Save Money and do the Demolition Yourself

Grab a hammer and a crow bar and rip out that old kitchen. Your budget will thank you.

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You can knock hundreds, even thousands of dollars off your kitchen remodeling cost if you rip out the old kitchen yourself. Here are tips for removing the appliances, cabinets and fixtures yourself.

Prep the Space

1. Turn off the electricity in the kitchen at the breaker box. Put a piece of tape over the breakers so no one turns them on by mistake while you’re working. You don’t want to get electrocuted.

2. Turn off the water. You can do this below the kitchen sink.

3. Turn off the gas. If you have gas appliances, turn them off at the valve that’s usually behind the appliance. To get to the valve, pull the appliance out carefully so you won’t yank the hose out of the valve.

4. Rent a dolly for moving the heaviest appliances. You can rent one at most home improvement center or equipment rental centers.

5. Throw a drop cloth over the floor. This will prevent scratches and other damage. If you are ripping out the floor, too, don’t worry about it.

6. Rent a dumpster. You’ll need a six-cubic yard one for the debris from the average-sized kitchen. You can rent one at home improvement stores.

Now you’re ready to begin removing the old kitchen, piece by piece.

Remove the Old Kitchen

1. Garbage disposal: Use channel lock pliers to loosen the compression nut on the garbage disposal. Once you do this and remove the retaining ring, the disposal unit will fall off. Have someone there ready to catch it.

2. Sink: Use a utility knife to cut the silicone bead on the edges of the sink holding it to the counter. Use a pry bar and a hammer to lift it out. Place pieces of 2 x 4 wood under the edges of the sink as you loosen it. Then lift it out.

3. Cabinets: Empty everything out. Remove the doors and drawers. If you are going to reuse them in another part of the house or donate them to charity or thrift store, label each door and drawer so they can be reassembled. Tape the screws to the hinges. Use a pry bar to take the cabinets off the wall

4. Countertops and backsplashes: Use a pry bar to remove the countertops and tiles from a backsplash. You can also use a saw to cut the countertop off in chunks.

5. Dishwasher. Follow these steps:

  • Remove the front cover from the bottom of the dishwasher to expose the wiring.
  • Use a voltage meter to test the wires at the dishwasher to ensure the power is still off.
  • Remove the electrical box from the unit. Unscrew the wire nuts and pull apart the wires. Start with the green wires, white and then black.
  • Disconnect the drain line from the dishwasher and the water supply line from the dedicated dishwasher stop.
  • Open the door to the dishwasher, then remove the screws secured to the underside of the countertop. Raise the legs using a wrench. Slowly pull out the dishwasher ensuring the wires are out of the way. Also, the drain line should come out with the dishwasher from under the sink.

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