What Constitutes a Demolition and Rebuild?
Most people think a demolition and rebuild always involves the complete demolition of a building, but that isn’t always the case. Especially with historical preservation and re-construction, a demolition and rebuild may leave the outside structure intact while performing a complete demolition, rebuild and renovation of the inside. After disaster such as hurricanes and floods, buildings that have been flooded or otherwise damaged on the inside may require a complete gutting while leaving the outside intact. Most cities have ordinances that define a rebuild vs. a remodel or restoration.
How Much of a Building Must Be Demolished for a Rebuild?
Generally, if over 50 percent of the original structure, inside or outside, is substantially changed, it is a rebuild. Some municipalities consider it a rebuild if any outside wall is removed to add an additional structure to the building. Rebuilds require a different permitting and inspection procedure than a simple demolition and remodel.
How Do You Get a Permit for a Demolition and Rebuild?
Your contractor will usually pull all the necessary permits, but you may choose to pull your own permits. You will need a partial demolition permit for this type of job. Most permits are valid for 30 days, after which there will be an inspection before further demolition can commence. Your permit application will require information as to the scope of the work and the use and occupancy of the building, and must be accompanied by any construction documents requested by the building official.
What if It Is an Interior Only Demolition?
Interior demolition permits are a little more complicated. You have to be specific as to what is to be demolished and to what extent, as well as the purpose of the demolition. Since interior demolition usually involves the use of subcontractors for such things as electrical or plumbing, those plans must be included with your construction documents. Additional inspections may be required during demolition.
Can You Occupy a Building During Partial Demolition?
This is dependent upon the extent of the demolition required, but in general, you may occupy any rooms where the roof or an outside wall is not being removed. Plastic barrier are erected to keep demolition debris out of the living areas, but be prepared for some dust and small debris to get through, and for it to be very noisy. Even if you are well-insured, you may want to remove any valuables from your home during a partial demolition.
Will You Have Utilities During the Process?
If you will be living or working inside the structure that is being rebuilt, the contractor will rewire the spaces still being used to maintain power. Your internet, phone or cable provider may have to be called in to rewire your structure to maintain access. Water is another thing altogether, because usually, all water is cut off from one outside source. Water may be temporarily unavailable if lines are being exposed or moved. Usually, it is a minor inconvenience for a few hours only, and your contractor will let you know when that will occur in advance.
A demolition and rebuild is never fun if you have to maintain residence in the structure, but your contractor will keep you apprised of plans and inconveniences on a regular basis. Some unexpected inconveniences may occur, but that is to be expected with any major demolition and rebuild project. In the end, you will have the building that you want and need.
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