Ripper Gloves

How To Demolish Walls Safely In A Tight Space

Looking for the easiest way to take down a wall? We’ve got tight space demolition projects covered.

Taking down a wall is a quick and straightforward way to start a DIY renovation process. Giving the illusion of more space and generally adding heaps of natural light to your property, it’s easy to see why many people are looking to start their renovations this way. However, it isn’t just as simple as taking a hammer to a wall and hacking away, and there are safety precautions that you need to take, especially when working in a tight space. 

What Do I Need To Know:

Let’s start with the basics. For most wall demolitions, you won’t need any planning permission, as you’re not obstructing any other property. However, if you live in a listed building, you will need to check this, and the chances are that you’ll need to apply to the Buildings Regulations. They’ll have to come and inspect the work you are undertaking, and then, providing that you meet all the requirements, they’ll issue you with a certificate.

What To Consider Before You Start:

When taking down any wall, there are a few things to consider before starting. The first and most crucial thing to check for is to see if the wall is load-bearing, meaning that it is currently there helping hold up another part of the property. You don’t need to be discouraged if it is; you just need to ensure that you factor in a structural beam into your new layout. 

You’ll also need to check if there’s any electricity or plumbing within the wall, as these will need to be re-routed. Pipes are generally under the floors, so you should be fine on that side, but wires run all through the walls, so you need to ensure that you don’t cause more damage than necessary and add on any additional costs. 

How To Remove A Wall In A Small Room:

What You’ll Need:

  • Dustsheets
  • Dust Mask
  • Googles
  • Steel Toe Cap Boots or Protective Footwear
  • Protective Gloves (Ideally, we’ll link the new Ripper gloves here when they are released)
  • Screwdriver
  • Pry Bar
  • Sledge Hammer
  • Reciprocating Saw

Step 1

First thing’s first, turn off the power and water supplies. You may have checked on paper that no pipes or wires are running behind that wall, but you’ll never know for sure until you’ve made a hole in the wall. 

Step 2

Remove any fixtures from the wall, such as shelving units, frames and doors. It’s also wise to remove the skirting boards at this stage when working on a tight space demolition project, as these can cause a lot of extra small pieces of wood to go flying when you get to work on the demolition of the wall. To do this, use your pry bar to pull the skirting away from the wall. If you’re looking to reuse the skirting board elsewhere, you can start the process by gently tapping the pry bar with a hammer to ensure that you’re only damaging the wall behind, not the board itself. For a small space, it would be recommended to do it this way, as it means you can control where the board is going, meaning that you will reduce the risk of any injuries. 

Step 3

Score the paint where the wall meets the ceiling using a Stanley knife. This will prevent the paint from peeling and make the clean up from this job a lot quicker and easier. When you do this, ensure that you hang sheets from the ceiling to the floor to catch any flyaway bits. Drywall dust is fine but abrasive and can be very harmful, so when removing a wall in a small space, ensure that any possible windows are open to help with ventilation. We would not recommend leaving any adjacent doors into the property open, though, as the dust can very easily spread throughout. 

Step 4

Ensuring that you’ve got your goggles, protective gloves and a dust mask on, you can now create your starter hole. To do this, tap the wall with a sledgehammer to create your starter hole. You’ll know if you’re hitting the correct part if it punches through easily. 

Step 5

To get the majority of the wall out, cut between the studs, which is the internal structure of the wall. Cut out sections that you can grasp and remove in one go to prevent any excess mess and dust. 

Step 6

You can now remove the rest of your drywall sections. You can either do this by pulling it off or using your pry bar, which will create less mess as you are more in control of what you are removing. Once you’ve done this, you can do the same on the other side of the wall. 

Step 7

You should now be left with just the studs to remove. To do this, you’ll need to use a reciprocating saw to cut horizontally in the centre of the stud. With the top halves of the studs, pull them away from the wall. You can use your pry bar to safely and gently pull them away from the nails that are securing them to the wall above. Repeat this for the bottom halves of the studs. You then need to use your pry bar and a hammer to remove the top plate from the ceiling and the bottom plate from the subfloor. 

Step 8

As you’ve been undertaking a tight space demolition job, you’ll need to ensure that the clean up is thorough as there will be a lot of dust particles in the air. Ensure that you pick up all the nails before you start the cleanup, and after this, we recommend that you sweep before you hoover. 

Ripper Tools:

Ripper Tools was designed to enable work to be done faster, easier and more effectively and suit all abilities. To find out more about our products, click here

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