How To Safely Demolish Walls

How To Safely Demolish Walls

Save your money and remove the wall yourself! Follow the Gutster Bar tips and tricks for safely completing the job with handheld demolition tools.

Whether it’s to create more space, make room for a door, or completely change the style of the property, removing a wall can change everything. It’s not quite as simple as taking a hammer to a wall, and it can very quickly become a dangerous job, so there’s a few things you need to know before you start.

What Do I Need To Know:

Let’s start with the basics. For most wall demolitions, you won’t need any kind of planning permission. However, if you live in a listed building, you will need to check this, as you may find that you need to apply to the Buildings Regulations for planning permission. They’ll have to come and inspect the area and assess the level of work you are undertaking, and then, providing that you meet all the requirements, they’ll issue you with a certificate to complete the job.

Things To Consider Before You Start:

Most crucially, you need to check to see if the wall is load-bearing, meaning that it is currently helping hold up another part of the property. You don’t need to be discouraged if it is load-bearing; you need to ensure that you factor in a structural beam into your new layout.

You’ll need to check if there’s any pipes or wiring 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.

It’s sensible to have a rough idea of what type of wall you’re going to be knocking into, as this can affect how you proceed with the demolition process.

Stud Partition Walls:

Made of timber frame and plasterboard or lath and plaster. Non-supporting walls can easily be removed.

Partition Walls:

These are usually a bit thicker and made of brick or block. Knocking through these is usually a tricky job as they tend to be supporting walls.

External/Main Supporting Wall:

Usually around nine inches thick, this is a professional job and would require professional machinery that is made to the specification of a structural engineer or an architect.

Tools You’ll Need:

  • Dust Sheets
  • Dust Mask
  • Goggles
  • Steel Toe Cap Boots or Protective Footwear
  • Protective Gloves
  • Demolition Bar
  • Hammer
  • Stanley Knife
  • Sledge Hammer
  • Reciprocating Saw Blade

How To Remove A Wall Safely:

Ensure that all the power and water supplies are switched off. Lay your dust sheets down and ensure adequate ventilation, such as opening a window. It’s advisable to keep doors within the property shut as drywall dust can be harmful due to the fine particles. Knock a small hole in the wall to do a final check that you’re not knocking into a supporting wall.

Remove any fixtures that are on the wall, such as shelving units and doors.

Start by removing the skirting using your demolition bar. Getting it at a 180-degree angle, you can pry the skirting board away from the wall. Using a hammer or your demolition bar, ensure that you remove all the nails from the wall and place them safely to one side. You can save the skirting boards either to reuse or to sell on. If this is your plan, you just need to ensure that instead of ripping them away from the wall, you use a hammer on your demolition bar and tap it down to pry it away from the wall.

Using a Stanley Knife, score the paint on the walls from the joint of the ceiling to the floor. Doing this will ensure that the paint doesn’t peel, making the clean up quicker and easier.

Take your sledgehammer and start knocking through the walls. Once you’ve made a large enough hole, take your demolition bar and start pulling the wall away. Using a demolition bar as opposed to the sledgehammer will create less dust and mess, therefore making it a quicker and safer job.

Once you’ve removed all the outer wall, you’ll be left with the frame, or the wall stud, which needs to be taken down. Using your reciprocating saw blade, carefully cut away at the frame. You’ll also need to remove the top and bottom wall plates, which can be done using your demolition bar.

Now’s the time for the cleanup. Ensure that all pieces of wall and wood have been removed and triple checking for nails to dispose of. Once you’ve done this, ensure that you ventilate the room properly.

Gutster Demolition Bars:

At Gutster Tools, our primary focus is creating quality tools that make working life easier, faster, and more effective. Our demolition bars are designed to suit a range of projects and requirements, being suitable for professionals and novices alike. Click here to view our whole product range.

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