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Old 02-17-2010, 11:42 PM   #1
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Breaking a wall


I have a confirmed non load bearing wall separating kitchen and dining which I need to break. Here's few things to note. I want to retain the top plate. Next there's a metallic door frame (no door, I removed the single door) which also need to go. I have also some electrical lines running vertical and I have access to those lines from basement - so I can remove them by pulling the wires from down underneath. My problem is - where and how do I start the demolition. I can't use a sledge hammer and hammer it through (drywalls) as there's hardwood flooring on either side. Finally, assume I cut through the drywalls, remove the vertical studs (somehow), I am still left with the bottom plate. That's where my knowledge is lacking - how to remove that and then what? There'll be gap between the 2 hardwood flooring,etc. BTW - the gap exposed I plan to nail in some mouldings, etc. rather than spackle it (which will take a lot of time - thus avoiding). Any advice on wall demolition and tips/tricks and caveats - much appreciated.
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Old 02-18-2010, 01:15 AM   #2
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tools and prep


  1. Reciprocating saw, i.e. Sawzall
  2. 3' pry bar - more leverage = oddly more force but also more precision
  3. heavy duty "contractor" trash bags
  4. lots and loads of time into protection from dust and debris - cheapest smooth sheets you can find carefully taped to the floor - plastic sheeting sealing off other rooms
  5. mask, goggles, band aids
  6. enjoy!
(Demo is easy. Finish work, not so. Maybe consider a pro to patch the strip between the hardwoods, or step up and figure out to work on hardwoods?)
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Old 02-18-2010, 06:23 AM   #3
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Rory gave you the tools--When I remove a wall,I use the saws all to cut the nails off top and bottom.
Lay the saws all on the bottom plate and just slice off the nails by sawing between the plate and the bottom of the stud.--Neat and fast--

I use quality blades -Milwaukee-Lenox or Starret --cheap blades don't last and end up costing more in the long run.

The nails left in the top plate, which you wish to save,can be sawed off as well.


There is a pry bar called a cats paw--that is what will make pulling out the nails holding the bottom plate an easy task.---Mike--

Just a note--if the saws all blade gets pinched hard as you cut the studs--stop--
That means that the wall may be holding up the ceiling.double check that you indeed have a partition wall--and not a load bearing wall.--M--
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Old 02-18-2010, 08:58 AM   #4
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Before removing the electric cables be sure you have an alternate route to feed the fixtures and rooms supplied by them.You also may want to leave parts of the wiring in place to use as pull-lines when you do recable.You might even need to keep some of it in use at the end of the prolect as long as it is spiced in accessable boxes.
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Old 02-18-2010, 10:07 AM   #5
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One of the few things I purchase at Home Depot is their really good Demolition Sawzall blades. They are about twice the thickness as even those good blades named above.
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Old 02-18-2010, 03:00 PM   #6
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JLHASLIP-I've never seen those blades down here--I'll take a look next time I'm there.


I'm always looking to save money on blades ,Thanks.

(I never noticed how many Canadians were on this site-Good luck with the Hockey gold metal!!!!!)

Last edited by oh'mike; 02-18-2010 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 02-19-2010, 10:35 PM   #7
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What i did *Thx to U all* and big problem


I took your advice, had already a good reciprocating saw. I switched off the electric to both rooms (confirmed twice). Then stud-finder to find the studs and marked them out. Took a keyhole saw to cut the drywall a bit and then the reciprocating to make neat cuts - vertical; basically took off the drywall btw the 2 studs. Repeated on the other side and slowly what I now have are the bare studs with some electrical panels, wires and the 2 top & bottom plates. I re-engineered the wiring already and now sawed off the vertical studs and took them off. The problem is there's a METAL door frame all this while covered with drywall which I just figure how it's nailed to the top and bottom plates. No matter what I do or try the saw is not cutting thru any nails, nada. It's not even going btw the top frame and top plate - same with bottom portion. It's as-if glued with some type of NASA glue or maybe welded to something. I scrapped off some paint and what I see scares me a bit -- looks to be solid steel. Any leads/ideas?
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Old 02-20-2010, 08:53 AM   #8
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A picture might help illustrate the door frame in question and why it can't be removed.
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