A Comprehensive Guide to DIY Home Demolition


There are many reasons to tear down a house. Maybe you’re simply clearing the way for new construction or there are complex structural issues that would be more expensive to fix than it would be to start over. Whatever the motivating factors are, demolishing a house is a big job that requires a clear plan.

Demoing a house involves two basic approaches: deconstruction and demolition. Deconstruction is the process of removing useful materials by hand, preserving and repurposing resources for later use. Demolition, on the other hand, means the utter destruction of the building, usually with heavy machinery. The debris is often hauled away as construction waste afterwards.

How to Demolish a House Step-by-Step

Ready to get started? And How much to demolish a house. Head indoors to start this two-tier project. First, we’ll explain how to deconstruct the interior of your home, remove belongings and salvage useful materials.

Is the home not worth salvaging? Skip straight to the demolition phase to learn how to knock it down quick with heavy machinery.

Interior Home Deconstruction by Hand

Home deconstruction is a labor-intensive process that often comes before complete demolition in an attempt to salvage usable materials from the structure. It also clears the way by removing obstacles and supporting beams from the interior of the house. The best way to go about a home deconstruction project is to tackle one room at a time, starting with the upper floor, if applicable. Here are some basic guidelines to get started.

Step 1: Prep for Demolition

When you’ve decided to demolish your house, it’s time to start planning out your project. There are several preliminary factors to address and preparations to make, as well as an assortment of tools you’ll need. Hand tools are useful for deconstructing the interior of the house, while heavy machinery is better suited for bringing down the structure itself after the interior has been cleared out.

Remove Furniture and Belongings

Before tearing your home apart, you’ll need to dispose of bulky items like furniture, fixtures, decorations, appliances and possessions before proceeding.

Contact Your Lender, if Necessary

If you own and have fully paid off your home, this step won’t be necessary. However, if you still owe a bank or mortgage lender, you will need approval before proceeding with a demolition project. Your lender could also help you secure financing for demolition and rebuilding efforts.

Shut Off All Utilities

Make sure all water, electrical and gas lines running to the structure have been shut off and safely capped. Contact your providers for this step — they may need to send service personnel to your house to ensure all utilities are fully disconnected properly.

Rent a Roll Off Dumpster

Naturally, destroying or deconstructing a house leads to a substantial amount of debris. An easy way to clean up after a this project is to use a demolition dumpster and have the junk hauled away. It’s best to schedule your container rental in advance so it arrives in time for your project, especially if you’re renting additional equipment.

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