How to Tear Down a House to Build a New One


People often find it is less expensive to purchase land with a home already built on it than to purchase an empty lot. With an empty lot, you may need to install or connect the water system, electric and gas for the new home. Hiring a company to tear down a home may cost well over $20,000, depending on the square footage of the home. But if you rent equipment, you can tear down the home with a group of friends at a fraction of the cost.

Things You'll Need

  • Bulldozer
  • Excavator
  • Large dumpster
  • Caution tape
  • Verify that gas, electric and water have been disconnected from the main hookups.

  • Contact the city to make sure the home can be torn down to make way for a new structure. Changes in zoning may forbid building a new structure on an existing lot.

  • Decide whether or not you want to use the existing foundation and basement for the new home. Have an expert check the foundation for leaks and reliability. A structural engineer will be able to tell you the expected load-bearing ability.

  • Mark off the perimeter of the property with caution tape. This will keep others from trespassing onto your land and getting hurt. Do one final walk-through of the property to verify no one is inside and nothing is left behind.

  • Collapse the front of the house by driving into it with the bulldozer. Carry large pieces of the home to the dumpster using the bulldozer.

  • Tear into the exterior of the home using the excavator. Remove large areas of the home and place rubbish into the dumpster. Use the excavator to remove any sections of the home that may have fallen into the basement.

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  • Photo Credit old house image by Dennis Carrigan from
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