What you should know before you tackle a DIY demo.

Posted by Ben Thompson on 03.26.16

Before most renovations can start, you have to tear down or demolish what’s currently in place. This can range from walls to cabinets and even tearing out old plumbing fixtures and appliances. Many clients ask us if they can do the demo themselves to save money on their project. Depending on the complexity of the demo, it’s not an easy yes or no answer. Most often we would recommend that our clients not take on a DIY demo due to the potential safety hazards you may encounter during the process. Safety is always our main concern, but there are several others reasons that you may not realize.

Here’s what you have to keep in mind when considering a DIY demo project.

  1. Health risks. Do you know how to identify lead paint or asbestos? Both require careful and complex removal and should be done by a professional who has been trained. Collapsing drywall produces fine dust that could contain lead, which is irritating to your lungs and eyes. Lead dust is extremely dangerous for everyone in the house.
  2. Safety risks. How familiar are you with using a crowbar and sledgehammer? It may sound like fun to knock down a wall, but you could potentially hurt yourself by overexerting yourself or by unexpected falling debris. Also consider the potential danger to children and pets that could wander into the demo site.
  3. It takes time to do it right. Professionals know how to attack a demo in the most efficient way. The DIY learning curve will make the task take a lot longer than you initially anticipate.
  4. Potential mistakes. You could encounter something that you aren’t prepared for or tear something down that you didn’t need to. Mistakes can end up costing you both time and money.
  5. Are you prepared for all the trash? Do you know where to take all the “stuff” you are tearing down? Major demos require a dumpster. And don’t forget the potentially hazardous materials that you can encounter! Professionals know how to handle and dispose of all the materials you have to deal with during a demo project.
  6. It’s physically exhausting. Enough said!

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Topics: FAQ, diy demo, grand rapids remodeling, remodeling grand rapids mi, thompsonremodeling.com, demo, remodeling, Thompson Remodeling