Home Reno Diary Part 5 - Demo With Friends

Posted by Jerad Cox on Monday, May 16th, 2016 at 10:16am.

Prime Edmonton Real Estate - The demolition part of any home renovation is always interesting - and our latest was no exception. As usual, we had a lot of people who were willing to come and help out (for a few hours at a time, anyways) as well as a lot of neighbors who wanted to snoop around while we were trying to get work done.

We always put the call out to family and friends who have time, energy, and possibly anger issues, to come and helping us break walls and move stuff out. It is a fascinating thing to watch different people go through demo in various ways. Some will just swing, stomp, and kick and worry about cleanup afterwards, and some want to hand remove each light switch cover and baseboard separately in neat and organized manner. I learned my lesson a few homes ago, so on this place I made sure to hire someone for the day who would help cleanup so a) I could break as much stuff as possible, b) I didn't have to clean all of stuff that I broke, saving my energy for other things.

Speaking of breaking and cleaning, this is probably a good point to make sure that I state that the most important thing when having demo is to BE SAFE. I would never have 2 people in the same area, so that there wouldn't be a possibility of accidents. There would be stations for demoing of 1 area, cleanup of another, then outside work. Everybody had a singles simple task, and when they were done, I thanked them and sent them home. Which brings me to another point - don't overbook your free labor. If they say they can come 6 hours, finish them at 4; if they can come 3 days, only let them come 2. And feed and water them - a lot. Make it so that they are happy that they came and not resentful. It's not worth the hassle on the backend if there is resentment. Make sure they clean up with you as well, so you're not resentful of them that they just 'smashed and dashed'.

One thing that always surprises me is how many people are attracted to demos for the junk that you are trying to get rid of. I had at least 2 or3 people ask if they could sort through my garbage before we got rid of it, looking for odds and ends that they could make a dollar or two on. Heck, even my dad came by and took off some of the basement wall paneling so he could put it up in the outhouse out at the cabin (don't ask). I always think that this is a neat thing, except for when they decide to come around when I wasn't there and take things that I didn't want taken. Then - poof! - magically they never returned. This is especially true if you are pulling out old copper pipes - as copper recycling can make a person quite a bit of money.

The key to good demo, like anything else in home renos, is having a good plan. Having good people is a close second as well. With the friends and family we had helping us, we were able to save thousands of dollars and tons of time compared to if we did it ourselves. Just make sure they work hard, smart, and safe, and your demo part of the home renovation will be done in no time!

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