What Really Happens On "Demo Day"

If you’re not familiar with the term, “Demo day” is the day demolition starts on a renovation project. It can be exciting, but also very frightening. But, if you plan right, everything can go smoothly. Although some well-staged television shows give you a well-curated idea of what demo day entails, we find that many clients are surprised at how a real demo day unfolds.

As a company that has designed and completed complicated renovations in older homes for many decades, we can tell you that demo day is, in fact, very exciting! Exciting because it brings us one step closer to clients seeing the well-discussed vision we have been illustrating throughout the project preparation. Even though, after the demolition, there is still a lot of work to be done to get us to the point where the vision is realized, this anticipated moment is a move forward from the planning stage to a stage of construction action.

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Our proven process involves an in-depth design and planning stage. In this process, every detail has been well laid out long before demolition, so the stress is off the client to make large complicated decisions on the fly. This makes the project much more enjoyable, and although sometimes we have to make decisions while in progress when encountering something unexpected, all of the major decisions have been made well in advance of this stage. At this point, we can quickly come up with design solutions to keep the project moving forward.

Here are a few things that homeowners might see on demo day.

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Demolition can be slow and methodical

Carefully dismantling existing cabinetry and or walls and floors needs to be done with great precision and expertise. This is so we can protect your home from any unnecessary damage and ensure no one gets injured in the process. All those sledge hammers might be used for dismantling sections of walls but you will see us removing cabinetry by simply unscrewing it from the wall, versus smashing it into a million pieces needlessly. Sometimes this surprises homeowners.

Homeowners are sometimes surprised at the lack of chaos on Demo Day

Demolition should not be chaotic. Although on the first day, contractors, craftsmen, and tradesmen might be on site to refamiliarize themselves with the project, there is a well-designed plan that has been outlined, sometimes many months before the start of a project. Everyone knows what they’re doing and how the demolition is going to proceed. Because I use the same team of contractors and craftsmen on my projects, everyone is familiar with each other. Rest assured, a great deal of discussion has gone on behind the scenes about how things are going to proceed throughout the project.

Reviewing the details with my team

On the first day of renovation, I am on-site with the team to coordinate intricate details and review the job site spec book. This includes all of the original drawings, measurements, design, details, and spec sheets for any products we have already purchased and are using for the renovation. The book also includes diagrams, installation instructions, and all of the documentation needed right down to the last and smallest detail. Although I am on-site to oversee all of these items throughout the project and my contractors already have reviewed copies of these documents, I always keep my job site book on hand for easy access. With all of the details and information at their fingertips, there is no stopping the construction to make decisions on things that have already been decided.

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One of the most important things about demolition day is what is revealed as demolition progresses

Any unknown elements about the home should be revealed as walls are opened up. For instance, my contractors can make their best guess as to what might be in a wall, but until we open it, especially in an older home, we might not know for sure. So, the most important thing about demo day is what is revealed as we progress. During those early days of the project (yes, the demo could take several days, depending on the size of the scope of the project), any obstacles or unknown elements will be looked at by the contractors and myself. This way, we can assess and discuss any changes that need to be made or obstacles that need to be “creatively overcome.” Every house is so different and unique, but with our combination of skills, we can come up with “creative solutions” for just about anything revealed during the demo.

Building Permits

All of the necessary permits will have been filed before demo day by our contractors, so homeowners don’t need to worry. Especially since it sometimes takes a little bit of a wait to get the necessary building permits needed to do a renovation. Our contractors do this regularly in numerous towns and cities and are very familiar with the process, thus making this step of the project go very smoothly. On demo day, clients can rest assured that we have all the necessary permits ready to go.

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Preparing The Construction Zone/ Dumpster Placement

Whether demolition involves completely demolishing a room before renovation or the removal of walls to join spaces to create larger rooms, the process can be very messy. Again, planning is everything. Making sure that when demolition begins, the necessary dumpster is perfectly placed and our team can dispose of building materials is important. It creates a better environment for our workers as well as our clients since you might still be living in the home as areas are renovated. The first few hours of the demo day might include securing the space and creating that construction zone. Areas might be sectioned off with plastic to contain the dust as much as possible and to protect the home during construction.

Product Deliveries

For several months before construction begins, we have been working behind the scenes ordering all of the products, fixtures, flooring, tile, appliances, furnishings, and materials that will be used for your design and renovation project. These products are being held offsite. Once construction begins, so does the process of delivering all of these products to your home. Items will be scheduled for delivery as the project progresses and as items are needed or as space permits.

Clean up

After demolition, there is a lot of time spent cleaning up the construction zone so construction can continue on the project. The first step of the project has been completed, and before long, the transformation of the space will take place!

Hopefully, this has given you a behind the scenes look at our “Demo Day” process.

Until Next Time,


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