Does anyone have an estimate for the cost of demolishing a house and building the foundation from scratch?

Asked by Sarah, Oakland, CA Wed May 21, 2008

We're looking at a home in a slide area that will need the strongest reinforcements available. We saw an estimate of $200sqFt, but that was on retrofitting an existing home. Is there a significant price difference?

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Nicole Bailey, Agent, Seattle, WA
Tue May 27, 2008
Hi Sarah!

I'ts much closer to $300 to $350 per square foot in Berkeley. A new hillside foundation can cost $400K easily. That's my information anyway.


0 votes
Juliet Wright, Agent, Brighton, CO
Thu May 22, 2008
Hi Sarah,
I'm sorry I do not have the cost estimate you are looking for, I do have some information that may help you out considerably - financially at least.
If you are planning to demo a home, contact your local fire department and ask them about donating the home to them for firefighter training purposes. In my area, they will use the home over a period of several months (doing lots of damage to the home in the process) and they are just estatic when someone makes a house available to them. Before you begin, get an appraisal done on the property; then, when they are finished with it, they will send in a contractor to bid on repairs (as if you were actually going to do the repairs). The amount of the bid is considered a "non cash donation to a charitable organization" and is a tax write off! The appraisal will support the cost of the repairs. Your fire department should have all this information for you.
I had a client who wrote off $350,000 on his taxes, more than enough for him to justify the actual out-of-pocket cost of the demo. Check with an accountant to see if you can carry this write off over several years if you need to.
This particular client found a demo contractor who basically stripped the house of useable materials, and sold them to a salvage firm. The contractor made about $20K in salvage, and then only charged the client $15K for the actual demo. The client got the write-off - and was very happy - and the contractor was happy too! Good luck!
0 votes
Dan, Home Buyer, Fremont, CA
Thu May 22, 2008
about 100 to 150 dollars per square foot of the home that you are trying to build.
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