A demolition contractor is a professional who specialises in the safe and efficient dismantling, destruction or removal of buildings, structures or other man-made objects. They are hired to undertake projects that require either complete or partial removal of existing structures whether they be commercial, industrial, residential or even public properties. There are many processes involved in the demolition of properties, especially when there are factors to complicate the process – such as the discovery of asbestos-containing materials (ACM). If land remediation is required, the whole project becomes extremely complicated requiring the collaboration of a wide selection of professionals. A demolition contractor will be able to guide you through the entire project regardless of the size of the undertaking. This blog will look closer at what a demolition contractor does and some of the different procedures that they might be required to manage. What does a demolition contractor have to dismantle? Builders and developers frequently run into instances where existing structures obstruct the creation of new construction. In order for a new office building to be built on the site of an old warehouse, or for an old, run-down shopping mall to be replaced with newer and fresher retail spaces, it may be necessary to remove the old structures that are no longer needed. The building construction team might be able to get rid of the existing structure and clear the debris away if the size of the project isn’t very big. However, in the case of larger and more complex structures, it is always better to contract a professional demolition contractor. A professional demolition contractor will be highly trained in the legislation and equipment needed as well as all the safety protocols to ensure that the job is carried out quickly and efficiently. This way the property will be cleared safely and ready for the new construction to get underway. What tasks might a demolition contractor have to undertake? The tasks that a demolition contractor might have to undertake are many and varied. Some of them might include: Project planning: Prior to any demolition commencing, the contractor will have to develop a comprehensive plan which assesses the site, all safety measures, environmental impact as well as a waste management strategy. They will also undertake a structural assessment to evaluate the integrity of the building and develop a plan for how to demolish it safely. Permits and licences: The contractor may need to obtain permits from local authorities depending on the position and scale of the project. They may need to cover noise, environmental and demolition permits amongst others. Hazardous material identification and removal: The initial planning stage may identify hazardous materials, such as asbestos, lead or other items dangerous to human health or the environment. These will need specialised and professional removal to make the rest of the demolition process safe for all on site. Site preparation: Water, gas, electricity and sewer systems will all need to be disconnected and safely capped. The site may also need some initial preparation in removing trees or other obstacles that might impede the demolition processes. Safety and compliance: The contractor will need to ensure that safety procedures are followed, that all of the workers are properly trained and equipped and that all applicable laws and regulations are adhered to. They will also need to monitor and control noise and dust levels during the process to minimise the disruption to the surrounding environment and people. Salvage and recycling: Depending on the requirements of the project, materials will need to be salvaged and recycled from the building or structure being demolished, such as metal, wood or concrete – this process is often called soft strip or if more thorough, strip out. See our blog on the differences between soft strip and strip out. It is a legal requirement to reuse and recycle as much as possible to reduce the volume of waste going to landfill. Demolition execution: Once all the planning and preparation are complete, the contractor will then begin the general demolition process using tools and equipment such as excavators, bulldozers and wrecking balls. Waste removal and site clearance: After the demolition has been completed, the contractor will then be responsible for removing and disposing of any waste materials, such as concrete or rubble and cleaning up the site prior to new construction or whatever other purpose the land is to be used to fulfil. For more information see our blog on how contractors manage waste. Why employ a demolition contractor rather than doing it yourself? You might be tempted to try and attempt your demolition job by yourself, to save money, but there are several very good reasons why it might be more cost-effective in the long run to get a professional in. Firstly, safety. Demolition work is hazardous and professional contractors are trained and equipped to handle and mitigate the risks involved. Performing demolition work yourself can result in injuries and fatalities whereas a contractor will have all the necessary safety equipment, experience and knowledge to guarantee that the work is carried out according to health and safety standards. Legal knowledge is another reason to hire a professional contractor. Familiar with all legislation, they will navigate all the issues of permits and licences to make sure that you don’t fall foul of regulations. Contractors own their own demolition equipment, saving you money in hiring machines to do the work by yourself and thereby making it more cost-effective. A professional contractor will also be able to complete the work much more quickly than someone who isn’t experienced which will save you time and labour costs into the process. Finally, professional contractors will have public liability insurance, meaning that you are protected in the event of any damage or injury that might occur during the process, which will provide you with peace of mind and also potentially help you avoid costly legal battles. Choose DES Holdings for your demolition requirements Regardless of the demolition task that you’re planning to undertake, whether a commercial or domestic property demolition, DES Holdings are the company to choose. With over 30 years of experience in the industry, we are confident to be able to tackle any project regardless of size or complexity. We have a long list of satisfied clients and pride ourselves on offering a professional, competitive and cost-effective solution wherever your site is across the UK, as we are conveniently located in the West Midlands. Get in touch today or call a member of our knowledgeable team on 01527 521 457 to discuss your demolition requirements and for an impartial no-obligation quote.