Home Demolition – Part 5: Dumpster Rental
At this point, almost everything that needed to be removed has been torn down. Our progress then is:
- Remove all carpeting (Part 1 of our Demolition)
- Strip any walls that would need to be worked on (electrical, A/V, etc…) (Part 1 of our Demolition)
- Remove (and try to save) the kitchen cabinets (Part 2 of our Demolition)
- Remove the Kitchen’s Dropped Ceiling and Adjoining Walls (Part 3 of our Demolition)
- Remove Tile (Part 4 of our Demolition)
After ripping out all the tile from the house we were left with what must have amounted to a few thousand pounds of tile debris. Given the weight disposing of it manually (i.e. taking it directly to the dump, load after load), it would not have been practical. So instead we decided to rent a dumpster. However, given the size of a dumpster, it would not have been practical to solely dispose of the tile. We decided then to fast track our next biggest demolition project. Tearing down of the rotting, decrepit gazebo in the backyard.
If you’ve never rented a dumpster before there a couple of things to keep in mind. They come in varying sizes, with each size having a threshold weight. If you go over the threshold you’ll get charged for each additional pound of debris. The pricing is set up so it’s basically a bit cheaper to fill up a smaller dumpster than getting the next size up, but just marginally so. The last thing to remember is that it’s surprisingly expensive. Essentially, if you rent a dumpster and fill it to the brim, whatever you originally paid, go ahead and double that. That’s what it’ll cost you in additional weight. When researching dumpster rentals, I ran across a service, bintheredumpthatusa.com. They seem to provide a very nice service with transparent pricing. You’ll see when renting a dumpster that transparent pricing is very important, as once it rolls away you are at the mercy of the dumpster company. Unfortunately, they don’t have a South Florida affiliate, so we were stuck with a local company. Luckily, they did a perfectly fine job. But if you can, check them out.
We had the dumpster delivered to the house on a Friday with the idea that we could tear through the gazebo over the weekend. With the tile already removed and separated in contractor bags, we were able to demolish the gazebo throughout the week. Likewise, we had pre-disassembled the gazebo’s roof. The roof had been constructed with shingle and tar so it had been very difficult to tear apart. There was also a couple hundred pounds of dirt on the roof. That, coupled with the fact that we couldn’t stand on it since the entire structure was unsafe, made the whole experience quite daunting. Eventually though, we worked through it, as there isn’t much more to it than using large crowbars to pop each of the planks loose. This way by the time the dumpster got there all we had to do was scoop it up and toss it in.
Even with all the work we put in beforehand, it still took the full weekend to manually get everything loaded into the dumpster. Much of the timber that had been used to construct the gazebo was very long, so we cut them down in order to really pack it in. Luckily, we were able to get it done and the dumpster was picked up on Monday (I’m not a fan having a dumpster sitting in front of a house for weeks at a time. Not only is it an eyesore, I find that it draws undue attention to the house).
With that, the demolition phase of the house was done. Sure, there’d still be a few things here and there for the next 6-months but we had stripped off enough. This not only allowed our plans to get in motion, but it gave us a clear vision of the home. That vision materialized into a home with an excellent structure and a surprisingly minimal amount of issues. Ultimately we couldn’t be happier.
Demolition work is hard. It’s dirty, sweaty and most of all dangerous. You can have something fall on your head, you can step on an old nail or you can slip and fall. It’s really far more difficult than what I have described here or what the TV shows make it look. There are no special skills needed, nor special tools but the physical demands make it one of the most hazardous things you’ll partake in a project. As such you must treat it carefully, wear proper protection and above all take your time.