House Demolition Cost in Brisbane: A Comprehensive Guide for 2024

Demolishing a house is a big deal. And let's face it, the 'big deal' is as much about the emotional aspect as it is about the financial one. To help you brace for the impact, we've pieced together a comprehensive guide on house demolition costs in Brisbane for 2023, aiming to break the ice and give you a clear perspective of what you're stepping into.

Just as each house tells a different story, the cost of tearing it down also varies. A multitude of factors come into play, some as clear as day, others not so much. So if you’re scratching your head trying to figure out how much knocking down your house might cost you, don’t worry, you’re not alone! We’ll break down all the ins and outs for you.

Breaking Down the Average Cost of a Home Demolition in Brisbane

So, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. How much can you expect to shell out for a house demolition in Brisbane? In terms of per square meter costing, house demolition could set you back around $40 to $150. Again, remember this can swing widely depending on the specifics of your house and site conditions. Below are more details you can consider when crunching down the numbers…

Factors Influencing Demolition Cost

Not all houses are created equal, and the same goes for the cost of tearing them down. Size, location, and materials used are all players in this game. 

As the real estate mantra goes: “Location, location, location.” And believe it or not, location plays a huge impact on average demolition costs. Where your property stands in Brisbane, the zoning regulations, and the proximity to a dump site — they all add up. Let’s take a closer look.

While it’s like comparing apples and oranges, the average cost of demolition in Brisbane typically ranges between $17,000 to $40,000 for a three-bedroom house. The final price tag hinges on the size of your house, ease of access to the property, and any hazardous materials that might need removing.

Some of the main factors that will affect your demolition budget include:

Size of the Property: The larger the property, the more time, labor, and machinery will be required for the demolition, thereby increasing the cost.

Structure of the House: The materials used in the construction of the house play a significant role in determining the demolition costs. A house made from timber might be cheaper to demolish than one built from concrete or bricks.

Location of the Property: If the property is located in a densely populated or hard-to-reach area, this may increase the costs due to the difficulty of safely carrying out the demolition.

Presence of Hazardous Materials: If your house contains hazardous materials like asbestos, the cost will significantly increase because these materials need special handling and disposal.

Demolition Method: Costs vary depending on the demolition method chosen. For example, a total demolition is more expensive than a partial one.

Permit Costs: Demolition work requires certain permits which have their associated costs. This will be discussed further in the article.

Disposal of Debris: Depending on the amount and type of debris generated from the demolition, the cost to dispose of it can vary.

Tree Removal: If there are trees on the property that need to be removed before the demolition can take place, this will add to the overall cost. 

Service Disconnections: Any utilities connected to the property, such as water, gas, and electricity, need to be safely disconnected, adding to the cost.

Site Preparation and Cleanup: Preparing the site before demolition and cleaning up after can add significant costs depending on the site’s condition.

Additional Unforeseen Costs: Often, there can be unforeseen issues that arise during the demolition process, such as hidden structural problems, that can add to the total cost.

It’s important to get a detailed quote from your demolition contractor to understand all the costs involved and plan your budget accordingly.

Cost Differences Between Residential and Commercial Demolition

Keep in mind, there’s a world of difference between residential and commercial demolition costs. Commercial properties, due to their larger size and more complex structures, will usually carry a heftier price tag.

Types of Demolitions and Associated Costs

The demolition world isn’t one-size-fits-all. There are different paths you can take, each with its own cost implications. Below are three of the most common type of demolition and their average costs:

Demolition Costs of a Partial House

Partial demolition, where only a section of your house is taken down, can be less of a dent in your wallet. The beauty of this approach is that it leaves the structural integrity of the building untouched, making it a budget-friendly choice.

This method works wonders for homeowners who:

  1. Are planning a property revamp: If you’re considering renting out part of your property, it’s likely you’ll need to make some tweaks to the interior design, such as erecting new walls or getting rid of the existing ones. During this deconstruction, features like partitions and internal walls are typically removed to create more room and meet your preferred layout. The cost of demolishing an interior space will hinge on the project’s size and complexity.
  2. Are under local ordinance restrictions: Sometimes, local laws may prevent you from altering your property’s exterior. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t give the inside of your house a fresh look to enhance its functionality, appeal, or marketability. In such scenarios, you could opt to make interior design modifications that don’t interfere with the exterior, like switching up the flooring, installing new fixtures, or adding a fresh coat of paint to the walls. Remember, it’s vital to ensure that your remodelling plans are in line with the rules and requirements set by your local government.

Total House Demolition Costs

When you’re going for a total do-over, a full demolition is the way to go. Naturally, this involves more work, and the costs will be higher. However, the benefits of a full demolition are numerous. It allows you to start with a fresh slate, identifying and correcting any structural issues before rebuilding. It also gives you complete control over the design, layout, and functionality of your space, as you can completely customize every aspect to your liking.

Additionally, demolishing your entire space may be necessary if you’re completely changing the purpose of the area. For example, if you’re converting a commercial space into a residential one, a full demolition might be necessary to reconfigure the layout, add windows, and make other necessary changes.

The cost of demolishing your home in Brisbane can fluctuate based on multiple factors. Price range for demolition operations can fall between $12,000 and $40,000, with an average cost of approximately $16,000 to $17,000. 

Manual Deconstruction

If you fancy giving the environment a helping hand, manual deconstruction could be right up your alley. This involves carefully taking apart the house to salvage materials for reuse. However, be prepared as this is a labor-intensive process and could therefore cost more than other methods. 

If you would like to minimize the impact of your house demolition, check out our Sustainable House Demolition article for some useful tips.

The Impact of Asbestos on House Demolition Costs

Here’s the kicker, houses built in Brisbane between 1920 and 1990 are likely to have asbestos, which requires special attention.

Asbestos & Mould Removal and Disposal

Asbestos removal is not a task for the faint-hearted. It needs to be handled with utmost care, following strict safety protocols. According to the Work Health and Safety Regulations of Australia, extraction and disposal of asbestos can only be done by qualified licensed professionals. Thus, adding more to the overall bill. But when it comes to health, it’s better safe than sorry.

Similarly, dealing with mould can be a costly affair, given that it demands specialist intervention and careful eradication during a demolition process. 

Cost of Demolishing a House with Asbestos in Brisbane

So, how much more will it cost to demolish a house with the presence of asbestos? Depending on the extent of asbestos used in the house, it can push up your total demolition cost by a few thousand dollars, so be ready.

The average cost of eliminating “non-friable” asbestos, a firmly bound material, hovers around $850 per tonne. You can find non-friable asbestos in flat or corrugated sheeting, often known as “fibro” or “AC sheeting”, as well as in water or flue pipes, roof shingles, flexible building boards, imitation brick cladding, plaster patching compounds, textured paint, vinyl floor tiles, and the backing of linoleum floor coverings.

However, removing loosely bound or “friable” asbestos is even more expensive. This type of asbestos is found in some older forms of insulation used in domestic heaters and stoves, and the dust hazards associated with it can ramp up the removal cost.

Here’s a useful breakdown of asbestos-related expenses you might need to budget for:

  1. Asbestos Tests: Around $50* – This price is based on samples you drop off at a licensed test office. However, if you require a licensed professional to take initial on-site samples, it will cost you around $100 for the first sample and then $50 for each additional sample. The cost can vary depending on your location. These test samples provide results within 3-5 working days.
  2. Asbestos Removal: Approximately $25-$50 per square metre – This estimate applies to asbestos sheeting that’s already had all trims, skirting, edges, etc., removed and is also subject to your location.
  3. Asbestos Removal Clearance Certificate: Around $500 – It’s mandatory by law to have clearance certificates for any work exceeding 10 sq.m. It is advisable to use an independent asbestos assessor to monitor and clear this certificate.
  4. Asbestos Management Plans (and Inspection Reports): Roughly $300* – This cost is based on standardized AMPs or IRs and may vary depending on your location.
  5. Asbestos Roof Removal: Around $4000* – This cost applies to an asbestos roof that is low and flat, with no hips or valleys, and is under 100 sq.m. It is subject to location, dumping fees, and clearance certificates.

These are just ballpark figures and actual prices may vary. It’s always best to get an accurate quote tailored to your specific situation.

Other Costs Related to Demolishing a House

Like an iceberg, there’s more to the demolition cost than meets the eye. Hidden beneath the surface are several additional costs you’ll need to factor in before taking that big swing.

Cost for Demolition Permits in Brisbane

Before the first brick is removed, you’ll need to secure all the necessary permits. The cost of permits can swing broadly based on your specific location and the intricacies of your project. It’s essential to plan and budget for this early on to prepare for any unexpected costs. Let’s break down the expenses and timelines for you:

  1. Demolition Permit: This is the cornerstone approval you need from the Brisbane City Council to start your home demolition project. The cost hovers between $200 to $300, depending on the project’s complexity. Usually, you need to earmark about 2-4 weeks to secure this permit.
  2. Development Approval: If your property is located within a demolition control precinct or is chalked on the local or state heritage register, it’s mandatory to acquire development approval from the council. This process can be a bit heavy on the pocket, often surging over $1000, and processing it may take several weeks to months due to the elaborate nuances involved in preserving Brisbane’s architectural legacy.
  3. Asbestos Removal Permit: Residences built before 1990 often have asbestos. If that’s the case, you’ll need to also apply for an asbestos removal permit prior to the demolition. The cost is generally around $500, but it can sway based on the volume and location of asbestos in your home. Obtaining this permit usually takes around a week.
  4. Tree Protection Approval: If there are safeguarded trees adorning your property, you’ll need Tree Protection Approval to ensure they remain unharmed during the demolition. It is recommended that you contact the Council before submitting your building application to discuss all relevant issues concerning your proposed plans. After obtaining your building approval, you may submit an application for evaluation to carry out works on safeguarded vegetation. This permit is free to apply at the Brisbane Local Council, however, further arborist assessment and removal will take on a portion of your budget. 

Bear in mind, these costs and timelines are ballpark figures and may vary depending on your home’s specifics and the existing regulations. Securing all your demolition permissions early will ensure a smooth process, keeping you within the legal framework, and assuring everyone’s safety.

Tree Removal Costs

Got trees on your property? If they’re standing in the way, they’ll need to go. However, it is crucial to seek expert advice about their removal and identify which ones need to be cut down. This task can add a considerable chunk to your overall expenses, and here’s why:

  1. Tree Inspection: Before deciding on whether a tree should be chopped down or uprooted, it needs to be thoroughly examined. This inspection, typically performed by a certified arborist or a tree surgeon, can set you back around $100. During this process, the tree is scrutinised for any signs of damage, disease, or instability. Based on their findings, the arborist will recommend if the tree should be removed.
  2. Tree Removal Costs: Generally, the cost of tree removal is calculated at an hourly rate. The average rate hovers around $70 per hour, although this can fluctuate based on the size of the job, its location, and the complexity involved. The tree removal process involves cutting the tree into manageable sections, felling it, and clearing the resulting debris from your premises. The cost for this service will differ, depending on the tree’s size, health status, and the amount of labour and equipment needed.
  3. Total Expense: The final cost for tree removal can range anywhere between $300 to $1,000. This cost accounts for the complex nature of the task and the expertise required to execute it safely and effectively.

Accommodation Fees During Demolition Process

Unless you’ve got generous friends or family with a spare room, you’ll need to find temporary accommodation during the demolition process. The cost for this will depend on your taste and how long the project lasts.

Cleanup and Debris Removal Costs

After the dust has settled, there’s the cleanup. Whether it’s hauling away the debris to a landfill or recycling center, these costs can quickly add up!

The final phase in the demolition journey is a crucial one. The costs associated with this task can generally range anywhere between $280 to $1,700, the variation largely depending on the size of the house and the quantity of debris generated.

It’s worth noting, however, that some contractors might need a little extra help tidying up the site. In such cases, there could be an additional charge of $400-$800 per truckload of waste.

Tips for Reducing Demolition Costs

Who doesn’t love a good deal? While you can’t cut corners with safety, there are ways to shave off some of the costs. Here are 3 easy ways to reduce the overall cost and save money during demolition:

  • Salvage and sell – One of the most effective ways to ensure a sustainable demolition process is by salvaging as much material as you can. This could include steel, bricks, or timber. As Mr Tucker suggests, it’s a win-win situation. Not only does this approach demonstrate environmental responsibility, but it can also significantly reduce demolition costs. When getting a quote from demolition professionals, make sure they provide an estimate of the value of materials that can be salvaged or recycled. 
  • Recycle – Demolitions don’t have to result in all waste. A growing number of demolition contractors are now recycling materials like concrete, bricks, or blocks right on the project site. These materials are then transformed into an aggregate product that can be reused in the subsequent construction.
  • Do It Yourself! – If you are tight on the budget, you can always cut down costs by doing some of the preparations and dirty work yourself. Obtaining and processing permits or even cleaning up the site can be done without costing extra pennies.

Final Thoughts

Your demolition project in Brisbane is a significant venture that requires a clear understanding of all the associated costs. From permits to waste removal, and not forgetting potential hazardous material mitigation, the financial elements involved can be extensive. However, with careful planning, accurate budgeting, and the engagement of professional services, this process can be efficiently navigated.

Here are our final thoughts:

  1. Invest in a Detailed Cost Estimate: Make sure to get a comprehensive quote from a reliable demolition contractor. It should cover all phases of the project, allowing you to better understand the impending costs and consequently plan your budget more effectively.
  2. Asbestos Considerations: If your home was built prior to 1990, chances are asbestos may be present. Testing and professional removal of asbestos can influence your budget, so remember to factor this into your planning.
  3. Don’t Overlook Permit Costs: Whether it’s a demolition permit, development approval, or tree protection approval, these additional costs can add up. By researching or consulting with demolition experts, you can gain a realistic understanding of these costs and ensure they find a place in your budget.
  4. Waste Management: Following demolition, site cleanup, and debris removal is a critical stage. The costs for this service can be influenced by factors such as the size of the property, the volume of debris, and your location. Make sure to include these in your budget to avoid unexpected expenses.
  5. Keep a Contingency Fund: Despite careful planning, unexpected costs can crop up. Therefore, having a contingency fund gives you a financial cushion, ensuring your project keeps moving forward without interruption.
  6. Planning for the Future: If you’re demolishing with the aim to rebuild, don’t forget to budget for the construction costs. Having a ballpark figure of what your new home will cost can help ensure your total budget is realistic and comprehensive.

A well-planned budget is crucial for a successful house demolition project. The more thorough and accurate your budget, the smoother your demolition process will be.

What’s Next?

Now that you’ve gone through this guide, you should have a clearer understanding of the varied costs linked to House Demolition in Brisbane as of 2024. You’re now better prepared to plan your budget and take the first swing. If you’d like a more comprehensive checklist to work with, don’t forget to check our House Demolition Checklist to Safe and Efficient Home Demolition for more useful information.

Ready to Break Ground? At Pro House Demolitions Brisbane, we’re eager to transform your demolition project into a smooth and hassle-free experience. Our team of seasoned professionals is ready to assist you, providing top-notch services that work with your budget and timeframes. Let’s collaborate to make your vision a reality!

Don’t wait! Start your demolition journey today. Click here to avail of our top-tier house demolition services at Pro House Demolitions Brisbane. Let’s build a better future on a clean slate.


How does the size of the house impact the demolition cost?

The larger the house, the more materials and labor are required for the demolition, which increases the cost.

What accommodations might I need to consider during the demolition process, and what might they cost?

Unless you have another place to stay, you’ll need to rent accommodation during the demolition process. The cost will depend on the rental rates in your area.

How can I potentially cut down the costs of house demolition in Brisbane?

Consider selling salvaged materials or doing some tasks yourself, such as obtaining permits or cleaning up the site after the demolition.

Does manual deconstruction cost less than other forms of demolition?

While manual deconstruction can be more eco-friendly, it is often more labor-intensive and hence can cost more than mechanical demolition.

Is there a way to make house demolition sustainable?

Yes, through methods like deconstruction, where materials are carefully salvaged for reuse, you can make house demolition more sustainable. If you’d like to know more about incorporating sustainable practices in your demolition job, make sure to check Sustainable House Demolitions.

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