Pre-Demolition Checklist (+Rates)

You have decided to demolish your building! We can help you on this journey to have a clear site in no time. Below, we have provided everything you need to know to get the ball rolling on your demolition project.

What is Pre-Demolition

There is a great deal of preparation and paperwork to be completed before the first piece of equipment arrives and the first load of debris is loaded out. This preparation and paperwork are usually called the pre-demolition steps of a project.  The large majority of the cost of pre-demolition work will depend on the city, county, or town where the project is taking place.  However, we will provide a list of steps below of that will cover most of the steps that you may encounter.

The price range in pre-demolition costs can be quiet large for example; a single-family home in a small rural area can be permitted and ready for demolition for $2,500 but a large commercial building in a major metropolitan area may cost as much as $50,000 in pre-demolition costs alone. Once pre-demolition is complete you are ready to dive into demolition.

Checklist (+Rates)

Pre-demolition Blueprint Image

Pre-demolition Blueprint Image

  • Demolition Plans- $1,200-$10,000

    The first step in the process is getting site plans or demolition plans.  These blueprints typically must be stamped and verified by an architect or engineer before the project can continue. The plans provide an overview of the demolition work to take place.

    However, the drawings will not always be limited to just the demolition plans. They could also include detailed erosion control measures and sometimes a tree-plan to feature protection for the existing trees on the property.

    As with most variables in demolition, the true cost of obtaining the demolition plans depends on the type of project.  For a single-family residence, demolition plans could cost as low as $1,200 and over $10,000 for a complex commercial/industrial demolition project.

  • Asbestos Survey- $550-$50,000+

    Before demolition of any structure, a state certified asbestos inspector must take samples of the materials that may contain asbestos in the building.  This prevents the release of regulated asbestos materials during the demolition process.

    Structures built before 1978 are much more likely to contain asbestos than one constructed in recent years.  The cost of the survey directly relates to the square footage, age, and location of the building that is being sampled. Home Advisor reports the average homeowner spends $550 for an inspection of their residence. Commercial space and industrial spaces could cost between $5,000-$10,000 depending on the age of the building and number of the samples taken to be tested.

  • Rodent Letter- $300-$5,000+

    Many municipalities and counties mandate that a rodent letter is in hand before the demolition process beings.  This was put into place because of the high likelihood of rodent infestation when a building is vacant for a long period. they are infested with all kinds of rodents.  If an untreated structure were torn down and there were in fact rodents and other vermin inside, they would immediately seek shelter in the neighboring properties.

    A licensed pest control company must perform an inspection and provide a letter stating the property is free of rodents and ready for demolition.  If rodents are present, then traps will be set to eliminate the infestation before demolition can commence.

    Single-family home rodent inspections typically cost around $300.  Apartment complexes, large commercial, and industrial buildings can cost a $2,000 - $5,000 for the inspections.  If rodents are found trapping and removal costs vary by the size of the rodent problem.

  • State Notification (10-day)- $0-$1,000

    Ten business days before a structural demolition or abatement project beings, a notification must be sent to the state’s environmental protection agency where the work is taking place. Submitted by mail or through an online system, this is required in most states before performing any demolition or abatement work.

    The contractor typically includes this cost in their proposal and will submit it on the owner’s behalf. The cost of the demolition only notification is $0 and the price of an asbestos abatement notification will vary on the amount of remediated material but maxes out at $1,000.

Pre-Demolition Utility Safe-off Image

Pre-Demolition Utility Safe-off Image

  • Sewer Plug/Cap- $500-$1,500+

    Most municipalities want to make sure that when you remove a structure, no contaminants are introduced into the sewer line.  This is because foreign material introduced to the sewer will only cause blockages and possible breakages in the line.

    A licensed plumber or utility contractor is required to cap the lines after demolition takes place. The cost varies based on the structure size, but most projects fall between the $500-$1,500.

Pre-demolition Underground Utility Flag Image

Pre-demolition Underground Utility Flag Image

  • Utility disconnects- $50-$10,000+

    The utility disconnects include water, power, and gas.  Out of all of these utilities, gas is the most important due to the risk of fire or injury.  All demolition projects that involve the removal of any sub-surface items must have an active 811 locate before work can begin.  The awarded demolition contractor often coordinates these disconnects.

  • Demolition Permit- $50-$10,000+

    Typically these costs can be found quickly on the website of the local authority for where the project is based.  Some locations have a pricing model that is based on a flat-fee structure, and other locations base the cost on a percentage of total demolition costs.  We have not seen a permit cost less than $50, but we have paid over $10,000 on larger projects.

We hope that now you understand the pre-demolition process and the associate costs and are primed to take on your first steps of pre-demolition for your project. We have created a downloadable checklist so you can track your demolition project, download it now.

Louis Hyte
Ten-Day Notification: What it is, Why you need it, & How Much it Costs
10 Day Notification Header Image

10 Day Notification Header Image

In 1999 the State of Georgia Environmental Protection Division mandated that before performing any structural demolition or asbestos abatement work, that the responsible party submit a notification to the Environmental Protection Division, Lead-Based Paint and Asbestos Program.

This notification is known commonly as a 10-day notification. This notification is not pointless government regulation nor red tape, it is a critical tool used by consumer and local authority. In this blog, we will take a deep dive into the confusing world of 10-day notifications and answer all your questions and concerns.

What is a Ten-Day Notification?

Commonly this is known as a Ten-day notification, here in Georgia, the regulation states that this “must be made prior to asbestos stripping, removal or any other activity, such as site preparation, that would break up, dislodge, or similarly disturb asbestos material, including demolition of buildings.”

The Ten-day notification is a heads-up to the Environmental Protection Division that a project with demolition or the removal of asbestos is beginning soon.  The information provided helps them verify that they use the correct means and methods. The Ten-Day Notification gets its name from the mandatory waiting period it requires.

Ten business days from its submission, not including federal holidays, the project demolition and abatement cannot commence.  Make sure you consult the calendar when planning the project’s schedule. For example, if you submit on December 24, the day before Christmas, your Ten-day is now a 12-day because Christmas Day and New Year’s Day are federally recognized holidays.

The notification document has multiple sections that detail all aspects of the project.  These sections are the type of project, site information, abatement contractor, demolition contractor, ACM (asbestos containing material) information, the schedule for the project, ACM specifics, waste disposal information, and building owner information.

Why do I have to submit a Ten-Day Notification?

To help protect the environment, building owner, and health of the surrounding community.

Each of the sections on the notification equips the EPD with the information necessary to make sure the project’s performance is following the local codes.  This process was put into place to protect not only the environment but also the owner of the building.

Asbestos Remediation

Asbestos Warning

Asbestos Warning

In asbestos remediation, the microscopic asbestos fibers can become airborne, and this is when asbestos exposure occurs.  To combat this, the EPD makes sure that they contain the area of work and they utilize proper engineering controls and, when appropriate, negative pressure containment.  The notification gives the owner peace of mind knowing that the contractor is performing the demolition or abatement, quality, and capability.

Waste Disposal and ACM Information

Skid steer loading trash.image

Skid steer loading trash.image

The waste disposal and ACM information are utilized to help protect the environment and community around the project. The statement of disposal location helps local authorities know precisely where the potentially hazardous debris is going.  This information is relevant because the final placement of the harmful material is as meaningful as the way the removal from the building. The proper dumping of materials is especially imperative to owners because they ultimately own the asbestos.  

If the contractor dumps the materials illegally, the EPD will seek to remediate this through the contractor and the owner of the building.  Asbestos is a cradle to grave item for owners. Proper handling and disposal of materials are critical to eliminating potential liability.

Can I start before the 10-Day waiting period is over?

Pre-construction meeting.image

Pre-construction meeting.image

Maybe, but probably not.

The only time that you can start a project before the ten-day mandatory waiting period is when it is non-friable abatement project if you submit a courtesy notification. The EPD’s standard of determining friability of asbestos by reducing the material to power by hand pressure.

Flooring mastic removal is a perfect example of an asbestos-containing material that does not require the full ten-day waiting period. Asbestos containing floor tile, however, would not qualify as you can reduce the tiles to powder through hand pressure.

The only other exception of when the full ten-day wait is not applied is an emergency notification. This type of notification is submitted when there is an immediate life safety or imminent collapse of a structure.

Who can fill out the 10-Day Notification

Business owner with contractors behind him.image

Business owner with contractors behind him.image

Owner, General Contractor, Abatement Contractor, or Demolition Contractor

The notification is filed by the owner, or on behalf of the owner by the general contractor, asbestos abatement contractor, or demolition contractor.  Most states have an online system to fill out the notice, much like Georgia’s in the link below. (

In most cases, an account must be created to submit a notification. Navigating the questions and filling in the answers can be cumbersome but having the specific job information on hand helps simplify the process.  

How much does it cost to submit the 10-Day Notification?

$0 - $1,000 per physical address

The max payment for notification is $1,000.  A demolition notification is what is known as a “courtesy notification,” and requires completion of only two of the three pages, and there is no cost associated.  The asbestos notification cost is dependent on the amount of asbestos abatement, but it maxes out at $1,000 per address. It’s important to remember that each asbestos containing structure that has a different address requires a separate notification.

Typically, the abatement contractor includes a line item in their pricing to submit the 10-Day notification on the owner's behalf.  However, it is always wise to make sure you know which contractor has covered it in their budget.

Do I have to file two (2) 10-Day notifications if I have both demolition and asbestos abatement at the same address?

Maybe, it depends on which contractor is performing what scope

If one contractor is performing both, demolition and abatement, or if the owner is the one submitting and they know both contractors that will be performing their respective scopes, a single notification is acceptable. If separate contractors will be carrying out their work and the owner is not the one who is submitting, each must provide a notification for their respective scopes.  

Get your 10-day Checklist Today!

We hope that we have answered all your questions and have successfully simplified to the 10-day notification process. The 10-day notification does not have to be seen as a huge speed bump nor does it have to feel like pulling teeth. Just remember, the key to an easy 10-day notification process is having all the necessary information on hand before filling out the notification.

For additional information for the other Southeastern States please see the links below or contact us.






Louisiana (General information)


North Carolina

South Carolina


Louis Hyte
Which Excavator Is Best For My Project? (Mini, 200, or 300 series)
Mini, 200, and 300 excavator line up

Mini, 200, and 300 excavator line up

When it comes to getting a complete demolition project done right, there is only one machine for the job, the excavator. The excavator is the workhorse of most medium to large-scale demolition projects.

Excavators are the preferred tool when it comes to the removal of structures, slabs, concrete footers, and debris. Despite the countless models, the separating factor is the excavator’s weight, load capacity, max reach, and compatible attachments. Out of the dozens of the machines, three classes are relevant when performing demolition.

These classes are the mini-excavators, 200 series, and 300 series. To help you identify which is best for your project, we will be sharing the advantages and disadvantages of each in this blog.


These small but mighty machines are the go-to when on a project that has size restrictions. For transportation, these machines only need a standard or gooseneck trailer. This only adds to their tool-belt of versatility.


Due to their low profile, they are useful in warehouses and other spaces with low rooflines. The excavator's low weight and short stature make it irreplaceable when working in tight quarters or on slabs with weight limits. Though this is the smallest class of excavators, they use the same attachments as the larger excavator classes. These attachments include a hammer-breaker, shear, and bucket. However, these attachments are not identical to those found on the larger excavators. They are all much smaller and have lower work capacity, but they still have their place on a job site.


Mini-excavators are not without their flaws. Excavators in this class are not meant to perform any heavy-duty tasks. This includes structural demolition or moving large quantities of debris. To negate this drawback, along with mini-excavators most projects have a skid-steer on-site to aid in debris removal and material sorting.

200-Series Excavator

The 200-series is the most common excavator class used on demolition wrecking projects. These 20+ ton machines have larger buckets (30-42" cu.yrd.), wider stance, higher lifting capacity and reach.


Due to its 30 foot-plus reach, this excavator class is excellent at demolishing of all structures. The excavator uses larger attachments to help expedite the entire demolition process. This includes bringing a building to the ground, debris sorting, and load-out for disposal. High performance of each of these steps makes this machine self-sufficient and independent. This independence means you can perform a demolition project with only this excavator. Though this class of excavators is mighty capable, they are not ideal when the project includes a turnkey scope of work and are difficult to transport.


Transportation of these larger machines is more complicated than a mini-excavator. For transit this series needs a semi-truck with a lowboy trailer. When using a lowboy trailer, the route that the truck takes is of great importance. The road is important because not all streets and traffic patterns support the turn radius for the semi-truck to arrive at the job site. Also, the 200-series machines struggle whenever asked to perform the more burdensome duties on a job site. These tasks include pulling and breaking (6" +) slab, removing building footers, and moving heavy material. Scope of work such as this demands an excavator of the 300-series being onsite.

300 Excavators

The next series in excavators our competitors and we use is the 300-series excavator. We deploy this excavator when we encounter a project that has a turnkey scope.

300 Excavator

300 Excavator


These machines are capable of accomplishing every task that the 200 series can and then some. This excavator is ideal for digging up building footers, hammering pesky concrete slabs, and processing materials. This machine can complete these tasks because of their 12.5+ ton lifting capacity, 200+ horsepower, 54 cu yd bucket, and operating weight of over 60,000 lbs. Transportation of these massive machines is identical to that of the 200-series excavators. Once loaded on the lowboy trailer, the semi-truck takes a planned route to the job site. Despite all of the advantages, these massive excavators do have some significant disadvantages.


The weakness of this excavator class is precisely what makes it so valuable, its size. That's right, the drawback from using the 300-series excavator is its 12.5+ ton lifting capacity, 200+ horsepower, 54 cu. Yd. bucket, and operating weight of over 60,000 lbs.

All of that muscle is not vital on every project, and it certainly cannot fit on every job site. Most demolition projects are defined by the limited space available to the contractor and how that company will adapt and then complete the scope of work quickly and safely. The other way that size is this machines biggest enemy is its price tag. To rent one of these excavators, you will pay around 35% more than you would if you were to rent a 200-series excavator.

None of these machines are perfect, they each have flaws, and they each have their strengths. What is important to remember is that it is not the biggest machine that will do the best job, but instead it is the machine that fits the situation best.

Hopefully, we have helped you decipher the complicated world of excavators. We hope you feel confident in choosing the best machine for your project!

download our excavator cheat-sheet
for your next project

How Much Does A Demolition Project Cost? (Rates & Factors)

One of the most common questions that we get at Green Circle Demolition is “How much will it cost to tear down my building?”. This simple question requires much more than a generalized number based on the square footage of the space; therefore we are going to supply you with some rough numbers you can use as guidelines.

The demolition costs for a project fall into two categories: pre-demolition and on-site demolition costs.


Pre-demolition is essentially the steps mandated by your local legislature to remove any structure(s).

Pre-Demolition Costs ($2,500 - $50,000)

Pre-demolition costs are associated with the steps the responsible party takes in getting the structure legally ready for demolition.  The responsible parties are usually general contractors, owners, or demolition contractors. These costs vary by the location and the mandates set forth by the local municipality, but it can cost anywhere from $2,500-$50,000.  This cost of is made up of several steps that make up the pre-demolition step but are ultimately dependent on a few factors.

Factors That Determine Pre-Demolition Costs:

There are three primary factors that will contribute to pre-demolition costs:

  • Location

  • Mandates set forth by the local municipality

  • Hauling

For example, if you have a large multistory building in any major city, you could easily expect to spend over $10,000 on just the demolition permit.  This permit does not include an engineer getting on board, the plans for the project, environmental testing, and a rodent letter among many other reports.

“Demolition is 10% knocking it down and 90% cleaning it up and hauling it off.” GIF

“Demolition is 10% knocking it down and 90% cleaning it up and hauling it off.” GIF


The other half of the cost equation is the actual demolition of the building.  The phrase that we repeat to customer after customer is “demolition is 10% knocking it down and 90% cleaning it up and hauling it off.”

Demolition Costs ($2/SF-$7/SF+)

There are a variety of factors that contribute to actual demolition costs but you can expect the costs to range from $2/SF to $7/SF.  No two projects are alike however but this range is a great starting point. In an ideal situation of $2/SF you would be tearing down a metal structure that is easy to tear down and has low disposal costs. Brick buildings would be the worst case scenario costing at least $7/SF due to lack of disposal options and overall scope of the building. To go further in depth on these costs we have broken down the factors that dictate where exactly your project may fall.

Factors That Determine Demolition Costs

What influences the demolition, cleanup, and haul-off are the structural materials that were used while constructing the building. These materials include metal, wood, and masonry.  Each of these materials will have a direct reflection on the cost of your demolition, see below:  

  • Metal structures-$2/SF+

Metal structures are thought to be the most favorable to encounter because of how cost-effective they are to demolish. Often times, metal buildings are a series of I-beams that are bolted or welded together with a cosmetic skin enclosing it.  This cosmetic skin is usually simple to dispose of with minimal effort. Once the metal is exposed, the structure can be brought down with an excavator or torched to manageable pieces.

The major advantage of demolishing this class of buildings is the recyclability.  The ability to recycle the metal structural components greatly cuts down on the disposal cost and will actually put money back in the contractor’s pocket. We have not found any substantial drawbacks or difficulties when it comes to dealing with these structures.  

Torching Metal Beam GIF

Torching Metal Beam GIF

  • Wood Structures-$4/SF-$7/SF+

Excavator house demo.image

Excavator house demo.image

Most residential homes and apartment complexes are “stick built” or wooden structures.  These wood buildings are fairly straightforward to demolish with the right sized excavator (link to excavator blog), but the disadvantage lies in the disposal of debris. Unlike the metal structures, there is no recycling value to be found with these structures.

Since wood is a decomposable organic material, landfills classify it as construction debris. Construction debris is the most common and also the most expensive load to be disposed of.  Because of this, when this structure is demolished the contractor will not see any reason to sort through the debris and instead dispose of it all as a mixed material. This makes compacting the material much harder than with other building materials.  When materials cannot be compacted, it means that it will take more dumpsters and therefore more money to complete the project.

  • Brick Structures-$4/SF-$7/SF+

Excavator CMU demo.image

Excavator CMU demo.image

Brick buildings are a double-edged sword much like wooden structures.  Schools, hospitals, and older buildings are the structures this material can be found. There are two different kinds of masonry structures that you may come across.  The first and easiest to deal with is a CMU (cinder block) building. The hollow gray colored blocks can be found in 4, 8, 10, and 12-inch sizes. Much like metal and wood, bringing down CMU structures is straightforward with the correct machinery.

Once the building is brought to the ground, debris is sorted, and then hauled off to be recycled. This kind of masonry material can be recycled because once crushed and returned to aggregate, it can be used to make any concrete product in the future.

However, if a masonry building happens to be brick, it is a story much like their wooden structure counterparts.  As of late, it is very challenging to find a facility that will recycle brick, so in most cases, it is treated as construction debris loads. This load of brick debris will be over twice the price of the wood due to the massive difference in weight between the two substances.

There are a lot of factors that can impact the total cost of your demolition. Keep in mind that the disposal costs will dictate if the project ends up being a budget buster or a resounding success. If you have more questions about demolition costs you can contact us and speak to an estimator.

Ground Breaks on General Time Athens, a 35-Acre 'Work, Shop, Eat, Play District'
Ground last week broke on General Time Athens, an adaptive reuse project at the old Westclox building, at 100 Newton Bridge Road, according to a press release Monday.

The project, named for Westclox parent company “General Time,” has been in the making since late-2015 and will be home to a 3,000 seat music venue, apartments, restaurants, retail, offices, and “maker-spaces” when complete.

The goal of the project is to serve residents of Athens who live, work and play in The Classic City year-round.

Athens-based Terrapin Beer Company will anchor the project, leasing 68,000 square feet of warehouse space. Terrapin has been situated across the street from the site for 11 years.
Now underway, Phase I will reactivate the 100,000-square-foot warehouse building on the 35-acre site.

To read the full article visit

Chil Associate
CobbLinc Bus Facility Renovations Approved
The federal government will pay 80 percent of a nearly $5.4 million contract for renovations at the CobbLinc Bus Fueling Station and Bus Wash Facility with Cobb County paying 20 percent or about $1 million. Courtesy of Cobb County
CobbLinc bus facility renovations approved
May 16, 2018
By Carolyn Cunningham, For the AJC
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The Cobb County Board of Commissioners approved 5-0 May 8 a federal/county contract for renovations at the CobbLinc Bus Fueling Station and Bus Wash Facility.

Built in 2002, these structures are between Commerce Park Drive and South Marietta Parkway near Fairground Street.

The contract was awarded to Cooper and Company General Contractors, Inc. for $5,374,864.

To read the full article visit AJC

Chil Associate
Harbert Construction Contractor on $150 Million Atlanta Project
Gateway Ventures and Atlantic Capital Partners have unveiled plans for the nine-story project, which is expected to open in 2020. It will include 175,000 square feet of office space and 10,000 square feet of retail space, as well as 164 apartment units and a 680-space parking garage.

The plan calls for outdoor terraces with 360-degree views of the city, a fitness center, bike storage, conference facilities, an outdoor public plaza and even podcast recording rooms. The design also will incorporate a 4,000-square-foot, west-facing art wall.

To read the full article visit

Chil Associate
Historic Candler Building’s Conversion to Downtown Hotel is Back Underway
The conversion of one of downtown’s oldest office towers into a boutique hotel is back on track, following two years of uncertainty.

Construction crews have commenced interior demolition at the Candler Building, which lords over Peachtree Street at the northern edge of Woodruff Park. Permits were issued last month for work on what’s tentatively called the Candler Hotel...

…First opened in 1906, the structure was built by Asa Griggs Candler, founder of Coca-Cola, who would go on to become mayor of Atlanta.

Upon its debut, the Candler Building was the tallest in the city, and it retained that title for 23 years. At the time, some observers viewed its location—several blocks north of Five Points, then the epicenter of Atlanta—as far removed from downtown.

To read the full article visit Curbed

Chil Associate
Raken Case Study

Our founder and CEO, Sam Bacon, was interviewed by Raken about how we improve our process by implementing their app for field reporting. Click here to read the full case study.

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Chil Associate