Demolition is the partial or complete removal of unwanted buildings or structures. The structures can be houses or commercial properties. While the process of demolition might sound like merely knocking down a building, it does entail much more. One such consideration is how long it will take do demolish a structure.

Several factors affect how long your demolition project will take. Let’s look at some of the critical ones.

Getting the Approvals and Licenses

Before a demolition, many local and state governments require a permit, including the mandatory approval from a certified asbestos removal specialist. These are factors that could affect the total duration it takes to complete your demolition project. For example, if you are in Seattle, you can get a subject-to-field-inspection permit on the same day if you have a small demolition project.

Size of the Building

Whether you’re carrying out a full or partial demolition, the bigger the structure, the more time it takes to bring down as more factors must be considered. Larger buildings and bigger demolition sites require expert personnel and specialized skills as the procedure is more complicated.

Age of the Structure

A critical factor that determines how long it takes to bring down a structure is its ageIf a building was constructed before 1980 t becomes mandatory to carry out an Asbestos inspection. If the toxic material is detected, it will first have to be removed before demolition can commence.

The timeline for the removal of the Asbestos will depend on the physical state of the building and how large it is. If the building is dilapidated to the extent of being unsafe, the building may have to be destroyed faster, for nothing will be salvaged.

Topography and Site Access

The terrain of the land and access to the demolition site also plays a vital role in determining the time required to carry out the work. For example, the building could be located on a sloppy plot surrounded by other structures, trees, or brush. That has the potential of complicating access by big machinery.

More site access means larger trucks move faster when removing debris and other recyclable materials, potentially speeding up the demolition process.

The Demolition Process Used

There are several ways of taking down a house, and each demolition method comes with its set of advantages and disadvantages. Mechanical demolition is not only the cheapest but also the fastest. It may entail using a wrecking ball, implosion, or a high reach arm too such as a crane.

On the other hand, deconstruction or “demolition by hand” means manually stripping the house piece by piece, usually to salvage materials for reuse. This is typically the method that takes the longest.


Answering the pertinent question of how long it takes to demolish a building doesn’t have a simple or straightforward answer—something like a ‘one-size-fits-all’ kind of solution. The fact is that every structure is different and must be approached differently during the process of demolition. A plethora of factors impacts the time required to carry out the demolition.