The Dangers of DIY Demolition
When you’re planning a renovation project, there are a lot of factors you need to consider. But in all likelihood, there’s one main concern on your mind: your budget.
You’re looking for ways to lower the cost of your upcoming remodel. Should you take on some of the work yourself to save money?
We suggest you think twice before picking up that sledgehammer. Demolition work isn’t like painting a room or assembling furniture—it poses serious risks if it’s performed incorrectly. Here are a few things that could do wrong during a DIY demolition:
Things can go wrong with any DIY project. But with demolition work, the stakes are a bit higher. You can potentially harm your body in a few ways:
- Back strain. It’s surprising how much we rely on our backs for everyday movements. If your back is injured, it’s something you’ll feel each time you sit, stand up, or walk around. This can result from improper lifting techniques.
- Falls. Standing on a ladder can be dangerous, especially if the ground it’s placed on is unsteady. When you’re demolishing materials on the upper levels of your home, ask someone else to hold the ladder securely in place. This will reduce the chances of a fall.
- Power tool accidents. Chainsaws, drills, and nail guns are incredibly useful for demolition projects, but they’re also quite dangerous. Whenever you’re using power tools, make sure to wear safety equipment, such as eye goggles and gloves.
Improper Waste Disposal
Once your project wraps up, you’ll be left with a lot of construction debris on your hands. Not everyone knows how to properly load a dumpster. And if you rent a dumpster and fail to load it properly, the junk removal company may not accept it.
Some types of debris will need to be separated and disposed of elsewhere, such as hazardous materials or chemicals. If the debris exceeds the top of the dumpster or goes over the weight capacity, you may need to remove some of it or rent another bin.
Demolition contractors have experience managing large volumes of waste. You won’t need to worry about garbage disposal when you leave your project in the hands of a professional.
You have a vision in your head of what your home will look like once it’s renovated. However, if you do the work yourself, that vision may not match reality. If you want to equal the standards that a professional contractor offers, you’ll need to use the right equipment.
You can see the difference that experience and craftsmanship make. It’s evident not only in the appearance but the structural integrity of a home. When fixtures are loose, taps are leaky, and walls are crooked, a DIY job may be to blame.
Finding the time and energy to perform renovations takes a lot out of you. The next day, you might end up feeling sore and exhausted. It can impact your ability to do your regular job.
Demolition projects in Connecticut are time-consuming. And your time is valuable. Even though doing the work yourself can save you money, it will cost you free time. If you’re in short supply of spare time, it might be worth it to go the professional route.
DIY demolition can pose a danger to your wallet, even though most homeowners go this route to save money.
You may end up paying more for repairs than you would have for the initial demolition project. This can occur if you end up damaging plumbing pipes, load-bearing walls, or surrounding materials, like the floors or walls.
Encountering Hazardous Materials
If you live in an older home, it may have a range of hazardous materials that are sitting dormant within the walls, paint, and insulation. Demolition contractors know how to identify and neutralize these hazards so that they can be removed safely. But without that expertise, you may unknowingly expose yourself or your family members to harmful debris.
A few dangerous materials that you may encounter include:
- Lead paint
If particulates from these materials become airborne, they may enter your lungs and cause various illnesses. In some cases, health effects can be severe, such as lung cancer that results from asbestos exposure.
How hard can it be to swing around a sledgehammer and knock a wall down? As it turns out, you might be surprised. The wall may have important utility lines running through it, such as plumbing or electrical wiring.
Certain walls in any building are designed to support the structure; when removing them, you need to reinforce the floor and ceiling accordingly. But if you knock down a load-bearing wall without the proper preparation, you might end up with a sagging floor or sloped ceiling. If the structural support of your home is compromised, you can run into all sorts of issues, such as damaged utility lines, broken floorboards, collapsed ceilings, and more.
Did you know that your home renovations can affect your insurance policy?
Depending on where you live and the project you’re working on, you may need to acquire permits before getting to work. Failing to obtain the required permits may invalidate your home insurance. If you make a damage claim that results from improper DIY work, the claim could be rejected on those grounds.
Performing your own renovations can jeopardize your home insurance; it’s something you’ll regret in the event of an accident or extreme weather event.
Dust & Debris
Containing dust is an important practice with any demolition project, but especially so when you’re working inside a home.
Protect yourself by using a dust mask while you work. These masks filter out particles that would otherwise end up in your lungs.
Once you’re done with the demolition work, think of all the time you’ll need to spend cleaning up. All surfaces in your home will be covered by a layer of dust. The particles can clog your HVAC filters and result in poorer air quality.
With all this in mind, you might be wondering: is DIY demolition still a good idea? Not likely. The costs of DIY demolition far outweigh the benefits. For your safety, we always recommend working with a professional contractor when you’re doing any type of demolition work.
But finding the right demolition crew is a challenge of its own. Need help finding someone you can trust? At Billy, we help you find anything from carpenters to landscapers. Check out our Pro Services page to learn more.
Kiara provides comprehensive marketing solutions for busy entrepreneurs. She is always open to sharing her experience and giving advice to local businesses by uncovering all the engaging content that converts viewers into customers. Some of his favourite pieces can be found on Classic Air Conditioning & Heating’s website.