Top 10 demolition tools we recommend…
The demo tools are out because we’re in full force demolition mode here at the Nest. Although what’s happening right now could more accurately be described as “hell week”.
The hubs wasn’t a fraternity guy, but I think my efforts to get this beast of a DIY project going could amount to hazing.
And I’ve got to think being hazed by your own wife has to be the worst kind of hazing. And although this has been kind of an outlier, typically demolition is really one of the more fun parts of any renovation project. Fun as long as you have the right demo tools, that is.
Today, we’ll share our progress on the basement renovation, and the top ten tools always use during any renovation project. But first, a reminder about where we left off with the basement from hell last time we checked in. SPOILER ALERT: I think it’s even WORSE now.
First off, we need a couple of WELL DUH items. These are the tools/supplies that we shouldn’t even need to mention. And if you’re NOT into using these, then hope that OSHA doesn’t stop in at any of your DIY project sites. Just sayin’.
“well duh” demo tools/supplies:
- Respirator (this is SUPER important when dealing with drywall or plaster dust and potentially mold).
- Goggles (your choice, they are all uber-sexy, IMHO)
- Work gloves
TOP TEN demo tools:
*This item is only utilized AFTER your demolition project. We would NEVER recommend drinking and DIY’ing simultaneously. (And I’ll be headed straight to confession after this post. And I’m not even Catholic).
**But in all seriousness, be reasonable, people. Don’t drink and use power tools/climb ladders/operate heavy machinery/re-enact that scene from the Three Stooges with a couple of 2x4s, etc etc etc.
A couple of notes about some of these demo tools, if you aren’t familiar:
*A wrecking bar and crowbar are similar. A wrecking bar is just larger. But both are needed for different aspects of your demo project. Don’t talk yourself into being frugal and only springing for one. Trust us, you’ll want both nearby.
*Sledgehammer = tool that when in use, will allow one to feel like a superhero/get even with that ex-boyfriend who broke your heart in 1998, etc. It’s like anger management therapy without a co-payment.
*Sawzall. This power tool is invaluable in almost ANY demolition project. It will help you cut through framing, nails, screws, piping…just about anything that stands in your way.
*Voltage Tester. If you are going to take on a project where you are going to need to demo some electrical, this is a great tool to have. Once you turn off the circuit breakers that you “think” power any wires you need to cut, use this tool to make sure. Simply touch it to the wire and if it beeps, then you know electricity is still running through the wire. In which case, you gotta head back to that panel and turn off a different breaker. This is one part of demo that you DO NOT want to mess with or mess up.
*Multi-Max oscillating tool. I was introduced to this tool late in my renovation life, but now I can’t live without it..this tool is great if you need to do some surgical-style, selective, or “micro” demolition. Once you have this tool you will find 1000 uses for it, trust us. We’ve used it to cut through the caulking when trying to remove molding, trimming the bottom of door casings, taking out a small section of drywall without making a huge mess, cutting plastic piping in tight spaces, etc.
*Contractor bags. Not your standard trash bag. These things will hold 40+ pounds of smashed-up tile floor and not tear at all. You can never have too many of these bags and they are a lifesaver when it comes time to clean up the mess you just made.
*Extendable work poles and painter’s plastic. Working on a big renovation, especially while you are actually LIVING in the house can get VERY dusty and messy. We use these telescoping work poles together with the painter’s plastic to make temporary plastic barrier walls to shield the rest of the house from the dust. And it works GREAT.
Trust me when I tell you this little system can save your sanity when the demo or the sheetrocking is happening. The dust these projects can create is CRAZY, so save those marbles and put up some plastic boundaries.
Back to the basement. We’re a week in, and the only light that has crept into this dark tunnel was made by the termite tracks we discovered.
Wish I were kidding. Termite tracks, mold, and mouse carci (is that the plural of carcass? I’m not sure since thankfully, this is the first time I’ve ever needed to know the answer to that disgusting bit of trivia).
Ever had the pleasure of seeing termite tracks? I really hope not. I wouldn’t wish termite trouble on anyone. Let me show you what the damage caused by termites can look like…
Above is a shot of a wet corner in the basement, near a crack in the foundation. Termites and water often go hand in hand. Where there is moisture, termites can often be nearby. And in this case, they were.
Termite damage, above. When it’s really bad, the framing in your house can look like pulled pork. It is literally shredded. And these types of termites, the subterranean type, form these mud tubes, which you’ll also see in areas they are traveling through.
They use these to connect from the soil to their food source…in this case, our 2×4 basement framing. Yeah!! #Winning.
You know when you get a song in your head? Especially a bad one.
And it plays over and over and over and over again in your head, on and on ad nauseam? That’s kind of like what this basement demo feels like right now.
The same old problems, same old song and dance surfacing stud after stud, hour after hour. Kinda makes you wanna run away and hide until it goes away. Sadly, after 40 years on this Earth, I don’t know much, but I DO know that…
“Running away doesn’t solve any problems. Unless you can run away to an all-inclusive resort, in which case, start running faster.”
-the heathered nest
Deep, huh? You can print that one out. Consider it my first “free printable” here at the old DIY blog. And now, me and my sarcastic, sore, irritated, annoyed, and chafed self are going to grab that sledge and get back to work.
Hoping next week, we will have something positive to report. Until then, keep us in your prayers (and wish me luck with my first confession).
On the hunt for more DIY adventures, and home decorating escapades? Definitely check out these articles, too!
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Gail Northness says
What is any other name for the oscillating tool? Or a brand name, or photo? Thanks!
mandy cat says
Never mind the deceased mice, when you start tearing up a basement you’re likely to stir up colonies of live ones you never knew were there. It’s a good idea to put down mouse traps all over the house. Fortunately for us, we had a cat with undiscovered mousing talents. Every day for a week, when we came home from work we found at least one and as many as three deaders neatly lined up just inside the front door, like hunting trophies. We made sure to praise her to the skies for her good work.
We definitely need a farm cat out here. We back to farm land, so mice are always part of the equation. You’re lucky you’e got a top notch assistant at your place!!
Loretto S James says
Wow! you have your hands full! Just found and signed up for your blog. It’s like reading a good book. I can’t wait to see your next progress report. We’ve dealt with mold in our basement. Had to remove carpeting and drywall. Now the sump pump. I pray we don’t have termites also. But, now I know where to learn how to face that – or, run away to a fine resort! Your website is very well done. Thanks.
What a wonderful comment! Thank you so much Loretto. I’m so very glad you found us, and will be so happy to have you comin’ round! Aren’t basements fun? 😉 Hope that things go well w/ replacing your sump. It’s always something, no?