District Starosty or the Town Hall with district rights. In exceptional cases, you should report to the Provincial Office.


Demolition of a building signed in the register of monuments requires appropriate official actions. First of all, you must obtain the consent of the General Conservator of Monuments to remove the object from the register. A similar situation will occur if you are planning demolition works close to a historic building or in an area included in the register of monuments

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