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Maine Demolition Tips

Follow the necessary precautions to streamline the demo process.

In Maine, state and federal regulations require that the owner of a structure (or the demolition contractor) notify the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) at least 5 business days before demolition is scheduled to begin. You can acquire these forms from the DEP or your local code enforcement office.

If the work is to disturb more than 3 square feet or 3 linear feet of asbestos-containing material, that material must be properly removed.

A DEP-licensed Asbestos Consultant must inspect any structure for asbestos. However, residential structures with less than 5 units can be surveyed for likely asbestos-containing materials by knowledgeable non-licensed people, like building inspectors and CEOs with asbestos awareness training.

If any materials likely to contain asbestos are found, they must be tested by a DEP-certified inspector or assumed to contain asbestos.

Make payments as work gets completed.

Set up a payment schedule that coordinates with the amount of work being completed, and don’t pay for anything unless it is completed and you are satisfied with it. Ideally, all of this will be written in your contract.

You should be wary of a contractor who requires a large payment upfront. They may argue that they need the money to purchase the materials for your project, but this is a red flag. An experienced professional who regularly performs a service should already have what they need (for the most part).

When it comes to paying a contractor, there are two main rules of thumb:

  • Never pay for work that hasn’t been done.
  • Whenever possible, avoid paying in cash.​​

Remember to consider deconstruction before demolition.

Deconstruction, or “green demolition,” is the act of dismantling a building in order to salvage any reusable materials. That can range anywhere from flooring and baseboards to plumbing and appliances.

Deconstruction is a great first step to take to minimize project cost and landfill waste.

Depending on your location and particular project, a charitable organization, like Habitat for Humanity, may be interested in deconstructing your home in exchange for the materials they salvage.


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