Demolition Stage

You can count on demolition being part of almost any addition project. As you might guess, it’s dirty business but definitely not all that difficult. So far with the help of a college student I demolished an old utility room that was attached to the back of the house. That rectangular room with the white roof in the photo below is gone!Recycling metal

This weekend I hired a more experienced sub-contractor and the two of us began the demowork in a bedroom that is being converted to a sitting room with an upstairs laundry. Next week we’ll remove the chimney that was previous used with an old oil-burning furnace.

Today, we removed a bedroom closet where we’ll install the laundry in the near future. We used autility trailerĀ  for waste disposal on both projects. It only took a few hours (so far) to remove the closet and take the waste materials to the local transfer station.

During the demo, I segregated out the metal and aluminum for recycling; so far I was paid a few hundred dollars for the scrap metal and aluminum at the local recycling facility.

One load of recycled metal is shown in the photo.

I have performed demolition work before. Here are a few lessons I’ve learned and tips:

  • Plan for waste management before you start the demo – trailers, roll-off containers, and plenty of trash cans as well as 5-gallon buckets. It will save you a lot of clean up time if they are handy before you start the demo work.
  • Designate areas for collecting recyclable materials – it pays cold, hard cash and adds up faster than you think. Also, keep a 5-gallon bucket handy for items you may be able to “re-purpose” – there were several items of value we saved from the landfill.
  • Buy a heavy duty shop-vac and a heavy duty trash can, if you don’t already own them.
  • Buy a few pairs of good quality work gloves, dust masks, and safety glasses. Well worth spending a few extra bucks on hirer quality here.
  • Keep some of the scape 2X4s and other good wood for future use, if the wood is in relatively good shape. We keep a skill saw handy and cut off the bad ends (nails, etc.). We’ll use this recycled material for miscellaneous purposes during the construction process and/or for other renovation projects. It does require a little extra time but it beats buying and cutting up new 2X4X8 studs when you only need a 1-2 foot piece for something. This is good for your wallet as well as the environment.

A few things related to demolition that are now complete as well as approximate costs:

  • Relocation of the water pressure tank for our water supply (well water) – temporarily moved to our mud-room since our former utility room had to be demolished. This required digging up the water supply line from the well, splicing it, and temporarily relocating the supply line and the pump’s electrical line to the mud-room. We need water for the house during construction so we didn’t have a choice. Given the water pressure tank was rather old, I purchased a new 44-gallon Water Worker Vertical Pressure Tank online from Lowes.
  • Relocation of our water heater to the mud-room. Actually, we purchased and installed a new GE Hybrid Water Heater in the mud-room and we’ll keep it in this room. The hybrid water heater exhausts cool air which the dogs will love in the summer since they have their beds in the mud-room.
  • Added a 240 electrical outlet in the upstairs sitting room for the clothes dryer.
  • Fortunately, a good friend lent us his utility trailer; it has been great for the project.
  • I hired a plumber and electrician to move the above; the approximate cost in our case was about $1,300 – $1,500. Add to that the cost of the water heater – about $1,000 (purchased on sale at Sears) and the cost of the 44-gallon pressure tank (free shipping, delivered by UPS – about $350 for the pressure tank).


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