I’ve never been involved in asbestos removal. It is a specialist field and, us “normal” builders are kicked out while it is going on!
Actually, being an honest sort of bloke, I have to admit that I have. If we came across asbestos when we were refurbishing houses in the 1970’s, the stuff just went into the skip and off to the tip!
Ok ok. I have wised up since then. See, I even wrote a blog about how to be safe on site! 🙂
On commercial projects asbestos removal isn’t usually a part of the main contractor’s contract, so I had no idea! Had to make a few phone calls to a few specialist asbestos removal companies to get an idea of costs! Turns out that those costs fall into two categories. The first is to pay for the specialist asbestos surveyor.
They seem to start their prices off at about £250 for a quick look. After that their fees can go sky-high!
They go around drilling holes and poking at everything – and we’ve all seen that they don’t make good after themselves! Even where there was no asbestos found!
Looking at a high roofed tin shed with mezzanine floor? Scaffold everywhere! Steel columns and beams to see how they are fire-protected! Walls and roof, ditto! Insulation around high-level pipes and A-C ducts. Don’t forget the toilets and office spaces, either!
All this takes the surveyors fees into the many £000’s!
Then, being greedy souls, they drag in Laboratory Air Testing people to check the ambient air for asbestos fibres! That adds another fair few quid to the bill!
Only after all that expenditure can the asbestos removal contractor give a price for the job! This is where it gets really crazy!
The survey can have cost the client £10,000 and actual removal cost as little as £250!
From that modest £250 the highest figure I heard for removal was £100,000. That, in construction contract terms, is a very modest figure! The particular job which cost the £100k was pre-demolition of a brick-build Primary School put up in the 1920’s. Walls and ceilings were all lined with asbestos-containing materials, as were the floor tiles. All lagging was asbestos, too.
More generally, the top-end price for asbestos removal from commercial or industrial premises seems to be about £30,000 and is usually much less.
Next we talk less direct Asbestos removal cost and more about the staggering indirect costs!
Have you had any experience of Asbestos Removal on your projects?