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Demolition of your Old Kitchen

Many people choose to save money on remodeling projects by doing the demolition themselves even if they plan to hire contractors for the construction phase of the project and have no remodeling skills.

Demolition of your old kitchen should be fairly simple but it will take a lot of work some of it will be strenuous. You will also need to be able to put up with a lot of dust and mess. Cleaning up after your demolition will also take considerable time and effort and will require you to have the means to dispose of the waste.

Before any demolition begins on your kitchen, you should shut off the water and electricity. After removing plumbing fixtures, you should place an old rag in the drain pipe to prevent fumes from being released into your home. It will also keep debris from the demolition from falling into the drain. Also, when doing demolition, you should always wear safety glasses. Long sleeves, sturdy boots, long pants and gloves are also a good idea during any demolition.

To remove your old sink, you’ll need to first disconnect the plumbing underneath. Undo the compression fitting from the sinks tail pipe and drain pipe. Excess water will drain from the trap, simply catch it with a bucket. Disconnect the hot and cold water supplies. In most cases you can remove the sink together with the faucet. If not, you will need to remove the faucet by unscrewing the nuts from the beneath the faucet. Most sinks are attached to the counter top with clips. Simply remove them and the sink should lift out. You may need to cut through any caulking that was used to seal the sink onto the counter.

If the counter needs to be removed separately from the cabinets, they can often be removed by simply unscrewing wood screws attaching it. If the countertop is glued on you can try to pry it up but you may need to cut it off. The cabinet itself will probably be screwed to the wall through a nailing strip and unscrewing it is all it should take to remove it. Removing all the counters from your kitchen can sometimes be as easy as unscrewing them from the wall however, in some cases if they were nailed on, you will need to pry them off or even knock them off with a sledge hammer.

If you intend to tear out wall surfaces such as dry wall and tile, you can expect a big mess with probably more waste than you think. It might be a good idea to rent a small dumpster to handle this waste. In addition to eye protection, you should wear gear to protect your lungs from breathing in dust. Always proceed with caution when tearing down walls because the odds are good that you will run into plumbing and electrical wiring. Remove all nails and screws from the studs after removing all of the wall board. Clean the room thoroughly of all clutter and dust when finished.

To remove framing and pipes, use a reciprocating saw making sure that you check to see that all pipes are not live. To remove wires, once again, make sure the wires are not live. (Use a continuity tester.) Then cut them. If you plan to remove a wall or any part of a wall, you need to first check to see if it is a load bearing wall. Unless you are an experienced builder, you should probably consult a professional before tearing down any wall.

One note of caution, if you use a sledge hammer to break out dry wall, first of all, you should be careful as it is easy to hurt yourself with the hammer. Also, if you are removing drywall from one side of the wall only to expose pluming or electrical and do not intend to tear out the entire wall you might not want to use a large sledge hammer because you may punch a hole all the way through to the other side.
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