Why You Need to Consider Selective Demolition When Replacing an Older Home

You may have bought some desirable property, on top of which is built a rather old home. You may have a clear vision and want to build a fabulous new house in its place. Of course, this will involve the demolition of the existing property, but you don't want to do this all in one go. Why is it important that you plan a "selective" demolition process instead?

Assessing the Dangers

A number of risks are involved whenever an entire property is demolished in one go. Principally, you may not be completely aware of what is inside. It's possible that there could be some hazards that could cause peripheral issues, should you proceed too quickly. Perhaps dangerous chemicals could be released into the air, or you could even risk a potential explosion, in some circumstances.


Quite apart from these dangers, you may well find a large number of salvageable components inside. A number of pieces could be reusable and without a doubt, many will be recyclable. You may be able to use some "period" fixtures for your new home, but you should never convey everything to the landfill without further inspection.

How to Proceed

The selective process will proceed step-by-step: Firstly, the dangerous materials need to be removed from the structure and secondly, the recyclable (or even valuable) components need to be put to one side. A specialist should be engaged at this stage, to make sure that the areas that need further inspection are segregated, while other areas around are removed.


Never forget that asbestos may be a risk in an older home. It's quite likely you will come across some during any selective demolition. Unless you have comprehensive assurance from the previous owner that it has all been removed, you must proceed with caution. Local authorities have specific rules in these cases and you could be found liable if you do not conform.

One of the experts that you bring in should be a specialist in the location of asbestos, and somebody who is able to remove it under strict guidelines before any demolition takes place.


As the owner of the property, you owe a duty of care to everyone in the locality, as well as any workers that you bring onto the site. Therefore, you should have a word with a skilled demolition expert, to ensure that your selective work goes ahead without issue.