What Exactly Does a Building Demolition Company Do?

While demolition projects may seem chaotic and disordered, the truth is that they are carefully calculated assignments that require vast amounts of strategic planning and preparation! Each job has its unique logistical and safety issues, which is why only an experienced and highly professional demolition company should be hired to complete the work.

Before searching for building demolition contractors near me, you must first familiarize yourself with what you can expect them to do. Here’s all you need to know.

Get your demolition project in Michigan started by calling Apex Recycling today!


What is demolition?

Demolition, otherwise known as razing, is an engineering process that focuses on tearing down buildings and other structures safely and efficiently. Unlike deconstruction, however, it does not require the various elements to be preserved and reused.

Depending on the size of the building and complexity of the project, demolition can be completed manually or through implosion (the use of controlled explosives), although the latter is usually reserved for large commercial buildings. When completing the demolition of a family home or other small buildings, you will probably search ‘building demolition contractors near me’ that use manual treatments.

The purpose behind the partial or full removal of a building usually relates to the reconstruction or remodeling of a building or structure. It is, therefore, an integral feature of the new project’s preparation phases.


What will an expert in building demolition near me actually do?

The best demolition companies in Michigan, or any other location for that matter, will provide a full and comprehensive service that covers every aspect before, during, and directly after the building has been successfully removed!

The exact details of a project can be influenced by a wide range of contributing factors. The list includes;

  • Size of the building,
  • Surrounding buildings and topography,
  • The state of the building,
  • Time frames and budget limitations,
  • Intended post-demolition work.

Nevertheless, if you’re looking for building demolition near me to safely remove your building, the chronology of the project is likely to include the following stages:


Project acceptance

Before the active preparations can take place, the project needs to get the green light. This process begins as soon as contact is made with the demolition company, who will complete several stages to confirm suitability.

The stages involved during this part of the process are;

  • Completion of the Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) that outlines the link between client and contractor while also covering elements like accreditations and certifications.
  • Securing planning permission in accordance with the regulations of the local authorities. In Michigan, that means working with The Michigan State Housing Development Authority NSP2 policy and guidance.
  • Project tendering and bidding process. This will include a site visit to complete surveys, which allow the demolition contractor to create and supply the necessary drawings and plans, along with an accurate estimate for the budget requirements.

As well as completing those stages on your behalf, the demolition company will handle any additional steps that may be required. For example, when demolishing a semi-detached family home, there is a legal obligation to ensure that that adjacent property remains suitably supported.


Pre-project work

Assuming that the above tasks have been completed and the project is accepted, work can begin on preparing the site. The Risk Assessments and Method Statement proposed during the tendering phase will be confirmed or tweaked as required.

The demolition company should then hold a program meeting to finalize all key factors. This will cover a range of topics, including but not limited to;

  • Outlined objectives,
  • Budgets and costings,
  • Proposed timeframes,
  • The Key Performance Indicators (KPI),
  • Project Health and Safety Plan,
  • Environmental Plan.

At this stage, the Project Manager will be in contact with all workers and sub-contractors to ensure that all works can be undertaken in an efficient manner to meet the schedule and budget.

Demolition Job

Demolition work

Once all of the preparation is in place, the actual process of completing the demolition can begin. For a normal family home or building of a similar size, the procedure should take around 4-8 days. However, issues ranging from asbestos to challenging ground types could delay this. Naturally, works on bigger properties such as office blocks and other commercial settings may take longer too.

The exact methods used may vary from one job to the next, but when analyzing building demolition contractors near me, the schedule of works is likely to follow this chronology:

  • Cut off and cap all services to the property. This essentially means terminating the supply of gas, electricity, and water, as well as the connections to telephone grids and sewage facilities. This is essential for ensuring that the subsequent works can be completed without danger to the workers or the surrounding buildings.
  • Complete any necessary works to the foundation of the property and the land to ensure all future work can be completed safely, such as checking that all materials will fall in a calculated fashion in the directions that are stipulated in the Risk Assessments and Method Statement documents completed during planning.
  • Protect and close off the site from other people and make it clear that works are about to take place. This includes adding fencing and other barriers and signage. Depending on the project, the demolition contractor may also need to erect scaffolding and place additional barriers to stop intruders from gaining unauthorized access.
  • If hazardous materials like asbestos are found, they are removed in accordance to the safest practices and legal requirements. The materials must be identified, contained, removed from the property, and disposed of in a safe manner as to avoid airborne particles! The licensed demolition contractor does this with the right safety attire.
  • Complete a soft strip of the property. This means removing kitchenware, furniture, sanitaryware, cables, radiators, lighting, plumbing, and other fittings throughout the building. A professional demolition contractor like Apex Recycling will also save as many items as possible for environmental reasons.
  • Remove all doors, door frames, windows, window frames, linings, and timber moldings across all internal and external parts of the property. Where possible, when looking for building demolition near me, it’s best to choose a team that will recycle any suitable items. Some items will be demolished whole, others will be broken up.
  • Complete a full strip of the roof tiles, roof frames, and flashing. During this phase of the demolition procedure, all structural timbers, joists, and trusses should also be removed from the internal and external parts of the building. By the end of this phase, the building should essentially be little more than a shell.
  • The remaining walls, brickwork, and structural framework can be demolished. This is often completed one story at a time, working from the top floor down. Some brickwork will be salvaged while unwanted waste materials can be collected and organized for subsequent crushing or disposal, either on or off-site.
  • Remainder waste material can then be broken up. Demolition professionals will also grub up the foundation and redundant drains. With all materials removed, the land can be cleared and prepared for the next steps while the barriers, scaffolding, and other elements can be safely taken down ready for the next job.

At this point, the actual demolition work is complete and the building is fully (or partially if that’s the requirement) removed. Likewise, the demolition company will have removed all waste materials while the site will be free from equipment and machinery.



Once the property has been cleared and the site has been cleared of debris and waste materials, the project is ready to be formally completed The project can subsequently be signed off and handed over to whichever contractor will be responsible for the new construction project.

Before the handover takes place, though, a meeting will be used to check that the final agreements are ready for execution. This review will check off the KPIs and objective and analyze the results against the time and budget. Finally, it will certify that you are happy with the works and that the project site is ready for the next phase!


Who is involved in a demolition company?

Throughout the pre-planning phases, a range of external local authorities will need to be contacted in order to gain permissions and documentation. In some cases, electricians and other professionals may be called upon too, although this certainly isn’t mandatory on most projects. Meanwhile, the client may play a semi-active role while neighboring property owners may be contacted.

As far as the task of actively tearing down a building is concerned, any demolition company near me should consist of the following professionals;

  • Project Manager to oversee the project as a whole,
  • Site Manager to control the works completed on the building,
  • Site Supervisors to ensure assignments are safe and efficient,
  • Site Operatives to actively complete the works,
  • Surveyors to complete the pre-project Risk Assessments,
  • Asbestos Specialists to safely remove the hazardous material.
  • Various subcontractors to provide help as required.


What tools and equipment are used by a demolition company?

The machinery used by a demolition company usually falls into one of two categories. Firstly, there’s the equipment used to complete surveys and planning. Secondly, there’s the equipment used to actually tear down a building.


Project planning and pre-demolition equipment

Before the demolition work takes place, the risk assessments, surveys, and site preparations require a variety of tools. Depending on the attributes of the project, the following may be used;

  • CAD and 3D scanners,
  • Costing equipment,
  • Asbestos removal materials.

In some cases, specialized undermining equipment is needed to prepare the land underneath the building to ensure that the structure will fall in the desired direction as to avoid any potential damage to surrounding items.

Meanwhile, a range of specialized vehicles is required to get various tools and equipment to the site. Low loaders transport large excavators and crushers, HIAB trucks transport machinery, and roll on / roll off wagons deliver and collect waste materials.


Demolition equipment

To actually rip down a building, the demolition contractor may use a range of tools. For small houses and buildings, manual demolition can be completed with hand tools, including but not limited to;

  • Hammers,
  • Axes,
  • Bolsters
  • Cold chisels,
  • Wrecking bars.

The demolition experts may additionally use scaffolding and elevated work platforms to make the job easier or fashion other devices for easier access to certain parts of the building. Some small projects, along with bigger projects may require the use of cranes, bulldozers, and wrecking balls.

Hydraulic excavators and hi-reach excavators are another commonly used piece of equipment. The versatile machines use a range of attachments, such as rotational grapples, pulverizers, steel shears, and impact breakers to complete a wide range of tasks needed to tear a building down from breaking down walls to moving rubble and debris.

Large and complex jobs may also require the use of;

  • Bobcat skid steers for the initial soft stripping of buildings.
  • Concrete crushers that help recycle the material, which is a big feature for us.
  • Dust boss machines for dust suppression purposes and to minimize dust pollution.
  • Tippers to remove crushed and uncrushed brickwork.

Of course, the best demolition contractors will use an array of other business tools to ensure on-site safety and clear communication with their head offices, as well as the clients. Some examples include hard hats, safety goggles, gloves, harnesses, smartphones, tablets, notepads, and safety barriers.


A quick checklist when looking for demolition companies near me

The above insight into what a demolition company does, who is involved, and what equipment is used should underline the need to work with only the best demolition experts available. So, when analyzing your options, be sure to know;

  • The company’s track record,
  • Their inventory of available equipment,
  • Whether they will complete every stage,
  • How quickly the job can be completed,
  • How transparent they are.

Only then can you confirm that the demolition company is capable of delivering the safe and efficient demolition work you deserve!

If you need a demolition expert in Southeast Michigan, Apex Recycling offers a comprehensive demolition service for residential and commercial buildings alike!

Break ground on your project by calling 586-580-3934 today!