5 DIY Demo Questions to Ask Yourself
For many home renovation projects one of the first tasks is the demolition of existing interior finishes. While it seems as if any sort of demo is an easy DIY project, it may not be the case. Popping up bathroom tile, removing drywall, insulation, fixtures, plumbing or wiring, and other materials seem like anyone could do it, well, anyone with a sledgehammer. However, DIY demo is not as simple as it may seem at first blush; there are actually a lot of things to take into consideration beforehand.
In this article, we are going to take a look at some common problems with DIY demo work, and whether you are just removing the outdated kitchen cabinets or “gutting” a room, you’ll want to read them all.
Do you understand the engineering of the space? The materials? The safety?
While emptying a room is one thing, removing building materials is another. You can find yourself in danger if you don’t know how to determine if a beam is a supporting structure, if the materials that are airborne are irritating or dangerous to all around, and whether or not that paint has lead are just a few points of concern. The list of actions you might take and put yourself in harm’s way is endless.
How long is it going to take, really?
You might look at your spare bathroom and think, “Yeah, I can empty this thing by the end of the day!” You could very well be underestimating the time it’s going to take. Unless you are well prepared for the DIY demo process (i.e., where is all of the debris going? How are you getting it outside of the home? How do you chop up something like an old bathtub?) you could run into trouble. Additionally, you might run into unexpected delays. For example, we have seen homeowners tear away a sheet of drywall to uncover a condition they did not expect! Unexpected findings can easily double or triple the time needed for the work.
Don’t ignore the fact that some demo is very delicate and you could be gently prying away at some old moldings for hours to keep them intact and able to be reused or repurposed. It is not always a smash-em-up process!
Did you think about “what-ifs”?
Taking crowbar, sledgehammer, skill saw, or other tools to the inside of a room sound like a heck of a lot of fun, and it can be. However, with a single swing of that sledge, you might plow right through another, adjoining wall. You could whack a pipe you didn’t know was in the wall, destroy moldings that are impossible to replace, accidentally damage wiring, and more.
Take your time to determine all of the what-if scenarios and calculate if you have the skill and/or budget to manage significant problems.
Do you have the right tools?
We’ve mentioned a lot of the tools that will be used in DIY demo, yet we haven’t considered whether you actually own them. Do you have a skill saw, sledgehammer, heavy hammers, crowbars and more? If you are trying to save money on a project and try doing the demo yourself, you could erase the money you’re hoping to save by paying for the heavy and high-quality tools the job demands.
Are you physically prepared?
Moreover, in terms of preparations, are you physically prepared for it? Demolition is hard work that requires a lot of sweat and elbow grease that can leave you exhausted. Not everyone has the physical strength or the stamina needed to get the job done. You will be lifting lots of heavy materials and tools, you’ll be using muscles you might not regularly use (i.e., reaching high above you to tear down materials), and you’ll be going up and down stairs or ladders, climbing and wedging yourself into tight corners. It can be draining, so be sure you are prepared.
If any of these questions has you second guessing DIY demo, you can always let an expert home service pro handle it for you. Just click here.