How Much It Costs to Tear Down a House

Tearing down your house is a significant decision that you may consider at one point. Sometimes, a clear-cut solution might be to demolish your dilapidated house rather than renovate it. But how much does house demolition cost?

On average, house demolition in Calgary costs $4000-$25,000. In terms of square feet, you might spend $2-$17 to tear down a square foot. Of course, the actual cost is dependent on a myriad of factors. Some of these factors include.

  • Permit fees
  • Size of the house
  • Removal of debris
  • Partial vs. complete demolition
  • Accessibility of the house
  • The demolition contractor
  • Potential hazards

House Size

The size of your house will significantly affect the overall demolition cost. Logically, a bigger house will cost more to tear down compared to a smaller home.

Most contractors charge anywhere between $2-$17 to demolish a square foot of a building. The average cost usually ranges from $4 to $15 per square foot.

From this estimation, you can calculate the overall square footage cost of tearing down your entire house.

Below are the average demolition costs of a house by size.

  • 1200 square feet – $4800-$18,000
  • 1500 square feet – $6000-$22,500
  • 2000 square feet – $8000-$30,000
  • 2500 square feet – $10,000-$37,500
  • 3000 square feet – $12,000-$45,000

You’ll spend an average of $4 per square foot to bring down a mobile home.

Permits and Inspections

You must have a demolition permit before tearing down a house in Calgary. You require a permit even if you’re taking down a section of a building.

As of 2021, Calgary’s demolition permit fee is $1.52 per square meter. Additionally, you have to pay a $112 administration fee and a 4% Safety Codes Council Fee on your total cost.

Keep in mind that you need a building permit and not a demolition permit for interior renovation.

Partial Demolition

Partial demolition mainly occurs in remodelling and renovation projects. In this type of demolition, only sections of a building are affected while the rest remain intact.

You’ll pay anywhere between $500 and $24,000 for partial demolition. Here’s a cost breakdown of demolishing different structures.


Demolishing a roof is relatively expensive. You’ll pay about $4-$5 per square foot to bring your roof down. Expect to pay more for complicated rooftops and steep designs.

Interior Walls

Deconstructing or demolishing your interior space requires extra care. Levelling a non-load-bearing wall costs approximately $300-$1000. You might spend up to $10,000 to tear down a load-bearing wall.


Removing a concrete driveway costs between $535 and $1575, while removing an asphalt driveway costs $1,000-$3,000. You may pay more or less depending on the size and complexity of your driveway.


Partial chimney removal may cost $500-$2000, while complete demolition may cost $4,000-$10,000. You might spend $500 on a structural engineer to assess whether the chimney removal will interfere with the structural integrity of your house.

Swimming Pool

The demolition cost of a swimming pool depends on several factors. Is it an in-ground or above-ground pool? What material is the pool made of? These are some things that will influence the overall cost.

On average, you’ll spend $3,500-$15,000 to remove a medium-sized inground pool. Demolishing an above-ground pool might cost between $300 and $800.


Tearing down a detached garage will cost you about $4 per square foot, while levelling an attached garage will cost you $8 per square foot.


Removing the existing foundation will cost you about $1000 to $5000. Grading the site after the demolition will cost a further $500-$7,700.

Shed or Barn

The removal cost primarily depends on the shed’s condition and size. Most homeowners spend about $200-$2,000 to demolish sheds.

Site Preparation Costs

Contractors don’t rush in and begin tearing down your house. Instead, they inspect, clear, and secure anything that can be affected by the demolition. Of course, you’ll foot such expenses. Below are common site considerations.

Utility Disconnection

Demolition projects cannot proceed without disconnecting electrical, gas, and water services. It’s advisable to enquire from your utility provider on how to disconnect such services. You’ll also need to fill Calgary’s service disconnect request form.

Asbestos Removal

Homeowners have to submit an Asbestos Abatement Form when seeking a demolition permit in Calgary.

Demolition contractors have to inspect your home, then clear any contamination before they can proceed with the demolition project.

The average per hour cost of removing asbestos is $475. The total cost may vary depending on:

  • Size of the area
  • Sampling and testing
  • Type of asbestos
  • Disposal method

Tree Protection

The City of Calgary takes the protection of public trees very seriously. You must have a tree protection plan if a tree is within 6 meters of your demolition site. You might therefore incur additional expenses protecting nearby trees.

Securing the Site

As a building owner, you’re responsible for providing safety around your construction sites. That’s why it’s necessary to instruct contractors to install a security fence around the demolition site. You’ll have to spend some cash on fencing material and labour.


The demolition method you choose will influence the machinery you need. Expect to pay high project costs if you use large machinery to tear down your building. Despite the high machinery cost, you might end up saving on labour costs.

Disposal and Cleanup Costs

Who is responsible for cleaning up the demolition mess? Some contractors list disposal and cleanup services in their contracts, while others don’t.

Contractors that offer cleanup services charge about $300 to $1,800. On the other hand, a debris removal company will charge you approximately $400 to $800 per truckload of debris.

Demolition vs. Deconstruction Cost

Demolishing a house is cheaper than deconstructing. Demolition is faster and involves crushing down your home. Contrary, deconstruction involves salvaging structural elements before flattening a building. It’s more labour-intensive, meaning you’ll spend high labour costs.

Bottom Line

Tearing down your Calgary house will cost around $2 to $17 per square foot. The overall cost depends on the factors highlighted above. Consider working with seasoned professionals to carry out demolition projects.

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