How long does it take to demolish a house?

by | May 1, 2024 | Knockdown rebuild, Knockdown rebuild guide

Knockdown rebuilds are becoming a popular option for homebuyers. The process allows you to purchase a property with a pre-existing house in a desirable location and still end up with the home design you want. Because more people are turning to knockdown rebuilds, the question we’re constantly asked is, “How long does it take to demolish a house?”

Quick Answer: Demolishing a house can take anywhere between a few days to two weeks, depending on what’s involved in the job. However, there are a bunch of factors that can greatly determine the length of you demolition. That’s what we’ll be looking at today.

To further answer this question, we’ll take a look at what exactly is involved in demolishing a house the key factors that will determine the complexity of the demolition process (and therefore, how long it will take).

What are the key factors that influence the demolition time?

While on the surface it may seem that knocking down one building should be pretty much the same as demolishing another, each project needs to be carefully planned to ensure everything is done safely and effectively.


Where your house is located can make a big difference to both costs and the length of time it’ll take to knock down your home. This doesn’t just include the distance your demolition contractor has to travel, but the actual site itself. Anything like tight spaces, sloping blocks or difficult terrain will make the home demolition process more difficult and therefore the whole thing will take longer.

Type of building

Every building is a little different and will require a specific approach for the demolition process. For example, a semi-detached building is a more complicated demolition project than a single-storey home.

Building materials

Heavier materials such a cement, bricks or stone are more difficult to knockdown than timber and therefore add to the overall time.

Hazardous materials like asbestos are going to add significant time to your demolition process. Only a qualified person can perform an asbestos removal and this must be done carefully to keep everyone safe.

Size of the building

A larger building is just going to take longer to knock down than a smaller building. Bigger buildings will also have more components to be considered and then demolished.

Number of floors

Multistorey houses require specific considerations and extra components such as stairways. Double-storey homes are usually larger and require more time to knockdown.


Like everything else in the construction world, being organised is key to everything running smoothly. Chances are, your builder will recommend some names, but you’ll have to contact the demolition company yourself. Making sure you organise your demolition permits, and approvals with the local council and that you haven’t forgotten anything will make the whole thing go better. Buildi can help ensure the whole knockdown rebuild is a smooth transition.

What preparation is required before demolition can take place?

Find a demolition contractors

Your builder will most likely leave it up to you to sort of a demolition company for the knockdown. Discuss the project and obtain a quote from at least three different demolition contractors. This provides you with option and an idea of what’s out there.

Before accepting a deal, make sure to read through the contract carefully. It may be worth having a third party help you with this.

Get any necessary permits and approvals

At the very least, you’ll need to obtain a demolition permit for your project. You may also need a planning permit as well, though this varies depending on the house. Both of these can be applied for through your local council.

Disconnecting utilities

Before the house is demolished, you need to disconnect power. Be sure get on this weeks advance, because power companies can be notoriously slow with doing this. Make sure to mention that this is a demolition disconnection, as the power supplier will need to remove the power supply completely from the dwelling.

Let your neighbours know about the demolition

While this isn’t a legal requirement, it’s just good manners to let your neighbours know a major construction project will be underway.

Once all the above is done, you should be ready to demolish your house.

“Hey, Jim. Just letting you know I’m knocking my house down tomorrow. We cool?”

What are the stages of demolition?

Site Assessment

The first step is for your demolition contractors to come to the site and see exactly what they’re dealing with. The assessment is of both the existing home and the site itself to identify any potential issues and to get a solid idea of how to best approach the demolition processes.


In this stage, it’s not only the demolition contractor who’ll need to sort things out. You’ll need to decide how you’ll want to remove what’s in the house. You have a few options which include:

  • Salvage the materials. While you can keep what you can still use like furniture, you may want to donate things to a local charity shop or give it to friends.
  • Recycle. We’ve all got old items in our house that are of no use but we’ve still hung on to them (old computers, appliances that haven’t worked in years). This is a great chance to get rid of them and some items may even be recyclable.
  • Dispose of in landfill: Anything that’s hazardous or can’t be recycled will need to be taken to landfill.

You’ll also need to organise any removal of these items, whether it’s by hiring a skip or other rubbish removal services.

Removing any harmful or hazardous materials

Depending on the house, it may be necessary to remove hazardous materials such as asbestos. Asbestos removal needs to be performed by professionals and not a DIY job. Your demolition contractor may have some asbestos removal companies to recommend.


Once everything is sorted, it’s time for the big show. You’ll need to find alternate accommodation during this time (we don’t recommend staying in the house while it’s being knocked down). Demolition can take one day or a few days, depending on the house.

Clean-up/removing debris

Once the house has been demolished, the debris will need to be removed. Rubbish removal services can help with this and make sure building materials are disposed of properly.

Buildi is here to help you throughout your knockdown rebuild.

Building a new house is always a big step, but you don’t have to walk it alone. Buildi has assisted many people all over Brisbane with their knockdown rebuilds. We’ll be there from sorting out the actual demolition to the moment you get the keys to your new forever home. Get in touch today to find out how we can save you time, effort and money.

Book your free, impartial consultation today!


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Building a Home

Knockdown Rebuild

Home designs

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Building a Home

Knockdown Rebuild

Home designs

Advice & inspiration