Wall Demolition Tips for the DIY Homeowner

wall demolition

Whether you need to demolish a wall as part of a remodeling project or simply to improve the overall flow of your living space, there's a right way and a wrong way to complete interior wall demolition projects.

We offer do-it-yourself wall demolishers a few tips below.  Take note of the wall demolition videos below showing what can go wrong.  If you're not completely confident, it may be safer for you and your home to simply hire a demolition contractor with interior demolition experience.

DIY Tips for Simple Wall Demolition

1. Inspect the area
Before you begin the process of demolishing your wall, determine whether or not it is load-bearing. If you're not 100% sure, consult with a builder, architect, or structural engineer.  Do not skip this step!  Demolishing a load-bearing wall without additional support added can have catastrophic consequences for you and your home. 

You should also be sure that no HVAC ducts, electrical lines, or plumbing lines are in the wall. If there are any utility lines found in the wall, you will need to call a qualified professional to take care of them prior to starting the demolition process.

2. Room preparation
After you have determined that there are no utility lines or other obstacles in the wall, clear out the room and lay out a large plastic drop cloth.  Tearing down drywall or plaster will make a mess. Also, be sure to open a few windows or run a fan to keep your workspace properly ventilated while you work.

3. Score the wall
You should now measure and mark the area of the wall to be demolished. Score over the marks with a utility blade.

4. Break through the wall
Use a hammer or a small sledgehammer to break out the drywall or plaster. Pay close attention not to hit the wall framing. If necessary, use a drywall saw for precise cuts along the lines that you scored.

5. If your wall is insulated, remove the insulation.

6. Remove any studs and framing
To properly remove any stubborn studs, using a reciprocating saw. You should also use it to cut through the wall framing and the sill. If you find any pieces of sill that are attached to the floor, use a prybar for removal.

7. Clean up
Collect and dispose of the debris from the demolition. For larger jobs, in may be necessary to rent a temporary dumpster in advance to collect all the debris.

A similar DIY wall demolition technique is outlined here.

If you aren't big on DIY projects and would like to get an idea of what it might cost to have a qualified demolition contractor demolish your wall, check out Hometown's demolition cost guide.

 Keep reading about DIY interior demolition: