Please note that prepping correctly is really important when undertaking any DIY project. We’ve already talked about keeping a clean workspace in a previous article but there is more than that to ensuring you are prepped correctly. You need to be comfortable handling heavy tools and equipment, using force and being physical.
Make sure you use the correct Personal Protective Equipment and if there is something you aren’t sure about then call in the professionals!
Remember that only a qualified electrician and plumber can remove things like powerpoints and disconnect appliances.
If you are going to demo your current kitchen yourself then check out our guide below for a few tips:
Turn off your electricity. Turn the mains off to your house and think about taping your mains box up so that no one can turn the power back on accidentally. Invest in a voltage tester from your local Bunnings Warehouse so you can be sure there is no electricity running through any appliances. Make sure you call a qualified electrician to remove any powerpoints and make cables safe prior to removing your kitchen.
Turn off your water. To save yourself a flooded house and a lot of trouble, turn the water off to your house. If you aren’t sure where to turn your water off then your local council may be able to guide you. Don’t hesitate to call in a professional if need be.
Turn off your gas. If you have gas appliances then make sure you turn them off at the valve (usually behind the appliance). Alternatively, gas may be turned off at your gas meter (be sure to re-light your gas hot water service after you’re done). Speak to a professional about disconnecting your gas.
Protect your floors. Cover your floors with hardboard or a drop cloth so your floors are protected. Demolition is messy work and you want to prevent scratches, dents and other damage to your floors. Trust us, you will drop something heavy or drag something sharp at some stage!
Take down art, fixtures and fittings. Want to keep your artwork, light fittings and handles safe? Then remove them, label them and store them somewhere safe. A qualified electrician will assist with any light fittings that need to be removed.
Seal off your space. If it’s practical then try to seal your work zone. That will help to keep dust and dirt out of the rest of your home.
Use the right tools. Do some research and speak to the right people about what tools to use. It will keep you safer, keep your demo cleaner and best of all will make your life easier! Suggested tools might be a drill, hammer, pry bar, scraper and a circular saw.
Hire a skip bin. Don’t forget to hire a skip or a rubbish trailer before you start demolition. You don’t want building materials lying around your home – it’s asking for trouble.
PPE. Get your personal protective equipment on before you start any demolition.
Sink. Carefully cut the silicone bead with a Stanley knife then use a pry bar and hammer to help lift it out. Once you have an edge out you could also use wooden planks to help leverage the sink out of place.
Benchtops and splashbacks. Remove any screws that are holding benchtops in place. If you can lift the benchtop off then do so, otherwise you may need a pry bar to help you out. If the benchtop is too heavy for one person and you don’t have a second pair of hands to help then you could cut the benchtop into more manageable pieces. When removing your kitchen splashback, we recommend using a clean PVC self adhesive film to protect yourself from the glass. Pry your splashback off the wall as carefully as possible and try to avoid and sharp shards as much as you can.
Base cabinets. Remove drawers, doors and shelves. Store and label all your kitchen items so they are easy to find when your new kitchen is built. Now you can remove any screws that are fixing the cabinets to the walls. If the cabinets are stuck on the wall you may need to use a pry bar to remove them. Once they are free from the wall then remove any screws that are attaching the cabinets together. Finally, take the carcass apart and store out of your work zone or throw straight in the skip bin. If the kitchen is going to be used by someone else for a second life then help them out by bagging the screws and labelling the parts as you go along.
Wall cabinets. We recommend you remove your wall cabinets before any base cabinets so that you can use the existing base cabinets as a resting point. It’s best to use at least two pairs of hands here, or a cabinet support if you have one. Firstly, locate which screws are holding your cabinet to the wall. Then start by removing the screws holding your cabinets together. After you’ve done that, carefully remove the screws that hold the cabinets to the wall and bring them to the ground. Save and label any parts or throw the old kitchen straight in the skip bin as mentioned above.
Appliances. Use your voltage tester to ensure there is no power going through any appliances before you remove them. Remember to turn your electricity, water and gas off before taking any appliances out.
By taking your time with demolition you will keep your work zone safe and minimise damage to your home.
*Please make sure you contact a licenced builder, electrician and plumber to disconnect/connect any services you may require. This work should not be undertaken by someone inexperienced who isn’t qualified to perform such tasks.
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