Wall removal can be an essential aspect of many remodeling projects. Regardless of whether you are demolishing an interior or exterior wall, make sure that you provide adequate support for the existing structure so that the entire house does not become unsteady and unstable. Wall demolition may require the work of two people to assist with the removal of wall studs.
Step 1 – Determine if the Wall Is Load Bearing
Determine if the wall you are going to remove is a load bearing wall before you begin any demolition work. If the wall is load bearing, then you will need to either reconsider whether or not to remove the wall or build additional support and bracing for the surrounding structure of the building by installing a temporary beam above the wall to be removed to span the opening that will be created by removing the wall.
Locate any existing plumbing, electrical wiring or other wiring inside the wall to be removed.
Step 2 – Seal off House/Turn off Power
Drape plastic sheeting and secure into place with duct tape to seal off the rest of the house during the demolition process. This will prevent dust and debris from entering the rest of the house while you are removing the wall. Place drop cloths on the floors for protection.
Turn off the power to the wall being demolished at the power junction box. Turn off the water to the wall at the water valve to the house.
Step 3 – Remove Trim/Begin Tearing out Wall
Wearing protective eyewear and gloves, begin to remove molding and trim from baseboards. Use a sledge hammer to make a hole in the drywall between the wall studs. Tear out the wall board and remove all of the nails from the studs. Remove all of the wall board and any other materials from both sides of the wall back to the first stud.
Step 4 – Remove Wiring and Plumbing
Use an amp meter to double check that the electrical outlets are not powered and then remove the wiring and plumbing from the wall. Cap off the plumbing and terminate the power circuits. If you are not familiar with this process, use the services of a professional licensed plumber and electrician.
Step 5 – Remove Fire Blocks and Studs
Knock out any fire blocks between the wall studs. Use a reciprocating saw to cut through all of the wall studs except the studs at the very ends of the wall. Start by cutting a few inches from the floor. Twist the studs out of the top plate of the wall studs. Use a sledge hammer to knock the shorter pieces from the floor plate of the studs. Pull out any nails that remain.
Step 6 – Cut Top and Floor Plate from Framing
Cut the top plate and floor plate flush with the adjoining walls. Make sure that you do not cut through the floor when cutting the bottom floor plate. Remove the boards and nails.