Demolition Costs Per M³ Of Enclosed Space: Costs At A Glance

Demolition Costs Per M³ Of Enclosed Space: Costs At A Glance

If you are looking for a new home and only have a limited budget, you can use a little trick: If you restrict your search to “land”, you will often find properties with remaining buildings. This “only” has to be demolished and disposed of, and the dream house can be built on the new land. That can work – but it can also go terribly wrong. When it comes to demolition and disposal costs, the devil is often in the details.

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Demolition costs per converted space

Everything starts with the appraisal

Before an old property can be demolished and disposed of, the new owner should get a precise picture of the situation. The judgment of an expert is worth more than gold. Only when it is known which demolition costs and disposal costs are pending can a viable calculation be made.

Two things are important for this:

  • building fabric
  • construction materials

The building fabric indicates which device is required to demolish the object. If necessary, you can even tear down a worm-eaten half-timbered house with a sledgehammer. In any case , a concrete garage requires heavy technical equipment , which causes additional costs.

The materials used are much more important than the question of the building fabric . Real bombs can lie dormant here if you have not informed yourself in detail in advance.


Cost trap insulating and protective materials

Mineral building materials are usually easy to dispose of. Anything made of concrete, brick, lime sand or natural stone can be ground up and used as filling material. Metals are especially grateful when demolishing a house. Under certain circumstances, the new homeowner can make a good deal of money by scrapping old systems. Copper and aluminum in particular achieve interesting prices on the scrap market. It is therefore worth taking a close look and examining the metals used.

Fire Protection Material

The situation is exactly the opposite with materials used for fire protection and thermal insulation. When it comes to fire protection materials, one material is particularly critical: if the expert discovers asbestos, caution is advised. If the asbestos materials are to be demolished and disposed of, there is a legal obligation to report! Violations will result in severe penalties.


In addition, the property owner risks that the construction site will be closed and forcibly renovated – at his own expense, of course. When it comes to asbestos , you really shouldn’t try to “trick” it. When a fire wall or roof covering made of asbestos is found, you just have to bite the bullet. Removal and disposal of these materials is reserved for certified specialist companies only. In return, the property owner has the security of the completely correct and legal disposal of his problematic materials.


The insulating material polystyrene (styrofoam) that was used as standard just a few years ago has now turned out to be a real cost bomb. Its disposal has become so expensive that construction companies have already been driven into bankruptcy because of the costs. As a landlord, you have to be particularly careful when it comes to demolishing old buildings .

Our tip at this point is: remove the old insulating materials as thoroughly as possible. Once Styrofoam is found in mineral debris, disposal costs multiply . Therefore, only pay what you have to pay by meticulously separating your demolition according to type.

You have to reckon with these costs

But even if the house is in an ideal condition for demolition, the demolition costs are surprisingly high.

Assuming the house…

  • asbestos free
  • easy to wear off
  • without polystyrene
  • detached
  • easily accessible
  • without basement

… is, then several tens of thousands of Euros come together for the demolition of a house. The prices presented here are only rough guidelines . They are given as “cost per square meter”. This allows an estimated value to be extrapolated to the object.

  • Planning: approx. 1000 Euros or 10 Euros per square meter
  • Preparatory work: approx. 25 Euros per square meter
  • Demolition: approx. 100 Euros per square meter
  • Earthworks: approx. 40 Euros per square meter
  • Disposal costs: approx. 35 Euros per cubic meter


No demolition without planning

Planning is very important for demolition. It not only determines the building structure and the residues to be disposed of. Above all, planning in relation to statics is very important. A house has to be demolished exactly according to plan . This is the only way to avoid an uncontrolled collapse. A chaos breakdown not only makes the demolition work more difficult, it also makes the disposal of the residues unnecessarily complicated. In addition, a collapse of the house is always a great risk of injury to others.

preliminary work

Preparations keep costs under control

Before the demolition comes the gutting . First, all movable property must be removed from the house: old furniture, carpets, curtains, household effects and loose debris that has accumulated over the years.

All installations are then removed:

  • hang lamps
  • Remove switch
  • Rip pipes and lines out of the wall
  • Dismantle the sink
  • Remove doors and windows
  • Dismantle satellite dishes
  • dismantle the radiator
  • Remove the heating system in the basement
  • Remove solar modules from the roof

After that, the foreign substances are taken out of the house.

This can be:

  • Wood of paneling and fixtures (stairs)
  • Insulation material from false ceilings and rafters
  • drywall
  • roof coverings
  • Floor and ceiling panels made of laminate or MDF

Although this work is not difficult, it has a significant impact on the disposal costs incurred . The cleaner these materials are separated, the lower the bill from the recycling center. It is therefore really worthwhile to keep the most meticulous order here.

Demolition of the shell

Normally, heavy equipment has to be used to demolish a gutted shell of a building. A medium-sized crawler excavator is the minimum that is needed.

Two factors are important when choosing a demolition excavator:

  • Range
  • Load capacity with boom fully extended

The range of the excavator must reach over the roof of the demolition house. Otherwise the excavator is simply useless for this property.

When the boom is fully extended, the excavator must have sufficient load capacity and stability. Otherwise it can happen that he falls over when lifting the ridge beam. Construction machines with additional supports are ideal here . The use of a real demolition excavator is ideal. This not only has the load capacity and the technical requirements. It is also equipped with the appropriate tools specially designed for house demolition.

single-family homes

With a bit of luck, you can find very cheap devices for smaller single-family homes. Fully equipped demolition excavators with a reach of 8 meters can be rented from as little as 400 Euros a day. But if that is not enough, it can quickly become much more expensive.

Tearing it off yourself is bound to be a lot of fun for the layperson . Caution is advised. The demolition planning with static calculation must be available in any case, which must be adhered to. In addition to the excavator driver, an assistant is also required to constantly mist the demolition site with water. This significantly reduces the formation of dust.

Nevertheless, our recommendation is to leave the demolition of a house to a professional company . Even if it costs a few thousand Euros, the homeowner saves a lot of trouble and work.


This includes earthworks

The house stands on a foundation. That, too, needs to be taken out of the ground and disposed of. The resulting excavation pit is filled in and the site leveled. This is how you get a clean result. Therefore, the earthworks are simply part of the demolition costs. Otherwise you end up with a lunar landscape that nobody can relate to.

disposal costs

Now it’s getting expensive

Disposal costs are significant. The variety of building materials is a real cost driver. Here is an overview of the disposal costs to be expected for each type of material.

  • Clean, dry waste wood (e.g. from old roof structures): EUR 45 per ton
  • Waste wood with protective coating: 110 Euros per ton
  • Clean rubble from mineral residues (bricks, solid sand-lime brick, concrete):   30 Euros per ton
  • Building rubble contaminated with waste: EUR 170 per ton
  • Asbestos, including debris contaminated with asbestos: EUR 170 per tonne
  • unmixed plasterboard: 50 Euros per ton
  • Glass wool: up to 250 Euros per ton
  • Polystyrene: up to 400 Euros per ton


Save wherever you can

In total, demolition costs for a normal single-family house can easily amount to 20,000 Euros . In the case of apartment buildings, the demolition costs increase very quickly. Renting a larger excavator alone costs several hundred Euros more per day.

It is therefore important to proceed in a planned manner and to take advantage of every opportunity to save. Even if as much as possible is given away, demolition costs can be noticeably reduced. If even some can be sold, all the better.

Things that usually find buyers sooner or later are the following:

  • Window, complete with frame (if intact)
  • Doors, ideally with a frame
  • Washbasins, shower partitions
  • lamps, switches
  • Parquet, wooden ceilings

TIP: Getting rid of the unwanted material is especially easy when it is offered “for self-dismantling”. The classified ads on the Internet are the ideal marketplaces for this.

gold mine old bricks

What has proven to be a real recycling miracle in recent years is old bricks. They are very popular with decorators and gardeners to create walkways or small walls. In garden design, the “ruin corner” is all the rage. Old bricks are the perfect building material for these cozy fixtures .

If the opportunity arises, the old stones should therefore not be thrown away, but cleaned and resold. The bricks are now traded for over one euro each. If the savings in disposal costs are then added to this, the clever demolitionist makes double the profit – after all, a pallet of bricks weighs 1.5 tons.