Surprises When You Do Home Demo


Now there are definitely surprises when you do home demo, life is not like HGTV. They make it seem so simple, or even fun (Thanks Chip!). But home demo isn’t glamorous or easy

For a homeowner starting a remodel, finally smashing with that hammer can be cathartic. Just knowing that those unnecessary walls and ugly carpet are getting ripped out is exhilarating and can feel so great!

However, the demolition process can yield a lot of surprises. First off, it is not like the TV!

First, the mess doesn’t magically disappear!

In real life: That mess has to go somewhere

When you’re demolishing something, it creates a giant mess and you’ve got to haul that big pile of rubble out on your own, and messing up your front yard with piles of trash.

Second, demo whenever you want and you are fine, WRONG!



In real life: Neighbors and laws can dictate your schedule

Bet you didn’t realize that tearing out drywall and smashing up your home is loud! This isn’t unpleasant just for you, but for your neighbors as well.

Inform your neighbors of your incoming demo and maybe send some nice emails and baked goods. Plus, don’t forget to check your local noise ordinance, too. If you start too early or finish too late, you could face a fine.


Demo day is not the quick montage they make it out to be….

In real life: Demolition takes for-ev-er

TV makes it look like two people can tear down a few walls in an afternoon and be done with it. But it can last weeks, especially if you have to abide by noise ordinances or neighbors’ woes.

There can be many Surprises and not pleasant ones.

1. Structural Problems

Now the idea of having an open floor plan is all the rage, but tearing down a wall and realizing it is load-bearing can increase your project by thousands of dollars. So it is best to consult a professional before tearing down walls.

2. Asbestos

*When asbestos and mold are identified, it is important for a contractor to bring in an abatement company to remove and encapsulate the toxins in order to prevent contamination and spreading.



3. Critters

Termites, Cockroaches, Rats, OH MY! During your demolition, you may also find out that you and your family aren’t the home’s only inhabitants. No one wants to find this, but you might and you should be prepared to exterminate.

4. Electrical/Plumbing

You should expect to encounter some type of electrical problems during a demo. This is just common and expected since you are tearing stuff up and moving things around. Replacing electrical panels, wiring types, and grounding wires can cost nearly $20,000. Also, whenever you’re demolishing an interior wall, be advised that there could be plumbing running through it.

5. Cost of Products

The budget you have might have to increase because you will always need more paint, more supplies, more cleaning products and of course the specialized ‘blank’ you need to replace because you accidentally smashed it in your excitement of demoing.


Home Demo can be fun, but definately isn’t like TV and can have some unpleasant surprises. The best thing to do is to realize this and plan accordingly. Pad that budget so if you have some unexpected expenses you won’t be hurting afterward.


As always, let me know if you have any questions. Contact me here.





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