When is a demolition permit required?

Most governmental bodies require a permit to be pulled before the demolition of any structure, which may include stand-alone concrete structures such as sidewalks, seawalls, or other concrete walls. Permit forms may be available through the building department, an inspection services department, and sometimes through the municipal fire department if there is a structure abatement program in place.

Why are Demolition Permits Required?

Most often, the purpose of a demolition permit is to enable the governing body to monitor any works or activities performed within its jurisdiction for public safety monitoring. The permit also usually ensures that plans comply with various other concerns, such as environmental regulations and asbestos and other HazMat issues.

Who Can Apply for a Demolition Permit?

Usually this is determined by the type of work to be performed. For instance, a licensed general contractor may be allowed to obtain a permit to demolish any structure, while other licensed contractors may be restricted to the demolition of a structure that will be replaced, and to disassemble/re-assemble any building. Many states allow owners to apply for a demolition permit when the project involves an owner-occupied residence.

What Does the Demolition Permit Cost?

The cost of most demolition permits is relatively inexpensive between about $15 and $25.

However, there are often additional fees for services such as inspection of the electric power disconnection and for capping water and sewer at the property line.

An additional cost for an encroachment permit may be required in order to abandon the sewer at the main (this must be done by a licensed plumbing contractor, in most cases).

Additional municipal fees may be involved depending if the property is anticipated to be developed within a reasonable time (this involves have the water shut off at the property line) or if no development is anticipated (this involves the water service being abandoned at the main).

What is Involved in the Typical Demolition Permit Process?

The following procedure is a general guideline in terms of applying for a demolition permit:

You usually have to obtain some type of approved demolition release form from the appropriate state, county or municipal body prior to applying for a demolition permit.

The demolition release form must be completely filled out and submitted to that regulatory body which is directly responsible for demolition in your area. All fees must be paid at this time.

Contact appropriate utilities, including water, electric, and gas, as well as the telephone and cable companies to remove meters and wires.

If necessary, obtain approval from the appropriate municipal body to abandon water and/or sewer.

What is Involved in the Inspection Process?

You will usually need an inspection prior to demolition of the structure. Typically the city inspector verifies that all utilities and water and sewer facilities are disconnected. A final inspection is required after all demolition and final clean up has been completed.