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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Stein

The last job - Demo phase 1

expert advice, construction advice
Drywall in newer construction is much easier to demo

Initial set up and Demo.

We have looked at multiple versions of the plan and we are now very happy with the results and excited to complete the build. My clients can’t wait for the heated marble floors and the rain shower.

First things first. Now it is time to finalize and order materials, apply for permits, make a schedule and notify the subs. It is never too soon to have most materials on site, provided there is storage space. Many vendors will hold materials for you for a reasonable period of time. Permit applications are straightforward and it seems that some municipalities make it more difficult than others to complete the process. So, I always like to leave plenty of time by getting my application in as early as possible.

Now is the time to carefully recheck measurements and details. There are many details on each job and even a small error or oversight can have disastrous effects. We are using a floating vanity cabinet for storage and to support the marble top with twin bowls. Based on the cabinetry and sink selected, there is a precise spot where the plumbing must emerge from the wall. We make sure to note this in the plans and point it out to our plumber.

Once everything is on order and I know what the longest lead time item is, I can schedule the project based on that. I don’t like to start and stop jobs. It is inconvenient for the client and it is inefficient for the contractor. So if the cabinetry will not be ready for eight weeks there is no sense in starting the jobs in two weeks.

Scheduling in Remodeling Construction is both an art and a science. I’ll talk more about that on another post.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, six weeks have gone by and we are ready to start the job. We have permits in hand, drop cloths and plastic on the truck, the dumpster is on the way. Whoa! First, let’s have a conference with the client to prepare them for what is about to happen. Let’s discuss dust, personal property, special requirements and whatever else comes up. It is a good idea for clients to pack up small items in the vicinity of the construction. Certainly, it is a good idea to remove valuable objects and put them in a safe space. Always be careful of artwork hanging on walls in areas adjacent to construction. There may be a lot of banging going on and sometimes pictures fall off the wall.

On the first day of construction we arrive at the site and prepare to protect. I like to cover the path from the entrance to the work area with drop cloths or other products depending on the surface. We have done projects where the hardwood floors were pristine, so we covered them with rosin paper taped at all seams and 1/8” Masonite on top of that. Those floors were still like new at the end of the project.

We use several different weight plastic sheets to protect other areas from dust and we like to install a powerful exhaust fan in a window to capture the dust and create a negative air pressure in the space which substantially reduces the invasion of dust to the remainder of the house. When possible, we like to se up a chute from the second floor down to the dumpster. The less we have to handle the debris the better.

Before we swing a hammer, we want to find the water valves, electrical breakers, and other utilities that might be involved. In an emergency it is always good to know where the main disconnects are - sometimes they are hidden and hard to find!

Now we are ready to go. Personal dust protection, eye protection and other personal protective wear is highly recommended. In the next post, we’ll make some dust.

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