crash, demolition, destroyed

Demolition Day Realities

We all watch the HGTV and DIY Network shows on remodeling and renovations, but what are the realities of demolition day they don’t really cover? Who wouldn’t love to take a sledgehammer to their old and nasty kitchen?  Who doesn’t love the beautiful finished product?  Well, there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes that it is best to know about when you launch into a home renovation of a certain magnitude.

Demolition day realities can be helped with patience and communication.Demolition day realities can be helped with patience and communication.

Demolition isn’t just during daylight hours.


With large jobs or ones that have quick turnarounds, sometimes demolition doesn’t stop when it’s five o’clock somewhere and can start pretty early in the day.  And LORDY, busting up a whole bunch of walls and the big machinery can be noisy! Unfortunately, the timeline for demolition is all dictated by your neighbors and surrounding businesses in real life. The best way to approach it is with kindness via email reminders, visits to their front stoops and even small gifts as tokens of your appreciation of their patience. If you are forthcoming, thoughtful and communicative, most neighbors will return the favor.

Demolition isn’t cleaned up in a matter of an hour.

Chunks of drywall, old appliances and the dust created with demolition doesn’t walk right out of your house on onto the curb where magic fairies pick it up within the day. Each town, city, and neighborhood have different requirements for getting rid of large amounts of debris, broken appliances and other random stuff that isn’t a part of your new design. Some items must be double bagged while some are recyclable.  Plus, you can be out of a working kitchen, bathroom or bedroom for an extended amount of time.  If you’re in an apartment or condominium, there may be a lot more trouble getting these items down the stairs or elevator. It’s a good idea to consider all of this before you take on a large remodeling project. The reality is that you may be able to come up with an easier, more budget-friendly, less stressful idea for your renovation that doesn’t produce so much dust and waste.

Sometimes, there isn’t an answer.

Depending on what you’re trying to accomplish, some demolition day problems just don’t have realistic solutions. You can bust through a wall and see that essential support beams cannot be moved.  You may have an innovative idea for your bathroom renovation but the plumbing is such that you can’t get it rigged up properly. There may be a solution for an electrical problem but may take MUCH longer to remedy and you don’t have the time to see it through. Our best practice is to come in a little under your budget and have a Plan B and C in place just in case a change of direction is needed.

Sometimes, the answers take a while.

On the TV shows, it looks like big decisions are made on the fly, with little to no thought about budget or timeline.  Of course, they only have thirty minutes or an hour to get to the chase.  However, in real life, the final decisions on demolition and remodeling can take a long time with materials, shipping, acquisition of permits, weather concerns, and availability of fixtures and finishes.

There is something about demolition days that bring out the excitement in a renovation. Just keep in mind that sometimes complications can arise, timelines can shift and budgets can change.  Come into your home remodeling with patience, communication, and a grain of salt, not just a sledgehammer, and your demolition will go off without a hitch.