demolition best practices

Remodeling Demolition

Interior demolition takes place when renovating or remodeling an area of the home. The process sounds extreme but can be highly restricted and simple. Demolition may involve the removal of tile, flooring, or drywall. It may also target cabinet or wall removal or room demolition. Other aspects include pipe, appliances, or ceiling removal. This article will shed light on how the process unfolds and what it entails.

The Difference Between Demolition and Deconstruction

Two types of structural removal are applied to a home’s interior. Both are termed demolition but are performed differently. Interior demolition is aimed at completely tearing down interior structures.  The debris and materials are disposed of without trying to salvage anything. Deconstruction is more deliberate and slower. It seeks to remove or preserve some internal components to be used again. Deconstruction is a greener approach that involves recycling.


Depending on your municipality and the size, you may need a permit. Most demolition permits are obtained from a local building department. A permit enhances safety and limits structural damage. It is a form of assurance utilities will be shut off while work is being done. Water shut-off is included in the utilities to put out of commission. You do not have to obtain a permit if you hire a contractor. The contractor obtains it for you.

Demolition Process for load bearing Walls

Load bearing walls provide structural support for your home/structure. And is imperative that you follow the correct procedures ceilings don’t sag or worse collapse

It’s ok to remove the drywall on the bearing wall, but before removing your load bearing wall, you’ll need to build 2 temporary support walls, one on each side of the bearing wall being removed. Be sure each temporary wall is spaced appropriately to give you enough room to work on your load bearing wall removal as well as enough room to get your replacement beam into position. Be sure that you’re spacing your temporary wall studs the proper distance on center to handle the temporary load

Flooring Demolition

The extent of the demolition is a critical decision to be made. Partial floor demolition can be more of a challenge than total demolition because it must be confined or contained within a space. It may be targeted at specific rooms.

If so, the room must be sealed to ensure dust is contained. Gear, such as nose masks, heavy-duty coveralls, and safety goggles, are worn to prevent dust from being inhaled. The tools required for floor demolition include grinding and polishing plates, pry bars and molding lifters, handheld grinders, carpet pullers, self-leveling tools, and rotary and demolition hammers.

Dust collectors and shot blasters may also be used. It may be necessary to rent the tools needed for floor demolition if a person wants to do it independently. Professionals come prepared for the job with the proper tools.

It is easy to assume floor demolition is a simple and quick process, but it is a big job that involves time, energy and risk. The steps involved include

  • Removing fixtures and appliances
  • Choosing a spot to begin
  • Removing the flooring
  • Repairing the subfloor if necessary
  • Cleaning the subfloor to remove dust

Demolition Cleanup

A cleanup of the area follows the completion of the demolition. There will be a lot of debris, and it requires significant effort. A reputable company includes cleanup as part of the service they provide. DIY-ers must tackle this chore on their own.

Roll-off dumpsters or containers are available in a variety of sizes. You do not want to underestimate the size of a dumpster. It is best to have the dumpster available before the project starts to avoid debris pileup.

Debris is cleared from the work area before the job is finished. It is better management of the site and allows for a better job to be done. The size of the dumpster depends on the scale of the job. A contractor knows the size of the dumpster required for the project.

For small projects, many times a pickup truck is sufficient

Hiring a Professional

Some find getting their hands dirty appealing but need specific skills and background knowledge. You do not want to cause unnecessary damage to walls, structures, floors, or appliances. A non-load-bearing wall without plumbing or electrical fixtures and kitchen cabinets are relatively easy for a do-it-yourselfer to remove with a claw hammer, a reciprocating saw, pry bars, or screwdrivers.

There are other DIY projects that should be left to professionals. Avoid DIY demolition when asbestos, lead or extensive mold is involved because of the toxicity levels and removal of appliances connected to plumbing and electricity.

Contractors with experience in those areas should perform these jobs. Demolishing a load-bearing wall could affect the integrity of a building’s structure and should be done by professionals. A pro should also complete the demolition on walls where there is uncertainty about the presence of plumbing and electrical fixtures to limit the exposure to risks.

It is far easier and safer to call a professional. You have a layer of confidence that an expert is doing the demolition. That being said, it does not mean all those claiming to be demolition contractors are worthy of consideration. Only a licensed and reliable contractors with experience and that carry the proper insurance should be hired. Look at the review statistics of the company. It gives you an idea of who to call for a demolition job.