Cost of Demolishing House with Asbestos in Australia

Introduction to Cost of Demolishing House

Australia’s housing market is continuously evolving, with many homeowners opting to demolish and rebuild instead of buying a new property. One significant concern during demolishing a house is the presence of asbestos and the cost of its removal. The cost implications of demolishing a house with asbestos can be notably higher than a regular home, and here’s why.

Team removing asbestos, a crucial step influencing the cost of demolishing a house

Asbestos in Homes

Before we explore the costs, it’s essential to understand the implications of having asbestos in a house. Asbestos was once a favorite construction material in Australia due to its fire resistance, durability, and insulation properties. However, as health risks associated with asbestos became apparent, its use was restricted.

Why is Asbestos Dangerous?

  • Inhaled asbestos fibers can cause diseases like asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma.
  • Once released into the air, these tiny fibers can be inhaled, leading to severe health complications.
  • Living in a house with asbestos doesn’t mean you’re immediately at risk. The danger arises when the asbestos is disturbed, releasing fibers into the air.

Where is Asbestos Found in a House?

It’s crucial to know where asbestos is found in a house. Key areas include:

  • Roof shingles and felts
  • Siding on houses
  • Insulation materials on boilers, ducts, pipes, sheeting, fireplaces
  • Vinyl floor tiles and adhesives
  • Texture paints and compounds used on walls and ceilings
  • Certain older household appliances

If you’re planning a DIY asbestos inspection, consider getting an asbestos kit to test materials. However, the safest method is professional asbestos testing by certified experts.

Cost Implications of Asbestos Demolition in Australia

The demolition of a house containing asbestos is not just a straightforward task. It requires careful consideration and planning and often comes with higher costs. Here are the pivotal factors affecting the price:

Size and Structure of the House

A larger home means more materials, increasing the overall cost. Multi-storied homes or those with complex architectural designs might also necessitate more specialized work, further driving up the expenses.

Asbestos Concentration

Not all asbestos-containing homes are created equal. Some might have used it sparingly, while others could have it in almost every part. Houses with more extensive asbestos usage will demand a more meticulous and prolonged removal process, thereby increasing costs.


The price also varies depending on the region. With tighter regulations and higher living costs, urban areas typically see steeper rates than rural areas. Accessibility can also play a role; homes located in places that are hard to access might incur additional costs.

Minor Demolition

In some cases, homeowners might not require a full demolition. Perhaps only a specific section of the house, like the garage or an extension, needs tearing down. While this can be more cost-effective, the presence of asbestos can still hike the price, especially if proper containment and disposal methods are necessary.

Disposal Costs

Asbestos is classified as hazardous waste. This means it can’t just be tossed into a regular landfill. Specialized disposal methods are required, and these come with their own set of costs.

Regulatory Compliance

Different states in Australia might have varying regulations and guidelines about asbestos removal and disposal. Meeting these standards might involve extra steps or precautions, each contributing to the overall cost.

In Australia, demolishing houses containing asbestos costs approximately three times more than demolishing houses containing asbestos. While a standard house demolition could set you back anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000, a home laden with asbestos might see you parting with a hefty sum ranging from $20,000 to $30,000.

Examples of Costs in Different Areas:

A complete house demolition in Sydney can cost between $12,000 and $40,000. Melbourne homeowners might be looking at a slightly lower range of $10,000 to $35,000.It’s always wise to consult a demolition contractor for precise figures. They can provide a clear breakdown, considering the presence of asbestos.

The Detailed Process of Demolishing a House with Asbestos

Team removing asbestos, a crucial step influencing the cost of demolishing a house

When confronted with the task of demolishing a house containing asbestos, the process could be more complex. There are layers to the procedure, each integral to ensuring safety and compliance with established guidelines.

Initial Inspection and Testing

Before any demolition can occur, the foremost step is to ascertain the presence and concentration of asbestos in the house. This involves specialists coming to the property, collecting samples from different areas, and testing them in labs. Depending on the age of the house and the construction materials used, asbestos might be found in various parts, from insulation to floor tiles. Accurate identification at this stage is vital, as it determines the subsequent steps in the demolition process.

Safety Precautions and Pre-Demolition Preparations

Once asbestos is confirmed, safety precautions must be set in place. This is to ensure that asbestos fibers don’t become airborne during the demolition, posing a health risk to workers and potentially the surrounding community. Sites are typically sealed off, and specialized equipment, like respirators and protective clothing, is used by workers. Wetting down areas can also help in reducing the release of fibers.

Demolition and Disposal

Following the setup, the actual demolition begins. This involves breaking down the house while ensuring minimal disturbance to asbestos-laden materials. Post-demolition, the rubble, especially parts containing asbestos, needs careful handling. Asbestos is deemed hazardous waste, and thus, its disposal necessitates adherence to stringent guidelines. Typically, it’s transported to designated facilities that are equipped to handle and neutralize such threats.

Why Hiring a Professional is Crucial

When dealing with asbestos, one might be tempted to take matters into their own hands, especially with the plethora of DIY asbestos kits available. However, the risks heavily outweigh the benefits. Professionals undergo extensive training and have the necessary equipment to handle asbestos safely. They understand the intricate details of where to look, how to take materials, and, most importantly, how to dispose of them without causing harm. 

Hiring an expert asbestos removal specialist ensures that every trace of asbestos is effectively removed, keeping you and your family safe from potential health hazards. Remember, while you might save some money by going the DIY route, the potential health implications and long-term risks can be far more costly. Regarding your safety and that of your loved ones, it’s always best to trust the experts– the professional demolition team.

Conclusion to Cost of Demolishing House

Asbestos can significantly impact the cost of demolishing a house in Australia. Whether it’s the specialized removal process, the added precautions, or the disposal methods, every step is pricier than demolishing a regular house. Before you embark on this journey, ensure you’re well-informed and prepared. After all, when it comes to asbestos, safety always comes first.

 At Rapid Demolition, we pride ourselves on our expertise and commitment to safety. With years of experience in the industry, we understand the unique challenges posed by asbestos-containing structures. Our team is specially trained to handle these situations, ensuring a seamless, safe, and efficient demolition process. By choosing Rapid Demolition, you’re not just selecting a service but investing in peace of mind. Trust us to prioritize your safety above all else.