3901 vs house demolition

Patt Swilling

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Kubota L3901
Mar 11, 2021
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Cabot, AR
I bout some land that includes an old farmhouse. I would like to demolish the old house with my tractor. Can I do this project relatively safely?
 

BigG

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Sep 14, 2018
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I do not know where you are but if the house is out by itself you might ask the local fire department to burn it down for you. They can use it for practice. A lot less to clean up then.
 
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85Hokie

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Bedford - VA
I bout some land that includes an old farmhouse. I would like to demolish the old house with my tractor. Can I do this project relatively safely?
How big is this "house?"

made of ?

Foundation type?

Roof pitch?

Roof type?

I could go on ....... but then again - the idea leads to a lot of "problems"

Big G has a good idea ......... but IF you have to wait for them to get all the permits together and all that fun stuff, it might hold you back time wise.
 

jimh406

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Jan 29, 2021
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I think I’d rather burn it down as well. You may have to remove some materials if they asphalt, synthetic etc. Otherwise, burn it down.
 

Nicfin36

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Jun 19, 2019
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Decatur, AL
Intact house overall? Tear it down and salvage the wood. It probably has some good lumber if it is not rotten.
 

bosifus

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BX23S
Apr 11, 2019
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Port Orchard, WA, USA
Years ago I demo'd a double wide mobile home on a piece of land I bought using hand tools and my pickup truck after weakening interior and exterior walls enough to collapse it. The only big issue with using your tractor I can think of is the plethora of nails and sharp bits that will be an issue for tires.
If the fire dept won't burn it then I'd probably rent a track hoe with a thumb and go about it that way. It would make short work of it and be a lot easier to clean up.
 
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Bmyers

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Can you demo with a tractor, yes.

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The bigger the house, the more challenging it will be. Realizing that there is a good chance that you will end up puncturing a tire with nails, broken, glass, etc. so keep a tire repair kit on hand.

As others have pointed out, there are several things to consider. There is risk involved with every job, but understanding the risk and knowing your limits is what keeps you safe.

Not knowing the size or layout of the house, my assumption would be renting a mini excavator, tearing down the house, and then using your tractor to move the debris would be the better choice. Yet, you didn't give much details so everyone's guess is just as valid as the next.
 
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Creature Meadow

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Here in NC we look for houses to burn for training in our fire district.

The process is not bad. We the fire department cover associated cost for inspection and cleanup around the house so we can safely training on it. Usually we get together remove anything the inspector says has to go, brush hog, cleanup, board up windows with only a couple of nails to keep fire in and mark hazards like wells. Not sure all departments cover coats but "good" safe houses are hard to find so we chose to cover costs.

When we leave only foundation is left and any chimneys are knocked down for safety.

Good luck either way you go.
 
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Patt Swilling

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Kubota L3901
Mar 11, 2021
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Cabot, AR
The house is on a slab foundation. Bout 3000 square feet? Lots of mold. VERY large attic. My county won't touch fire burndowns.
 

85Hokie

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The house is on a slab foundation. Bout 3000 square feet? Lots of mold. VERY large attic. My county won't touch fire burndowns.

That's a whole lot of house - I would suggest you hire a person with a backhoe/thumb and get several containers to place the house into! Gonna be a good tipping fee too - unless you have a place to dispose of it.
 
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Tughill Tom

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B3200
Dec 23, 2013
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Turin, NY
I tore down a 2 car garage that was rotten to the core. Stripped the roof steel and roll up doors, then cut about every other wall stud on the outer walls. Cut holes thru the roof sheathing and the wall on the far side and rigged cables and bull lines and pulled it over with my B3200.
Cleaned it up with the BH and thumb and loaded into dumpsters. Total time about 3 days for prep and clean up. I used 3 30 yard dumpsters at $600. a load.
A job like your looking at I'd find a big excavator and get a bunch a 30 yard dumpsters.
 

Borane4

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Dec 16, 2020
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Texas
It would be a shame if it burned down. ;) (use your best mafia heavy voice)
 
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William1

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Had a neighbor, complaining about how much it was going to cost to remodel and update his house.

Apparently, he made a burn pile too close to the house and it caught fire. The fire department came and put it out. However, it flared up and the house burned. Good thing he had everything moved out for airing prior to his 'accident'.. Insurance gave him a new house. I still do not know how he got away with it.

'It' happens.
 

Fastball

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L2900, rear blade, finish mower, 200l sprayer, landscape rake
Feb 9, 2017
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North Okanagan, British Columbia
I have the same issue with an old chicken house and attached shed. I hate going into that abandoned chicken house, cuz it’s all dusty and gross - and I have asthma. I have a guy coming around with an excavator next month to dig holes and stumps - so I’m thinking about making some strategic cuts here and there with a chainsaw, and he can reach over with his bucket/thumb, rip it to pieces, and pile it to be burned.
 

Old_Paint

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Call Andrew Camarata. He'll do anything.
 
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NHSleddog

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We have a local guy that does these with a logging truck. It actually comes apart really well. A few chainsaw cuts for sections and away it goes.
 

ccoon520

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L2501 w/ FEL
Apr 15, 2019
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The house is on a slab foundation. Bout 3000 square feet? Lots of mold. VERY large attic. My county won't touch fire burndowns.
Does your county have any burn restrictions? Are there any trees or large swaths that might catch if you burn the house yourself? I remember my uncle wanted to get rid of an old barn to put up a new steel building. His fire department didn't do burns but the dnr would help you develop a burn plan to safely burn it down yourself without starting a wildfire.

If not I'd agree with other people and rent an excavator or something similar with a thumb on the bucket and start demolition from the roof down. Then you can load the dumpsters as it is being torn down to reduce cleanup time. Or nock it down all into one big centralized pile with a rented excavator and burn it then to reduce the amount of dumpster material and use your 3901 to scoop the ashes into the dumpster. As long as there isn't risk of you becoming national news for starting a huge wildfire that is. There's better ways to be remembered :).

Had a neighbor, complaining about how much it was going to cost to remodel and update his house.

Apparently, he made a burn pile too close to the house and it caught fire. The fire department came and put it out. However, it flared up and the house burned. Good thing he had everything moved out for airing prior to his 'accident'.. Insurance gave him a new house. I still do not know how he got away with it.

'It' happens.
I joke to my wife when we leave our house for a weekend or something that I sure hope one of those widow makers over the house fall while we are gone. It would really accelerate our remodel plans.
 
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Fastball

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L2900, rear blade, finish mower, 200l sprayer, landscape rake
Feb 9, 2017
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North Okanagan, British Columbia
Years ago I demo'd a double wide mobile home on a piece of land I bought using hand tools and my pickup truck after weakening interior and exterior walls enough to collapse it. The only big issue with using your tractor I can think of is the plethora of nails and sharp bits that will be an issue for tires.
If the fire dept won't burn it then I'd probably rent a track hoe with a thumb and go about it that way. It would make short work of it and be a lot easier to clean up.
I just had an old chicken house and shed demolished on my property. Had a friend with a Kubota excavator rip it apart and pile it up. We burned it all last weekend. We spent the next few days sifting through the ash pile with rakes and a magnetic sweeper, hauling out what seems to be THOUSANDS of nails, spikes, staples. And bits of wire. I think I’ve got the majority of it all out. I will then, take the loader and CAREFULLY, as not to hopefully drive over the one nail I missed, scoop up the remaining ash, charcoal, unburnt bits, and other remaining debris and dump it all elsewhere.
 

bbxlr8

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L2501
Mar 29, 2021
15
6
3
Eastern PA
On a much smaller note - I just burned the wood frame of a 2 piece old sofa sectional that I dismantled this weekend. I came away with about a gallon of staples, spring ends, and various bits with a magnet.

It was shocking in that I clipped and cleaned off most and it "looked" like clean wood. I wanted to make sure they didn't end up in the tractor tires.