At first demo can seem fun. It’s a great way to let out any pent up aggression or frustration and it really doesn’t take any skill at all. Pretty quickly though you realize that the debris are heavy, there’s so much dust and dirt that your home now looks like the left overs of an F5 tornado, you have an incredible amount of trash to deal with now, and it’s just all-in-all very labor intensive. Don’t worry though, I figured out how to demo a kitchen the easy way!
How to Demo A Kitchen the Easy Way
Having come to terms with the realities of demo several projects back, Matt and I were dreading the kitchen demolition with a passion. Between the unplanned kitchen demolition cost ($600 for the dumpster we would have to rent) and the massive amount of labor, we just weren’t overly enthused about it. The week before our planned demo day, I was slowly feeding Caleb while feeling sorry for myself and completely forlorn when the good Lord above took pity on me and sent me a much needed epiphany.
Long story short, I listed our cabinets on Craigslist and essentially said they were free but whoever wanted them had to remove them themselves. I was honest about the not so great condition of our cabinets.
My actual posting language:
We are about to remodel our kitchen and would hate to see our existing cabinets go to the landfill. The doors are solid wood and vary in condition from really good to not so good. The cabinet bodies are Mdf and are in the same condition. These are completely free you just have to come pick them up. We haven't started demo yet but will be happy to help where we can.
I really did not think anyone would be interested in them at all. On the contrary though, I probably received 35 calls in the first two hours the post was up and had to remove the posting. The very next day the cabinets were completely removed.
Overall we were thrilled to not spend our time and energy messing with the demo but there are a few things to be aware of if you go this route for your demo:
- Make sure you are really really ready to have your kitchen removed because it will not take long before someone wants them and they will be gone before you realize it. We hadn’t even ordered our Ikea kitchen yet which then took almost a month to be delivered. So basically, I made us live without any kitchen at all for an extra four weeks for no reason whatsoever.
- It’s not their house so they may not treat it how you would. All in all, the lovely couple who did the kitchen demo did a wonderful job. Our cabinets were not easy to remove and they tried their best to be careful and not damage our walls and ceilings. Honestly, they were probably more careful than I would have been. BUT that does not mean everyone would be the same way. Certainly some people would have just come in and ripped them out and not cared two cents about the condition they left our home in. Make your expectations known upfront and don’t be afraid to send someone packing if they are doing unreasonable damage to your home!
- If you are keeping your appliances, remove them first. Appliances are heavy, awkward, and expensive so you don’t want to risk them being damaged during the demo process.
- If you are planning to sell your appliances, same as above, remove them first.
- Turn off the electricity to the kitchen. The last thing you want is someone getting shocked at your house. Not only could they be seriously injured or even die, but they could also sue you for damages! Avoid these potentially terrible scenarios by turning off the breakers to all electricity in your kitchen area. Make sure you have an extension cord ready and plugged-in inanother room.
- Protect your floors! Cabinets are big and heavy and you can be certain your floors will be dinged up during the process if you don’t protect them. A few layers of cardboard should do the trick.
- Be Safe! There is always a risk when inviting strangers into your home so be as safe as you can about it. I recommend talking on the phone as you can get a better feel for people from hearing their voice than just via text message. Also, if you get a bad feeling on the phone, don’t be afraid to move onto the next person! Also, when they arrive at your house, you can snap a picture of their license plate number and even their IDs. Don’t be shy, it’s your safety! Lastly, having someone with you at the house is obviously a great idea!