When should you demolish a building?
There comes a time when what goes up must come down.
That also includes a structure whose time has come and gone. It may have served its purpose well. It may have been a home, a store, a storage building or an office building. It may be in the middle of the Downtown retail area, in a residential cul-de-sac or in a popular historic area.
No matter where it may be located, the structure has become an eyesore and the talk is that it needs to be demolished. But, before the demolition crew comes in to tear it down and remove it, there are several criteria which should be considered:
1. Renovations are too costly: Any structural renovation requires a budget. However, sometimes the money required to renovate or remodel may cost even more than an entirely new structure would cost. It makes sense to just tear it down and replace it with a new structure at the same or a lesser cost.
2. No space for additions: Due to building or zoning restrictions, you are unable to add any rooms or square footage. This severely limits anything you can do to add to its usage or value. This limitation may also reduce its ability to house more employees, generate income or allow for new rooms for family members.
3. A faulty foundation or structural issues beyond repair: The foundation is buckling, walls are bowing or fallen in, ceilings are stained, floors have holes, mold has overtaken…it is in a serious state of disrepair. If you see structural problems beyond any reasonable repair or that is all over the structure, not just one room, then it probably should be demolished. (Have a licensed building inspector look at your structure before making a final decision.)
4. Age and not historically protected or preserved: It is very, very old. Perhaps it was built a century ago or longer. It is not legally protected nor does it have any historical significance to the community, state or nation. It may need to be torn down as it is an eyesore and may be located on prime real estate.
5. No emotional attachment: The structure is not a family heirloom nor does it have any emotional attachment to you or the owners. Additionally, if it is outdated or no longer even usable, it should either be renovated or torn down.
6. Fails to meet local restrictions: The building does not meet height, width or length restrictions. The HOA or zoning requirements may not allow you to add rooms to the building. It may be time to demolish it and build a new home or structure as it cannot be improved.
7. Time to move on: You have spent a boatload of money or have the potential to spend lots of money just for upkeep. It just isn’t worth it. The land can be sold and you can move on.
So, it may be time to just be done with the collapsing structure. Let it go then.
If you can claim any or several of these reasons as you contemplate a structure you own, then call a professional home inspector. Have them issue an inspection report for you. You may also want to consult a demolition company and your local zoning council before you make a decision.
Williams Loader Service, Inc., can demolish a building for you. Call (434) 589-3759 for a consultation. We serve the Palmyra, Charlottesville, Albemarle and Central Virginia area.