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The full guide to starting a demolition business

Owning your own business is a brilliant goal for anyone working in the trade sector, giving you the freedom to run things your way. It’s normal to be a little concerned about the difficulty of starting a company but in truth, it’s an exciting challenge with the potential to transform your working life. To guide…

Demolition site entranceOwning your own business is a brilliant goal for anyone working in the trade sector, giving you the freedom to run things your way. It’s normal to be a little concerned about the difficulty of starting a company but in truth, it’s an exciting challenge with the potential to transform your working life. To guide you through starting a demolition business, we’ve created this handy guide.

Whether you’re unsure where to begin, are looking for financial tips, wondering what tools you’ll need or just want a little support, this article is perfect for you. So, read on and find out exactly how to start a demolition company, so you can take the first steps towards owning your own demolition company.

Reasons for starting a demolition business

For anyone considering starting a demolition business, before diving into the details of how to start a demolition business, it may be useful to know all of the benefits you can look forward to. Taking control of your career can be an incredibly rewarding process and advantages include:

  • Feeling a sense of pride that you’ve built a demolition business from the ground up.
  • Having the flexibility to run things your way.
  • Working with other tradespeople that you’ve handpicked.
  • Taking a positive step in advancing your career.
  • Taking on an exciting new challenge to keep you on your toes.

What does a demolition expert do?

If you’re already working in this field, you’ll likely know what a demolition expert does but may not be aware of some of the less common roles. Thanks to the wide range of job types, your working day will never be boring, and you may choose to offer any of the following services:

  • Demolishing, dismantling or wrecking structures such as buildings or bridges.
  • Using explosives to move or alter natural structures like large rocks.
  • Keeping everyone involved in the demolition process safe.
  • Disposing of hazardous waste.
  • Becoming an expert in different types of demolition and knowing the best way to handle any project.

demolition business equipmentAre demolition businesses profitable?

Many demolition experts work for a company that handles all the finances separately, just receiving a regular wage. This may mean you aren’t aware of whether the demolition business is profitable or not. In fact, starting a demolition business can be quite lucrative, although this will depend on how you choose to run your business.

The best way to ensure your new company is successful is to ensure you charge enough to cover overheads and give you a profit, or to specialise in a less common type of demolition. If you’re offering a service other companies don’t, then you can charge a higher amount for your work.

How to start a demolition company

When undertaking any venture, it’s wise to follow a guide to ensure you don’t miss anything important. Luckily, the following list covers the key considerations for anyone unsure how to start a demolition company:

  1. Start by securing funding for your new business. This can be done through your own savings or by taking out a loan. Remember it’s never a good idea to overextend yourself financially.
  2. Make a business plan. You’ll need to decide on a company name, what the goals for your business are, as well as the essential logistics. These include where, when and how you’ll operate. More details can be found in our guide to setting up a new start-up.
  3. Make sure your company will be profitable by working out your outgoings and ensuring you charge enough for your services. It may help to look at competitor prices as a rough guide, but it’s also worth noting that if your prices are too high, this will affect your workflow.
  4. Apply for any necessary licenses.
  5. Stock up on essential equipment and tools (more on this later).
  6. Think about how you’ll find new customers. Joining Checkatrade can be a fantastic way of not only reaching more customers, but you’ll also have a unique profile page where you can proudly display past customer reviews and examples of your work.

What does it take to start a demolition company?

Going from employment to running a company can be a brilliant opportunity to advance your career, take on a new challenge and develop your skills. Many people branching out on their own start small and slowly build their businesses over time. This can be much safer than making a huge investment upfront with loan payments you can’t afford. But what does it take to start a demolition company?

You’ll need to be prepared to obtain:

  • The right licences
  • A range of different tools
  • Some standard pieces of equipment. Please note these can be rented if you plan to start a small business.
  • Funding, either from savings or a loan
  • Insurance some of the important types include demolition insurance, public liability insurance, tool insurance, professional indemnity insurance and employer’s liability insurance (if you plan to take on extra workers).

What tools do I need to start a demolition company?

Generally, when working for a demolition company you’ll be supplied with the tools and equipment you need to do your job. This often means when starting your own business, you’ll need to either buy or rent some essential tools. Wondering “what tools do I need to start a demolition company?” Then, consider purchasing the following:

demolition business at work

  • Hammers
  • Shovels
  • Cutting torches
  • Ladder
  • Pry bars
  • Grinders
  • Concrete cutters
  • Safety equipment
  • Wire strippers

You can then decide whether you’ll initially hire or buy equipment for larger projects or if you’ll stick to working on smaller projects.

What’s more, one of the excellent benefits of becoming a Checkatrade member is that you’ll have access to our buyer’s club. Here you can save thousands of pounds on the cost of tools, materials, insurance and more!

How do you market a demolition business?

If you’ve been considering starting your own demolition business for a while, now is a great time to take the plunge. With a huge influx of new customers, most trade companies have waiting lists several months long. Despite this, you’ll still need to know how to market a demolition business. The below list covers some of the best ways to reach potential customers:

  • Checkatrade: Joining Checkatrade will increase your visibility on Google, plus you’ll receive free marketing materials to get your business started.
  • Advertising: You can pay to advertise your business although this can be costly.
  • Website: There are many ways to build a website without knowing how to code. In fact, using Wix’s website builder you can create a fully functional website that’ll help with running your business.
  • Social media: Using sites like Facebook can help you to join local groups where you can advertise your services for free.
  • Direct mail: Many fledgling business use flyers or leaflets posted through local letterboxes to reach new customers.

How much does professional demolition cost?

When creating an entirely new demolition business you’ll need to know how much to charge your customers for your services. It can be helpful to look at how much your competitors charge and national average prices.

Thankfully, our demolition cost guide is a great resource for anyone starting a demolition business. Generally, the average amount demolition workers charge for small house demolition is £6,750 and the average salary for anyone working in this field is £32,500. Having said this, the amount you earn will vary depending on your skill level, experience and what services you offer.

If you’re looking to branch out and offer other services, you may want to consider expanding your company to rebuild houses after demolition. Unsure what to charge? Our house rebuilding cost guide is full of prices, considerations and handy information.

Useful checklist for starting a demolition business

  • Create a business plan covering where you want to operate, what services you’ll offer and what hours you’ll work.
  • Take some time to plan out your finances, don’t forget to budget for new tools and equipment.
  • Decide how you’ll reach new customers using our marketing tips.
  • Make sure you have the appropriate licences and insurance in place before taking on jobs.

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What others think of this article:


I think this was a very straightforward guide on how to get into this field. I've been thinking about it for some time, and now I feel like I have more knowledge to get started.

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