Demolition is just taking a sledgehammer to a counter top or through a wall, right? Wrong. Alarmingly, few homeowners understand the full implications of selective residential demolition. Before you get ready to make your home open concept the hard way, turn off My House Rules, put down the reciprocating saw, and give this a quick read.

Don’t do it yourself

After a  marathon of TV shows on transforming houses, you may be tempted to put a sledgehammer through the wall separating the two bedrooms, making one large master bedroom. Don’t do that. We’re not saying that just because we want your demolition budget. We’re saying that because of the various expensive and dangerous things that can follow that level of unconsulted DIY. Plumbing, electrical lines, asbestos, load-bearing walls, improper permits — these are just a few obstacles that can quickly sink your budget if not the structure of your house. Leave the demolition to the professionals. If you really have the desire to swing a hammer, ask if there’s some of the work you can handle yourself. Until then, just chill.

Plan, Plan, Plan, Then Demo

Before anything comes down, make sure you’ve dotted every “i” and crossed every “t.” Make sure that you have every necessary permit, that you’ve consulted your homeowner’s association, and that you attack your demolition with surgical precision. You can’t afford to make any mistakes.

Plan to Come Across Some Nasty Stuff

While some people would like to demolish as little as possible, it’s not a bad idea to demolish all the way to studs — especially if you’re remodelling an older home. In this process, you’ll likely uncover many problematic elements that may become a headache after you’ve already remodelled over them. Water damage, termite damage, debris, and faulty electrical wiring are just a few things you may encounter. There’s no use in having to demolish a wall again in a few years because of a problem you didn’t uncover the first time.

Stay Somewhere Else During Your Demolition

Many people have this idea that they can demolish whole sections while living in other sections of the home. The reality of the situation is that from the moment the first section of sheetrock gets knocked out, a flood of dust is going to fill your home. Plan for this dust to get absolutely everywhere. Living in your home while any of this is happening will be miserable. During your demolition, you’re better off making plans to stay with family, friends, in a hotel or an Airbnb. Just don’t try to be a frugal hero by braving the dust.

Butter Up the Neighbours

Demolition is loud, messy, and disruptive — not just to you, but also to your neighbours. Nobody wants to pick their morning paper off of the stoop just to be face-to-face with a dusty dumpster. Before the demolition, explain what will be taking place to any neighbours that may be adversely impacted by your demolition. Tell them how long the demolition will take and bring them over some gift cards to a local cinema where they can escape the noise and dust.

For more tips on your next demolition project, feel free to reach out to us at DIG IT and we would be happy to help.