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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My walkout basement is finished but I hate the layout, so I am going to start taking out a wall or 2 to open it up. My plan at this point is to remove one wall and open a doorway through another. I got myself a mini-sledge, a drywall saw and some pent up aggression (and other various power tools).

Things I am aware of:
- Turn off electrical
- Cut carefully to avoid cutting through wire, pipe, ancient artifacts, etc in the walls.
- Don't remove load bearing walls.

Things I need to learn
- How to determine if a wall is load bearing
- How to "clean up" the openings
- How to hang drywall
- How to tape and mud

I grew up in a household with a general contractor so I am fairly handy and was around a lot of this stuff growing up, though haven't done much of it personally.

Any other good tips/tricks to get me started?
 

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Breakin' Stuff
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My wife and I took down some plaster walls recently. It was easier for us to hammer in a square pattern and then break out large pieces at a time. It's a lot less messy, and easier to clean up than just going hog wild with a sledge. Little less fun though.
 

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Demo'ing a wall create endless amounts of dust. Remove as much stuff out of the basement as you can, and cover everything else up. 2 layers of plastic and/or drop cloth.

Keep a Shop-vac handy and try and keep things clean as you go. If you can, have a helper hold the shop vac right next to the drywall saw as you go to suck up as much dust right at the source.

Etc Etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Demo'ing a wall create endless amounts of dust. Remove as much stuff out of the basement as you can, and cover everything else up. 2 layers of plastic and/or drop cloth.

Keep a Shop-vac handy and try and keep things clean as you go. If you can, have a helper hold the shop vac right next to the drywall saw as you go to suck up as much dust right at the source.

Etc Etc.
Yea, my plan was to tape plastic sheeting to the ceiling and walls to create a temporary encapsulation. I still need to get some masks though. Shop Vac tip also a great idea, will def do that.
 

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If it a basement, walk out or not, the walls are unlikely to beload bearing--do check--

Your sawsall is the best tool to keep handy --install the blade upside down--this makes it easier to make shallow 'skim' cuts in drywall without cutting deep enough to damage pipes and wires.

Also--it is usually better to cut between the plates and the studs---and cut off the nails--

Have fun!-Mike-
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yea, I need a new reciprocating saw. I have an old hand me down battery powered Milwaukee and I don't think any of the batteries charge anymore. Friend of mine works for Dewalt and can get me a decent discount. Worth it or just get something cheap?
 

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Breakin' Stuff
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Demo'ing a wall create endless amounts of dust.
Yes, this for sure. One thing that helped us out a lot was a portable air filter. I bought a cheap one off craigslist and it really reduced the dust. It of course still gets everywhere, but instead of the cloud just hanging around, it clears it out pretty quick.

And get a facemask too. Your sinuses will thank you.
 

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I have done this a lot, and while I may get jumped on for saying this, in my opinion, it's worth the time to take, so....

Get a drywall knife. Mark and cut 4' x 2' or 4' by 32" sections out of the drywall, what ever you find easier to carry. Cut pretty much right through the drywall so that you can pull it off the nails without breaking it. I do it all the time, it works. The hour you take marking and cutting will save you two of cleanup, and if you're punching/smashing the gyprock off the walls, there WILL be two hours of cleanup. There's a trick to pulling the gyprock off the nails or screws, but you'll get it by feel. Easy does it. You can peel it nicely without breaking it.
The bigger pieces you can get off the wall without breaking them, the better. I see guys every week start off by smashing the crap out of the drywall , and I just laugh. You won't even need the shopvac if you do it right. Cut it where you have to, , peel off BIG pieces, carry it only once. Hopefully there's a guy or two on here who is in the same boat as me, and I don't get flamed too badly .:surprise:
 

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I don't use a saw to remove drywall. Just take a hammer knock a hole in it and pull it off. No danger of cutting wires, pipes, and a lot less dust. Then score and break the pieces into manageable size.
 

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JOATMON
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If it a basement, walk out or not, the walls are unlikely to beload bearing--do check--

Your sawsall is the best tool to keep handy --install the blade upside down--this makes it easier to make shallow 'skim' cuts in drywall without cutting deep enough to damage pipes and wires.

Also--it is usually better to cut between the plates and the studs---and cut off the nails--

Have fun!-Mike-
^^ This ^^

Make that cut like Mike says, then you can pull away larger sections of drywall. I found cutting between each stud bay like Mike suggested gives you pieces you can easily carry....and fits in the trash can.

If you get the wife or one of your kids to hold the shop vac near the sawsall while you cut, you will drastically cut down on the dust.

And....put a chunk of carpet or a rug near the steps. It will catch a good % of the dust before you track it into the main house.



My oldest son got to pull all the nails out.



Those white spots on the picture? Dust on the camera lense
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all the tips! i like the idea of cutting smaller sections with a utility knife so i may try that first. If that gives me too much trouble, I'll swap that tool out for a drywall saw and have the wife hold the shop vac up to catch the excess dust. Then I'll use the reciprocating saw to cut out the studs. I also have plastic sheeting to cover everything.
 

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JOATMON
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On those studs? Don't cut....take a big hammer (16 oz or bigger) and smack the crap out of it at the base. That push it to the side and you can reuse it.

I think you will be 'surprised' at how easy those nails bend.
 

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Drywall cutting tip for a sawzall:

1. Unplug or take the batteries out of the saw
2. Insert a blade (preferably an old one - it's fine for drywall)
3. Rotate the saw blade to its forward-most position
4. Cut off the blade ~3/4" from the base of the saw with metal sheers/snips

Now, the blade can only cut through the drywall. It's not long enough do damage to anything behind/inside the wall (typically).
 

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When I redid my basement after demo I didnt thoroughly clean first. It made the working conditoons terrible. I will never do it again. Take the time to make it clean when done.

Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
 
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