House Demolition Equipment and Popular Tools Used


    Full demolition of the house is completed with excavator and truck that drives away debris. Bulldozers may be used to help push and move materials from one side to another in larger home demolition jobs.

    In simple words its literally one machine that takes down the house and dump truck that picks up construction material that are left. This however is not always the case. There are far more complicated home demolition projects that require more machinery and specific equipment.

    Today we are talking about tree common types of projects and house demolition equipment used in each process.

    1. Small Residential House Demolition Equipment
    2. Manual House Demolition Tools
    3. Commercial Building Demolition Equipment

    Each type of work requires different machinery and tools. Our team is not going deep into rare situations like explosions, underwater demolishing or other complicated jobs.

    Small Residential House Demolition Equipment

    Taking down a house is not a complicated process for professional excavator operator. Home owners don’t realize that entire process of demolishing a house is calculated by hours and literally within half a day, entire home is broken apart and loaded into trucks for disposal.

    A small team of two or three people can manage to get it done relatively fast. Every operator needs a helper or signaller to direct him. Third person would be in control of bobcat to push, load or dismantle smaller structures.

    Here is a list of house demolition equipment used for small residential jobs:

    • Excavator
    • Bobcat
    • Disposal Bin

    Demolition companies own most of equipment used for jobs. Disposal trucks with bins are hired / contracted as third parties.

    Home owners or contractors that want to separate work into pieces for DIY project are recommended to rent heavy equipment with licensed operator. It will save time and significantly reduce chance of things going south.

    Expenses associated with residential house demolition equipment

    ExcavatorBobcatDisposal Bins
    To Rent$500 – $1000 / day$300 – $600 / day $250 – $550 / load
    To Buy and Own$30 000 – $60 000$20 000 – $30 000 $30 000 – $40 000
    Maintenance$10 000 / year$4 000 / year $6 000 / year
    Costs vary on location and time of year

    When renting equipment, maintenance costs are not added to the picture. Keep in mind companies that own necessary machinery for demolitions require large yards or warehouses for storage.

    Manual House Demolition Tools

    Dismantling interior of the house or sometimes entire structure by hand with tools is completely different story. It is done when machines cannot be brought to jobsite due to complicated landscape, tight spaces or other complicated situations.

    Another reason for manual house demolition with hand tools is that major structure has to stay without further damage. Excavators and bulldozers would definitely cause disruptions and weaken integrity of loadbearing walls.

    Take a look at our list of tools suggested for demolition by hand:

    • Hammer / Sledgehammer
    • Pry Bar and Crow Bar
    • Sozzle saw
    • Shovel
    • Jack Hammer
    • Buckets/Buns/Bags

    Small demo jobs would be just fine to complete with this short list of tools. Additional saws, drills, knives and handy items can assists during the work, but main 6 are always there.

    Hammer / Sledgehammer – the one and only tools used everywhere by everyone. Such a simple tools that hits, pulls out nails and wrecks. You can buy it for $15 – $40 and have for very long time. Very hard to damage and break.

    Pry Bar and Crow Bar – used to lever heavier or attached items together. For example removing door/window frame or nailed down floor with crow bar is a piece of cake. Market price is between $10 and $25 and like hamper it is very hard to break.

    Sozzle Saw – great tool to cut interior walls, doors and other wood materials. It is portable and easy to carry. Just switch a blade and carry on with cutting studs or plywood. Can be bought for just $100 – $150.

    Shovel – simply scoop up debris with shovel and place into binds or bags. The easiest way to place waste material by most cost efficient tool. Get it for around $50 – $70.

    Jack Hammer – amazing for breaking concrete, bricks or stone. It hammers rapidly with force to break solid structures, but should not be used on steel. Attachments can be used for similar purposes like removing tiles. Cost of good jackhammer is $1000 – $1500

    Buckets/Bins/Bags – carry debris to trucks or construction bins in buckets or heavy duty bags. Bags are used in sensitive areas where area next to construction has to be protected from dust. $50 can get you a long way for bags and bins.

    All above listed tools can be purchased online or at any local hardware store. To save money, home owners may want to take on demolition part of work. Tools are not expensive and work does not require technical knowledge.

    In that case we recommend taking all safety precautions and using personal protective equipment during work. These house demolition tools can be bought for under $2000. Renting them does not make financial sense even if you have one job.

    Commercial Demolition Equipment

    Stepping up a notch and we can get ourselves looking over commercial demolition projects. For some it would be ordinary day and for others something extraordinary and completely out of scope.

    Commercial projects involve large equipment to perform big jobs faster and safer. We are talking about taking down hotel buildings, bridges, warehouses and other large structures.

    Besides insane amount of safety with constant supervision on jobsite, demolition equipment has to be selected for the right use. Larger buildings require long reach machines with ability to grab and load heavier pieces.

    Popular Commercial Demolition Equipment:

    • Long Reach Excavator
    • Material Loader and Handler
    • Bulldozer
    • Hydraulic Hammer
    • Wrecking Ball
    • Bin Trucks

    This is obviously just a short list of top 6 machines and equipment tools used in commercial demo, but in reality there are tenths of additional demolition excavators, cranes and tools.

    20 % of companies that operate within commercial industry own their equipment, while 80% rent everything. Although renting may seem expensive, it takes away responsibility and liability from companies.

    Maintaining, licensing, fixing and storing is very problematic for large demolition equipment. Professional technicians, supervisors and safety personnel has to be hired just to keep everything in-house.

    Before selecting commercial demolition equipment for the project, list all tasks and ask for suggestions from professionals. Operators or managers at rental companies can combine machines that will serve perfectly.

    Summarizing House Demo Equipment and Tools 

    Hundreds of tools and machines are used to demolish a house or building structure, but we can talk only about few popular items.

    Local companies should understand their own workflow before purchasing or using any specific tools.

    Fortunately demolition industry is broad widely used. Literally demolition is beginning of another construction or renovation.

    Tools and equipment are available through internet sources like amazon or brand websites. Local store can have most of above suggested tools, but in reality the selection is not even close to what you can choose from online.

    For those who end up buying tools, the storage and maintenance is very important. Place everything in moderate temperature rooms with low moisture level. It will help to prevent steel and inner parts from rusting.

    Watch out for ware out on blades. In worst case scenarios, it blade can kick back and cut you pretty badly. Always follow recommendations and instructions from manufacturer.

    Steven H.
    Steven H.
    General Contractor and Home Builder with over 20 years of experience. Write and Edit educational posts for several Remodeling Blogs. Specialize in trade management and technical construction details.

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