In this part we tear down a couple of non-load bearing walls. In some cases Repeat(Sledge Hammer + Wall) = Removed Wall is a legitimate strategy but this Instructable shows a more civilized and less messy way of accomplishing the same thing.
Step 1: Tools
- Drop cloths - Old blankets and sheets work well too.
- Dust masks, glasses, and gloves - Safety first.
- Sheet rock saw
- Reciprocating saw
- Claw hammer
- Scoring knife
- Screwdriver - Standard and Phillips bits are necessary.
- Pry/Breaker Bars
- Hack saw
- Shop vacuum
- Helpers - A great opportunity to come together as a family, destroying things in the name of progress. Just provide a light at the end of the tunnel (a meal, etc.) to keep the helpers motivated.
Step 2: Prep
Take anything hanging or attached to the wall off. Remove screws, nails, etc. Pull everything sitting next to the wall, away.
Use a pry bar to remove the baseboards and trim. You don't care about damaging the wall but, if you plan on reusing any of the trim, use caution.
With the wall now bare, lay out drop cloths around the perimeter of the wall and cover everything you can in any adjoining rooms, drywall dust is the worst.
Before moving on have a little fun. Grab a permanent marker and go to town. Hit it with your hammer a couple of times (watch for studs). OK enough fun, back to work.
Step 3: First Cut
Look inside the hole and verify the position of the wires and any other obstacles. Mark the a horizontal line on the wall a couple of inches above the wires.
Step 4: Get to Work
It's good idea to cut small panels out of each wall section so you can verify there is nothing hidden in the wall. Continue like this until all the upper sheet rock is down.
At this point you should be able to look into all the walls and see what sort of wiring and boxes are in the way at the bottom.
Using the hand saw or, very carefully, the recip saw, cut the lower panels away in much the same way as the upper panels. Cut both vertical edges and then just snap the piece off.
Step 5: Wiring
I am not a licensed electrician in your state (or mine) so take this with a grain of salt and make sure you do a little research. If you don't know what you're doing then get someone who does.
First you need to decide what you are want to do with any switches, outlets, lights that were in the old wall. It basically boils down to relocate or remove.
If you are going to remove just cut and cap the wires near where they come in and salvage any components that remain. It is probably prudent to label the wires with their breaker number and anything they still connect to.
If you are go to relocate then you need to determine exactly what runs where and powers what. This will involve lots of turning the breaker(s) on and off. Drawing a wire map of sorts can really help as can labeling wires as you figure them out. What you are looking to figure out is which lines are coming from the breaker and what lines run to other components (lights, etc) and which components those are. Most likely when you do figure everything out you will just cut everything at the boxes leaving as much wire to work with as possible.
Later in the series (Island Installation) I'll talk more about reinstalling some of the things I removed here.
Step 6: Frame
Insert the blade of the recip saw into the gap between a stud and the upper cross piece and cut the nails holding the stud in place. Repeat this for each stud to be removed. If the upper piece is not secured to another wall be careful when cutting the last couple of studs.
If the cross piece is free at this point remove it. If it is secured just leave it for a bit. Using a back and forth rocking motion and brute force the studs can be removed from the footing. Watch out for the nails that will be sticking up. With all the studs up you can use a pry bar to lift the footing off of the sub-floor.
If your top piece is still in place have a couple people stand under it, supporting it, while you cut the end(s).
Step 7: Clean-Up
Thanks for reading and be sure to check out the rest of the series coming soon!