For many homeowners who are looking to make cost-efficient upgrades to their homes, doing the demolition component of the work seems like a great idea. Save a bit of money and have some fun smashing stuff, right?
Not so fast… There are several risks (both physical and financial) that come with DIY demolition projects. Here are some of those dangers and why hiring a contractor is often the smarter move.
Potential Health Hazards
When you disturb construction materials through demolition, you put yourself and your loved ones in harm’s way. Contact with older paint can expose you to lead, and drywall can produce a fine dust that irritates the lungs and eyes.
Finally, breaking, cutting, or crushing masonry, clay, or stone can lead to Crystalline Silica, which is even more dangerous. A professional will take the proper safety precautions to limit or remove these risks.
Unless you’re an architect, engineer, or construction professional, it’s never a good idea to just begin tearing down walls in your home. One of those walls might be holding up your roof, so your actions could either weaken the structure or bring the entire thing down on top of you.
Unintended Damage to Your Home
Having your roof collapse would be awful, but there are other ways that a DIY demolition operation could damage your home unintentionally. Maybe you’re using the wrong tools and accidentally punch a hole in flooring or a wall that you mean to keep. Because your demo must be precise, it’s a good idea to bring in a team with some experience.
Water and Electrical Damage
Do you know the difference between a dry wall and a wet wall? Wet walls have plumbing behind them, and if you don’t know how to find these, you shouldn’t do your own demo because you could damage your pipes.
Likewise, many of your home’s walls have live electrical wires running through them. Hit one of those walls in the right (or wrong) place with a sledgehammer, and you could cause a house fire. If for no other reason, these are a few good ones to avoid a DIY demo project.
Draining Physical Labor
Demolition might sound like fun in theory, but in practice, it’s an exhausting and dirty exercise. Regardless of your age or state of physical fitness, lifting heavy debris and attacking a structure with a sledgehammer can wreak havoc on your body. An expert is better equipped (and insured) to handle this job.
Damage to Your Furnishings
Few people move all of their furnishings and belongings out of their homes before a remodel. But, having everything in the house is going to put your “stuff” at risk, particularly if you decide to take on some of this work yourself.
Remodeling jobs are messy, and you’ll have dirt and dust everywhere. Professional remodelers know how to protect your furniture and other household items during demolition so that they aren’t exposed to dangerous materials or, worse, completely ruined.
Debris Removal and Recycling
If you do all of the demo yourself, what are your plans for the debris removal? If you simply toss hundreds or thousands of pounds of junk into a dumpster, it’s going to go straight to a landfill. When you work with a professional demolition and debris removal company, you can ensure that some of that material is recycled whenever possible.
You hire professionals to remodel your home and considering all of the risks we just listed, it might make sense to trust them with the demolition as well. While those home renovation TV shows make demo work look simple and fun, this isn’t something you should tackle without the right resources and experience.