A Simple Guide to Demolition in Texas

guide to Texas demolition

If you're considering hiring a demolition contractor in Texas to help tackle a demolition project, this guide is the place to start.

Demolition can seem like a complicated and overwhelming process, but we're here to simplify things and answer the most commonly asked Texas demolition questions.

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Does my demolition project need a permit?

Yes, most Texas demolition projects require a permit.

You or your contractor can apply for a demolition permit through your city's Building Department website, but here's a quick reference list of demolition permit applications for popular Texas cities:

However, before you or your contractor can apply for a demolition permit, you must verify with the Development Services Department that new construction will be permitted at the site.

Depending on the extent of your work, you may also be required to obtain one or more of the following permits:

  • Building
  • Electrical
  • Mechanical (heating/air conditioning)
  • Plumbing
  • Concrete (sidewalks and driveways in the public right-of-way)

The exact permits you require will depend on your specific project and location.

If you're looking to demolish a residential building more than 40 years old, your project will likely require review by the Historic Preservation Office in the Planning and Zoning Department, and potentially the Historic Landmark Commission.

Demolition of commercial buildings greater than 10,000 sq ft will require site plan approval as well.

For demolitions less than 10,000 sq ft, a Site Plan Exemption can be requested.

See Demolition Permit Application for Submittal Requirements for both residential and commercial structures.

All residential and commercial demolition applications are submitted to Residential Building Review.

Do I need to file an Asbestos Abatement/Demolition Notification?

handling demolition in Texas safely

If you own a residential home that needs to be demolished, your project is not subject to the asbestos National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) regulations and notification is not required.

However, before beginning any demolition or renovation of a public building, whether it's thought to involve the potential disturbance of asbestos-containing materials or not, an Asbestos Abatement/Demolition Notification must be submitted.

This notification combines the requirements of the NESHAP and the Texas Asbestos Health Protection Rules (TAHPR).

This notification and associated fee allow the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) to ensure your project is in compliance with state and federal asbestos regulations to keep you and the public safe.

You must also pay a notification fee that is based on the amount of asbestos being removed.

There is a minimum notification fee of $55.00 and a 3% subscription fee per original notification.

An invoice for this required fee is generated 30-45 days after the project's end date and is mailed to the building owner.

The Texas Department of State Health Services offers a tree flowchart to outline the asbestos survey and demolition notification requirements.

Keep reading: Asbestos: Everything a Homeowner Needs to Know


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What should I do if I want to start my demo project on an earlier date than the date that was initially notified?

When asbestos abatement or demolition will begin earlier than the date contained in the notice, the property owner or delegated agent must do the following at least 10 working days prior to the new project start date:

  1. Submit an amended notification (online or hardcopy form by mail).
  2. Contact the appropriate regional office by phone.
  3. For hardcopy notification submissions, provide the appropriate regional office with a fax or email copy of the amended notice.

What should I do if I want to start my demo project on a later date than the date that was initially notified?

When asbestos abatement or demolition will begin later than the date contained in the notice, the property owner or delegated agent must do the following as soon as possible but prior to the current notified start date:

  1. Submit an amended notification (online or hardcopy form by mail).
  2. Contact the appropriate regional office by phone.
  3. For hardcopy notification submissions, provide the appropriate regional office with a fax or email copy of the amended notice.

How do I file a notification for a structurally unsound building?

If you have a structure being demolished under the order of a local or state government agency because it is structurally unsound and in danger of collapse, then the department notification must be submitted online (or mail a hardcopy) as early as possible but before the start of demolition.

A copy of the order must be attached to the notification form.

For notifications submitted online, a copy of the notification summary along with the order must be emailed to EHNG.help@dshs.state.tx.us.

What's the best way to manage and dispose of demolition debris?

Texas demolition debris

One of the most efficient ways to maintain debris during a demolition or renovation project in Texas is with the help of a temporary dumpster rental.

You can choose from a variety of dumpster sizes and pick-up frequencies to accommodate your project needs and budget.

Oftentimes, your demolition contractor will handle debris disposal, but be sure to clarify everything with your contractor before signing a contract.

If you're responsible for your demolition or renovation debris disposal, Hometown makes it easy to get dumpster rental quotes from Texas providers in order to get the best services for a fair price.

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