7 Things to Check Before Tackling a Home Demolition Project

Andy Lindus
Written by Andy Lindus
Updated May 22, 2014
Hole in upper interior wall.
Unknowingly opening up drywall that houses electrical wires or pipes could have disastrous consequences during a home demolition project. And dust from drywall or lead paint can be dangerous.
Photo courtesy of Jimmy Pitts

DIY shows make demolishing your home's interior look fun. But consider 7 things before you grab a hammer.

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If you’re trying to trim the budget for a home remodeling project, you may think that handling the home demo process yourself will save some money. 

We’ve all seen the home improvement shows where a team of professionals demolishes an entire home over the course of a day. Who wouldn’t want to grab a mallet and take their aggression out on the cabinets they’ve hated for years? 

Before you undertake this type of DIY demo project without professional assistance, it’s important to be aware of the following: 

1. Dangers involved with DIY home demo

Unknowingly opening up drywall that houses electrical wires or pipes could have disastrous consequences to both you and your home.

The dust created from drywall during the demolition process can make your breathing strained or irritate your eyes, meaning that proper protective measures should be taken. Additionally, inhaling lead paint or insulation dust can cause abnormalities in your respiratory system. 

Home demolition is a process that requires specific methods to be followed to ensure that the job is done correctly the first time, says Lindus. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Barb H. of Colorado Springs, Colorado)

2. Your demolishing mistakes can damage your home

Wall removal is something that a professional should complete. In some instances, a wall can support others or contain electrical wiring and piping that services multiple levels of your home. A professional can assist you with the most logical solution for rerouting wiring or plumbing so that the wall gets removed safely. 

An additional benefit of hiring a home improvement contractor is that they are licensed and insured. This will prevent you from incurring the costs in the unlikely event that they damage your home during your remodel. A reputable home improvement contractor most likely has experience addressing most issues that may arise.

3. Demolish your home interior in no time? Not really

Taking on the task of home demolition on your own can take days — even weeks. With the assistance of a home improvement contractor and their team, the process will be much more efficient. This will allow you to get your entire home restored to a livable condition as quickly as possible. 

4. Unexpected obstacles on demolition day

Every demolition is sure to have its share of surprises. It is not uncommon to find a floor or roof with multiple layers of covering, particularly in older homes. Incorrectly addressing these issues can cost you time and money.

5. Buying the right DIY demo supplies can add up

Professionals who are familiar with demolition have the correct tools for the job. The added expense of purchasing tools can ultimately take away from your bottom line, which was the reason you decided to embark on the DIY demo process in the first place, right? 

6. Inexperience with interior home demo

Home demolition is more than just taking swings with your sledgehammer. It is a process that requires specific methods to be followed to ensure that the job is done correctly the first time. Anything else will cost you time and money, or worse, result in damage to your home that cannot be reversed.

7. When not to demo: repurposing old fixtures

Just because your windows are no longer energy efficient doesn’t mean that they cannot be upcycled for other projects, such as a wall hanging. Likewise, some charities will take discarded cabinets or countertops. However, the likelihood of these items being used again depends on removing them properly.

About this Experts Contributor: As of May 22 2014, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those 

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