Flashback: Demolition Derby

As you know, we underwent an extensive renovation last winter and now live in our dream house.  But to take our home from this:

Flashback: Demolition Derby

to this:

Flashback: Demolition Derby

we had to get a little messy – to put it mildly.

Our intention was to leave no surface untouched, no stone unturned.  We were taking down walls, gutting the kitchen and master bath, putting in new windows in the den – the list was seriously extensive.  Demo started just three days after we closed on the house (not a minute too soon!), and after two days our little house looked a little like this:

Flashback: Demolition Derby

[lovely kitchen, complete with toilets]

Flashback: Demolition Derby

[looking into the kitchen from the den]

Flashback: Demolition Derby

[the breakfast room ceiling, which was vaulted like a teepee]

Crazy, right?  I must admit, even though it was a little overwhelming to think about putting everything back together it was so exciting to imagine what was on the horizon – our home, exactly as we wanted it.

Have you demo’ed any part of your home?  Did you tackle it yourself, or hire it out to pros?  Any demo disasters?  Tell us about it all!

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  1. Kathy says:

    The vision you had was amazing!

  2. christy says:

    In our last house we demo’ed the wall between the kitchen and dining room ourselves – it took A LONG time, but really made an amazing difference. In our current house we demo’ed our guest bathroom last year. The demo itself about a day, but it took months putting in the bathroom of our dreams because we did all our selves. I love seeing those demo pix!!

  3. Liz says:


    I am so impressed by your DIY demo skills!!!!! Everybody else, you should definitely check out Christy’s gorgeous guest bathroom (which has been beautifully updated thanks to the mad skills of Christy and her husband)- http://www.alilwelshrarebit.com/2009/01/our-fabu-guest-bathroom.html. Totally amazing (the glass tile is totally my fave)!!

    ~ Liz

  4. Tonya says:

    Liz, I can’t even imagine standing in the rubble only a few days after you bought the house! I would be totally overwhelmed! You guys really did a great job though – I just can’t get over how beautiful it all is!! I agree with Kathy – the vision you had was amazing!!!

  5. Averill says:

    You and the hubby were so brave to tackle such a massive project! That size of a project is pretty intimidating. Minor fix ups I can handle, big ones, notsomuch. Maybe I’m too OCD to manage the mess that’s required to get from before to after?

    The closest I’ve come to demolishing parts of my house was removing a 300lb bathroom mirror that spanned about 9 feet. We did it ourselves but quickly realized the only way it was coming off the wall and out of the house was in pieces. So we broke it into tiny bits. It was messy and probably foolhearty but we made it out with only minor cuts.

  6. Joan says:

    We needed to demolish the back of our house in order to add on more space. However, there was a built-in cabinet that had to be demolished because it was part of the wall to be removed. The cabinet was attractive, so I had the etched mirrors in the back framed separately, and the leaded glass doors hinged to use as a fire screen.
    Recycle whatever is possible. The material may have a terrific second life!

  7. Liz says:


    That is great advice!!! We salvaged all of the bookcases and doors that were removed during demo – I’m thinking the bookcases may have a second life in my craft room, and I’m thinking of some art projects for the doors . . . stay tuned!! :)

    ~ Liz