Kitchen Renovation: Demolition! And why we decided to not DIY this part

Kitchen Demolition


Finally! We’ve started our kitchen remodel today and our old, nasty kitchen has been demolished. I was dreading this day for a while but it just means we are one step closer to the finished project. I think we’ve chosen a great construction company (TME Construction Inc.) who can get this done in a reasonable amount of time. Barring any unforeseen disasters (which are probably inevitable) this should take about three to four weeks, start to finish.

Since we’re DIYing a lot of our kitchen, one of the things we chose not to DIY was the demolition. It’s awfully fun to watch home building shows and see owners demolishing their kitchens, but here’s my reasoning:

Cabinet installation: around $3500

Demolition and haul away of existing kitchen: $600

Part of taking on the cabinet installation was to eliminate a large line item in the budget. We wanted to simplify the process as much as possible, meaning we weren’t taking on every little chore we were capable of and instead sticking to one big project. I was concerned about getting in the way of our contractor and his crew, since they work best on their own and without clients butting in to change a light fixture. The majority of the time, a professional crew can complete tasks faster, with more competence and less hassle than the rest of us, just like all professionals in their trade.

If you’re doing your kitchen on a very tight budget and every penny counts, then absolutely DIY the demolition. $600 can buy you some nice materials for your kitchen. Work with your contractor and determine what you can DIY and what you’d like them to accomplish. Contractors are becoming more accustomed to dealing with DIYers. If they aren’t working to work this way, then they’re probably not the right fit for your renovation. I ran into a couple such contractors during my search and I’m glad they didn’t waste my time and I’m sure they’re glad I didn’t try to pester them with my budget.

No matter what you’re budget may be, ALWAYS include a 15-20% contingency fund. We’ve already run into some surprises and have had to dip into these funds. It’s not fun.

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