Home Demolition: How To Demo A House

Here is a guide on practical house demolition. We’ll be discussing options to tear down your house yourself, as well as how to hire a contractor to demo your home.

When a house is built, it’s expected to serve for a certain number of years. Such period is known as its lifespan. Now, the lifespan of a building or house will depend on the materials used in construction.

While some of these materials are durable, others aren’t.

Homeowner’s Guide To Demolishing A House

We’re not focusing on the lifespan of a house.

Rather, we’re looking at its demolition. The reasons for residential demolition can be varied. It could be done for remodeling purposes or due to the expiration of its lifespan.

Whatever the case is, you’ll be shown how to demo a house.

Here is what to do before demolishing a house.

Preparing For Residential Demolition

Before a house ever gets demolished, there needs to be prior preparation.

Here, you’re looking at picking the right demolition crew as well as calling for a pre-demolition inspection. It’s also expected that you’d have made other housing and storage arrangements.

Last but not least, you’ll need to work with municipal reps as well as your utility company to ensure the process goes on smoothly. Let’s discuss each of these points further to help you grasp their real meaning.

  • Picking the Right Crew To Demo A House

Lots of apartment demolition services exist to offer their service to you.

However, not all of these will offer satisfactory services. You’ll need to go for licensed, reputable, and experienced demolition services.

Picking the right crew points to one thing; the need for professional help!

As much as you can, avoid adopting DIY demolition techniques as such may expose you to significant risks. Only trained professionals should perform the job.

  • Calling For Inspection Before Tearing Down Houses

A pre-demolition inspection does a lot of good for homeowners.

Here, any surprises in terms of a budget shortfall are identified. Plus, houses with hazardous materials like asbestos are better managed during demolition.

What more? You get to find out if a demolition contractor offers debris disposal or not.

  • Making Housing and Storage Arrangements

You cannot live within a property when it’s being demolished.

Also, belongings will need to be relocated. So, you may have to make temporary housing and storage arrangements until work’s completed.

This applies to a demolition carried out for remodeling.

  • Working with Municipal Reps and Utility Company

Municipal representatives and utility companies play important roles during structural demolition. This is necessary to help maintain the stipulated timeline for the house demolition job.

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Can you demolish your own house? Yes.

Obtaining permits as well as shutting off utility lines is one of several actions you may need to take.

This is made easier by collaborating with municipal representatives and your utility companies. It’s important to clarify the roles expected of you to enable you to perform them effectively.

Tools For An Apartment Demolition Job

Skilled homeowners having some demolition background may attempt to get the job done themselves.

For such, a long list of house demolition tools will be necessary. They include a pry bar or other wrecking tool, sledgehammer, voltmeter, and masonry drills.

Other equipment includes a rotary hammer, reciprocating saw, box cutter, drywall hook, putty knife or chisel, wheelbarrow, shop-vac, plastic sheeting, and wire cutters.

Other demolition tools to get include a ratcheting tubing cutter, stud finder, eye goggles, and hard hat.

You’ll also need to get a surgical mask, a ladder, work gloves, and safety cones. Eye goggles are among the tools you should get. Heavy machines include bulldozers and hydraulic excavators.

Type Of House Demolition

There are three main types of demolition for houses.

They include partial home demolition, total demolition, and house deconstruction. So, what’s the scope of demolition for each type?

Let’s take a look at each for better comprehension.

  • Partial Demolition

Partial demolition has to do with the removal of certain parts of a building’s internal structure like walls.

The other involves removing smaller building components or parts. Such may include the chimney, outbuilding, or patio. Here, certain parts of the house are marked for demolition while leaving the others.

  • Total Demolition

Total demolition is more complete as it seeks to bring down the entire structure. It involves mechanical teardown using a wrecking ball or other demolition machinery.

Compared to partial demolition, this is much faster.

  • House Deconstruction

House deconstruction is mostly a painstaking process that involves systematically demolishing a building. Hand tools are mostly used for this job.

The goal here is to recycle some useful components found within the structure.

The salvage process may end up offsetting the cost of house demolition.

How To Demolish A House Step by Step

The demolition process is quite extensive and can be categorized into two; clear out and demolition proper.

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The first includes several steps such as drywall teardown as well as removing frames and doors.

Other steps include demolishing flooring material and repeating the procedures above across bedrooms.

What more? Bathroom demolition is next before focusing on the laundry and utility rooms. Kitchen deconstruction is up next.

i. Clear Out

This is generally the procedure that involves the removal of all fixtures, appliances, and every other structural component that needs to give way.

It includes the following:

ii. Drywall Teardown

Before a drywall removal process commences, it’s necessary to clear out all fixtures and furniture within the vicinity.

Now, if there’s wallpaper, it will need to be removed using a chisel. Having removed the wallpaper, use your stud finder to locate studs in walls and mark their locations.

To collect debris, you’ll need to lay down plastic sheeting.

Using an appropriate tool, begin by knocking out drywall sections between the studs. If you’re on a ladder, you’ll need to have someone hold it for better stability.

All insulation material behind the wall should be torn and studs cut and pieces removed.

A reciprocating saw should serve this function. With the help of a shop-vac, clean any remaining dirt from the site especially those which have fallen outside the plastic sheeting.

If there are piping and wiring on the walls, these should be salvaged. However, if you won’t be reusing them, then they should be cut into small pieces for onward disposal.

The electric supply must be cut off before demolition work commences.

iii. Removing Frames and Doors

This is one action that that occurs when salvaging useful house components. Doors can be unscrewed from their hinges and their frames knocked out.

One good thing about salvaging your building’s doors and frames are that they can be donated to charities.

iv. Demolishing Flooring Material

Next, the focus is on floor demolition.

The method of demolition used depends on the floor material involved. All floor coverings such as carpets should be removed or torn out.

Before that, the room should have been cleared of everything.

Heavy machinery is mostly used for floor demolition. Before excavation commences, other parts of the house such as walls will need to be torn down. Sometimes, demolition is only restricted to tiles.

The extent of work largely depends on the type of demolition.

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v. Repeating Procedures Across Bedrooms

The above procedures mentioned so far will have to be repeated across all bedrooms within the building.

Here, lighting systems, piping, wiring, and every other construction material are retrieved while clearing out the rooms.  This should include all lighting systems as well as ceiling fans.

vi. Bathroom Demolition

Remember, all utilities should be shut off before the commencement of bathroom demolition work. Bathrooms have several fixtures such as boilers, sinks, bathtubs, and toilet seats among others.

You can carefully remove such fixtures to make them possible for future reuse. You’ll need to remove the flooring materials as well.

vii. Turn your Focus on Laundry and Utility Room(s)

The laundry and utility rooms of a home will need to be covered too.

For specialized fixtures such as driers, sinks, and washers, these will have to be carefully disconnected.

Having uninstalled these devices, what remains is for such devices to be moved out. Walls and cabinets will need to be removed in addition to floors.

viii. Kitchen Deconstruction

The kitchen and dining area of a house are also marked out for demolition.

Like the bathroom situation, all fixtures must be carefully disconnected and uninstalled. Having cleared out the area, demolition begins by tearing down the countertops using a pry bar.

The cabinets, walls, floor panels, and every other installation will have to give way.

ix. House Tear Down Proper

Demolition involves the usage of heavy equipment. With all the preparatory action completed, it’s now set for wrecking. The area surrounding the house is secured or cordoned off.

This serves as a safety perimeter to allow for the completion of the job without incidence.

Demolition begins by caving in the roof followed by the walls which are knocked down one after the other. With construction completed, it’s time for cleaning up.

Cleaning up the area of debris is an equally important task that ensures the completion of demolition work.

With debris out of the way, there needs to be grading of the area or space formed. This process is also performed by the demolition contractor to ensure it’s properly done.

These are the steps for house demolition that need to be followed.

As always, it’s important to seek advice and follow the recommendations of demolition experts. This leads to better results regarding the quality of demolition work.