Demolition Time Knock Down A Wall By Yourself

Unlike most DIY projects which allow you to upgrade existing or create new things, demolishing allows you to make that ‘’bigger’’ change that’s not just rearranging your furniture. The purpose of this article is to show you that this is not the simplest of tasks, but also that with the proper advice, preparation and equipment anyone can do it!

Is It The One?

Before you make a decision to knock down a wall or two, you need to make a plan. The first condition is to determine whether you can, in fact, demolish the wall you wanted to demolish. Ensure that you are looking at what we will refer to as an “empty” wall. You should not attempt at demolishing a load-bearing wall. Also, you should ensure that they do not contain any plumbing, wiring, or HVAC system parts. If they do, which is the easiest to notice by looking for vents, outlets, or studying your home’s blueprint, you need to be extra cautious.

Clear The Way

Most of the prep-work involves protecting the area from making any accidental damage. First of all, schedule a dumpster to be brought to the house so you can get rid of the waste which you will create in the process.  Use 6 mil poly sheets to protect the area and secure it with painter’s tape so it stays in one place. Place builders paper and a particleboard on the floor to protect it. To be extra careful, do this project in a broad daylight and switch off electricity, water, and gas. Remove hardware and doors and if you plan on reusing them, store them in a dry place. Alternatively, look for the ways of recycling them. The same goes for the trim and the baseboards. The last step is removing windows.

Protect yourself

Don’t forget to wear protective gear. Regardless of how much time you think this will last, if you are planning on using power tools, wear earmuffs to protect your hearing. If your home has been built prior to 1978 and you suspect there may be traces of lead-based paint, make sure your protective gear is resistant to it. Also, if you suspect there may be asbestos, step back and call the professionals because no gear will keep you safe. There will always be flying debris and other unpredictable things that even the best prepping won't solve. For that reason always wear a hard hat it’s surprising how many times something that simple saved a life. Hands and feet also need protection as they tend to get hurt the most. Make sure that you wear proper gloves and good old Australian work boots that have protected the feet of construction workers for decades.


In order to protect other walls from being affected by your demolishing process, you should “separate” the paint. Using a sharp utility knife or a chisel is perfect to cut between the wall you are knocking down and other walls. This means less debris and dust and nice smooth edges where your old wall was.

Sometimes people don’t want to tear down the whole wall but just make an opening that connects the kitchen and a living room. Use painters tape to help you visualise where and how big the hole is going to be. It’s also good to leave  it for a few days so you can change the size and placement.

Cut between the studs

Here is where the actual demolishing begins, you first need to cut between the studs of the wall. In order to locate the studs and make the first cut, you need to use a sledge hammer and punch a starter hole. Before we mentioned you need to be careful about plumbing and wiring, if you notice them you need to call a professional who can relocate them safely.  Depending on the type of wall you have you will either use a circular saw, for wire lath plaster walls by setting up the depth to some 3 inches. On the other hand, if you are looking at a wood lath and plaster wall, you are better of utilizing a reciprocating saw with a 7-inch blade.

Removing studs

Each of the studs should be cut horizontally about half-way through. Pull the upper halves toward yourself and pull the rest of the studs. If you want to preserve the studs, you should use a metal-cutting blade. In that case you will be cutting between the stud and any horizontal surface in its close environment.

By removing the studs, you have practically finalized the process. Clear the area of any debris make sure nothing is damaged, and that’s it.

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