Updated October 11, 2023
When it comes to taking down an old barn, finding the right person for the job is the first and arguably most important hurdle.
Many companies that salvage old barn wood are willing to travel up to an hour—or more in some situations—for the right barn wood.
We'll go over some of the most important details to consider and discuss with potential contractors so that you can make the most informed decision for your barn removal.
What to Look For
When it comes to barn demolition, it's especially common for a contractor—or just a person with a pick-up truck—to tell you they'll come and remove the easy-to-remove barn wood and pay you for it. This is not the same as barn demolition and will leave you with a useless heap on your property that you'll still have to have demolished and/or hauled away.
The barn demolition contractor you hire should have the heavy equipment needed to take apart a barn, not just their two hands and a hammer (unless that's the type of service you're looking for).
Bottom line: Your contractor should come with positive reviews from other customers, preferably someone you know and trust, and be appropriately licensed and insured to perform barn demolition in your area
Reputable barn demolition specialists are not located in every area and it may take a little research on your part to find the right company for the job.
Luckily, Hometown can do a lot of this research quickly and at no cost to you. We publish locally-owned and operated demolition companies across the U.S. to help connect consumers with licensed and reputable contractors that are able to accommodate their demolition projects.
By simply entering your zip code and answering a few short questions about your barn demolition project, you'll be shown barn demolition specialists that service your area. You'll be able to read more about each company, go over reviews from verified customers, and request completely free project quotes.
Ideally, you should get quotes from 2-3 contractors to ensure you choose the best person for the job. Multiple barn demolition estimates will ensure you get the best price, best service, and the availability your project requires.
- How to Request Demolition Quotes with Hometown
- How to Compare Quotes and Hire the Best Demolition Company
- The Importance of Getting Multiple Quotes Before Hiring a Contractor
Discuss a Game Plan
The contractors you speak with should have no problem going over the barn demolition process in detail with you.
Contractors should be able to clearly explain to you:
- The order in which the barn will be torn down.
- The equipment that will be used to get the job done.
- Who will be on-site working on the project.
- Which permits (if any) will be required.
- Who will be in charge of acquiring proper permits.
- When they will be able to start working.
- How long the project will take.
- How much the project will cost.
Be sure to discuss disposal expectations with the contractors you speak with. If your barn is made up of salvageable barn wood, you'll want to know if they plan on selling this barn wood for profit or if they'll separate valuable materials so that you can do so yourself.
Oftentimes, the barn demolition process involves first tearing out the siding and then cutting small relief notches in the upright timbers. From there, the skeleton of the barn is typically tied to a large truck and pulled down. Once the barn is torn down, the timbers, roof, and other debris are removed.
Or, your contractor might bring an excavator onsite to tear down your barn in sections. (See video below.)
Nail Down the Contract
All of the project details should be included in a written contract, and before signing said contract, you should carefully go over each and every detail with the contractor in-person.
The contract should have all the project details in writing, so if you feel the contractor's contract isn't thorough enough, speak up and work with the contractor to re-work the contract to include all the necessary details. This is for your protection and peace of mind, so don't cut corners here.
If your contractor gives you a hard time about amending a contract to include all necessary details, it may be time to find another contractor.
A thoroughly written barn demolition contract should include (at least) the following:
- The work they will be doing (Be specific!)
- Total project cost
- Project start and end date
- Payment schedule
- Which salvageable materials from the barn they will be taking (if any)
- How they will leave your property (remove all debris, leave debris in manageable piles, etc.)
Once you and your contractor have agreed to all the project/contract details, sign the contract.
Be sure to also get proof of the contractor's insurance rather than just taking them at their word, and educate yourself on what type of insurance it is—what it covers, whether or not your homeowner's insurance will be held liable should anything happen, etc.