How to Make Demo Easier

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Your home should be your happy place.
Somewhere you can go to relax and get away from the world. A place to call your own. I feel like many people put off home renovations because the time and money involved. I’m here to show you sprucing up your home doesn’t have to cost thousands of dollars or take up all of your time. I'll show you how I am working to create my dream home in my spare time with my spare change. 

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Demo Day is super fun. Who wouldn’t want to swing a hammer into that drywall they've always hated? But let me revise that first sentence; Demo Day is fun for the first 20 minutes, then it gets hard and sucks. Once you lose the initial excitement and the reality of the enormous task at hand sets in, it is very easy to become mentally defeated and physically tired. After demoing my fair share of rooms I’ve learned a thing or two to get through it in one piece.

Set a Realistic Goal  

You’ll hear most television shows call it demo “day” because they bring in a crew of 20+ people to help tear an entire house apart in one 1-hour episode. That’s a fantastic idea, if you have 20+ people that will come over and help you demo by all means pick up the phone. However, if you’re tackling the demo on your own it’s not realistic to think you will have an entire house done in one day, depending on the extent of your renovation I guess. Demo always takes longer than you think, the builder used industrial adhesive on those tiles or they used 6” lag bolts to hold the cabinets up, whatever the case is keep that in mind when tackling your demo. I like to set small goals, if I achieve my goal earlier than expected I can always keep working and I feel great about the progress but if I set a huge (unrealistic) goal and don’t make it, I can start to feel discouraged and my to-do list starts to feel longer than ever.

Have the Right Tools

There is nothing worse than getting into the thick of demo day and realizing you don’t have the right tools to finish the job. You can’t account for everything you will run into (a copper pipe running through the closet wall, really???) but usually you can get a good idea of the things you will need based on the type of project you are working on. Gather all your hammers and pry bars and scrapers and make sure it’s all handy before you get started. I have a small tool bag with full of generic tools (screwdrivers, hammer, plyers, drill bits, hand saw, you know, the basics) that I take from the garage into the room I’m working on so I don’t have to run back the garage every time I need something. 800 trips to the garage and 1 unplanned trip to the store can eat into half the day’s productivity.

Wear Protection 

Ty apparently has the worst eyelashes on the planet and ALWAYS gets stuff in his eyes when he helps me with a project. It’s gotten to the point where I won’t let him help unless he’s got glasses on. Nothing will cut into your productivity like a trip to the emergency room. Take your time, be careful and wear the proper protection, including hefty shoes, glasses and gloves. Your hands will thank you later.

Leave Time for Clean Up

I have typically found that clean up takes longer than the deconstruction, especially if you are living in the construction zone. Drywall has been the worst so far! There is dust everywhere. Drywall is heavy so you can only put so much in one bag. Oh yeah and did I mention the dust? Our black cats are about to be courted by Pepé Le Pew. Leave plenty of time to put your house back to some sort of order, even if you haven’t finished demo yet, it will make you hate the project a little less, I promise.

Do Something Productive and Constructive

For the most part, demo day represents the beginning of a renovation project, and boy does it feel great! However, it can also be a sore reminder of how much work there is left to do. The end goal is to have bedroom walls not to be taking them down. Having exposed stud wall made me feel further from the end than our old walls did. To maintain good mental health during demo I suggest taking some time at the end of the day to do something constructive that will help you work towards your end goal. I sometimes combine this with clean up but it can also be something as small as narrowing down a paint color for when you do have wall again or picking cabinet knobs. Even the smallest thing can make you feel like you’re getting closer to that end goal.

Eat Something​

I know this one seems out of place but it often happens where I will get up in the morning and get started on a project right away with only a cup of coffee for fuel. This works well until 11am. The hunger sets in, tasks get harder and the smallest hick-up with feel like complete detriment. I’ve learned to start off any project day with a filling breakfast and a well thought out lunch. While breakfast is cooking I’ll stash a few sandwiches in the fridge for later, this saves so much time in the end. You will be happier and more productive with a full belly.

Do you have any tips for making a project day easier? Share them with me below!


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