Tips to Prepare for a Home Deconstruction in Denver and Summit County

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We’ve all seen the exciting scenes on HGTV. The confident hosts and eager families laugh as they swing sledgehammers at outdated kitchen cabinets. “It’s demo day!” They cheer as they kick down a wall to let more sunlight in. They’re having so much fun during each home deconstruction they do!

But have you ever lived through a demo day? While exciting, the process can be messy and stressful if you’re not prepared. There’s a lot of planning leading up to home demolition that’s never shown on TV. From filing for permits to notifying neighbors, we’ve shared our tips to help you achieve a smooth and stress-free demo day.

What’s a Home Demo?

Home deconstruction can include knocking down an entire house or removing parts of your house you no longer want. If you don’t need to demolish your whole house, you may want to demolish or deconstruct individual rooms. Think of it as stripping your kitchen down to almost nothing to design a fresh new layout. You’ll be able to take down unnecessary walls (potentially), and replace cabinets, fixtures, or appliances. 

The demo portion of your project can cost between $3,000 to $25,000 with the national average of about $18,000. The size of your home is the biggest home demolition cost factor because larger homes take more time and labor to deconstruct. Plan $4-$15 per square foot for home demolition. 

Completing a home demo normally takes 1 to 5 days depending on the amount of work that needs to be done. But this doesn’t include the steps you need to take before the demo can begin.

Home deconstruction tips for Denver and Summit County residents.

How to Prepare for Demo Day

Contact Your Lender First

If your home is fully paid off you can skip this step. You own your home and have more freedom to do what you want. You will still need to follow any county property restrictions.

If your home is not paid off, you’ll need to notify your lender before you start demolition. Most mortgage companies won’t allow you to demolish your entire home because your home is collateral for your loan. You may still be able to demo or remodel portions of your home, but it’s best to check with your lender first.

File for Permitting in Denver or Summit County Before Your Demo Day

Home demolition requires a permit from your county that allows you to demolish your home. The demo permit ensures you’re the rightful owner of the house and that you’re following any codes required during demolition. Each county may have rules about notifying neighbors, noise levels, hours of demolition, debris disposal, and dumpster placement.

We recommend all of our clients work with a licensed general contractor who will file for you. It’s always a good idea to double check that they are filling for you to ensure no balls get dropped before you even start the remodel.  

Don't go into a home deconstruction alone. We can help!

Do an Inspection with Your General Contractor

Any home improvement show that features a demo has a stressful moment where something horrible is discovered. Think rotten floorboards, mold, or a wall that can’t be taken out without the whole house caving in. The homeowners are always surprised while they scramble to find a solution. In real life, some of this can be avoided by doing an inspection with your general contractor.

An inspection before a demo can save you a lot of money and headaches or help you prepare for what’s to come. Your general contractor can tell you if a wall is load-bearing, and can find other major issues that need to be fixed during the demo. You can also uncover issues like asbestos, lead paint, mold, outdated plumbing, corroded pipes, or rotten wood that could significantly change your budget. 

Turn Off All Your Utilities

Your contractor should be checking this before they start the demo, but your water, electrical, and gas all need to be shut off for demo day. This is for the safety of the construction workers and your home. Your utility provider may need to send a service technician to your house to ensure all utilities are fully disconnected. Contact your county if you’re not sure who to call.

Rent a Roll Off Dumpster for Your Home Deconstruction Mess

Home demos create a lot of debris. Even with careful deconstruction, some items will need to be sent to the landfill.  You’ll want a large roll dumpster to collect the trash. Check with your general contractor to ensure they’re taking care of this line item for you. Most of them do, but if not, you’ll need to rent something on your own. 

The size of the dumpster you’ll want to rent will depend on the size of the space you’re demolishing. A standard-size dumpster for home improvement projects is 20 cubic yards. Most dumpster hauling companies are happy to help you pick the right size dumpster and give you a quote.

Give the Neighbors a Heads Up

Letting your neighbors know about your demolition may be required in your permits. Even if it’s not, it’s common courtesy to let your neighbors know about your plans to demo parts of your home. After all, no one likes waking up to the sound of construction. Keeping them in the loop will help them feel comfortable coming to you with any concerns or issues during the process. You could even invite them over to celebrate when your new space is complete!

Make a Plan to be Out of the House

You may consider staying in your house during a demo, but we would advise against it. Not only will all your utilities be turned off, but demolitions are noisy and messy. It would be almost impossible to get work done or do anything remotely productive in your house on demo day.

It’s tempting to stick around for the action, but the best solution is to find another place to stay

The noise and dust are not something you want to be around, no matter how much you hate your outdated kitchen.

Get Your Belongings Out Before the Home Deconstruction Starts

Leading up to demo day, you’ll want to move your belongings as far from the demo site as possible. Box them up and keep them in another room, preferably behind a closed door. Even better, move them out of the house completely. The construction crew won’t be concerned about breaking your grandmother’s china or preventing scratches on your beloved dining room table. 

In the best-case scenario, items left out will get dusty. In the worst-case scenario, they could be damaged or thrown out. 

Choose Delicate Demo When You Can

Sure, you could smash your bathroom vanity and toss out your old fixtures. But it does create a lot of waste. A delicate demo, also known as “deconstruction,”  is much more sustainable. It’s a process of carefully removing usable items and reusing or donating them instead of putting them in the trash. This is often the more expensive option, but is a great way to support community members who are also remodeling their homes. 

You may be surprised at what can be donated or recycled during home demolition. Saving appliances, windows, and more can help reduce the 145 million tons of construction and demo trash sent to landfills every year. A delicate demo is a great choice if you don’t like your bathroom vanity, but there’s nothing wrong with it. As the saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

Can I Demo a House by Myself?

It is possible to demo a house by yourself, but don’t start swinging a sledgehammer just yet. A DIY home demo will still require homeowner permits and plenty of equipment you may need a license to operate. 

Depending on how much of your home you want to demo, you need to start at the top and deconstruct down to load-bearing walls. All materials must be disposed of properly and meet any hazardous material regulations. The process can be time-consuming and potentially dangerous. 

The cost savings of a DIY home demo might not be worth the lengthy process and safety risks.

Contact Spark Interior Designs for Help With Your Home Demo & Remodel

If you’re ready for a full or partial home demo as part of your remodeling project, don’t go through the process alone. Fill out a contact form with Spark Interior Designs and we’ll walk you through the process to help your home demo and redesign be stress-free.

Additional Helpful Information on Home Deconstruction for Denver and Summit County Residents

Starting a home deconstruction project in Colorado? Prepare for your project with these helpful resources for Denver or Summit County.

Demolition permits for Denver County Residents

Utility Contacts for Denver County:

Demolition permits for Summit County Residents

Utility Contacts for Summit County


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