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Mommy, I’m scared of the basement!

Last weekend was demolition weekend, here are the results!


Sometimes you've got to take one step back to take two steps forward.  I'm not sure how many steps we took backward this weekend on our basement, but it was enough for Katrina to now be scared of the basement and our entire 'dream' for it!  Don't let her band pose (see below) fool you, she's more than terrified that those sea-foam green walls and asbestos forest green tiles will never leave or be covered well enough for the basement to be an enjoyable space some day.  As for me, I'm more charged up than ever to get to work on making our dream for this space a reality!

Katrina's "band" picture.  Notice how they're always in front of brick walls??

Smashing it up

I can honestly say there's no art to demolition.  A bunch of friends and family came to help out  (thank you soooo much!) and we all landed on our own ways to take walls and sheet rock down.  They all worked for the most part since at the end of the day everything was taken down!  The only tips we have are for safety:

  • Wear a dust mask or respirator, sheet rock makes terrible dust
  • Watch out for electricity.  I made marks on the walls where wires were and whether they had power or not.  We shut off the correct circuits before we knocked down walls or ceiling.
  • Watch where you step!  Nails end up everywhere.
  • Watch out for other people, especially when everyone is swinging hammers.

Here's are some pictures from along the way.

Getting rid of it

Katrina and I both hate the idea of filling land fills with things that someone might be able to use so filling a huge dumpster with everything was out of the question.  We were able to sell the plywood that was used for the sub floor and have it hauled away the afternoon of demolition.  We piled up most of the dimensional boards by the curb and posted them for free on Craig's List.

I have no idea why someone would want old 2x4s with nails sticking out but if there's one thing I've learned from living in Minneapolis, it's that people will take anything for free.  If you don't have any luck on Craig's List, try freecycle.

The one thing we didn't think anyone would want was the sheetrock we tore off the wall.  It was in small pieces and pretty much unusable.  Dumpsters are expensive so we thought about bagging it up and throwing it out a few bags each week for the next few months.  That sounded awful so we were super excited when we heard about Bagster Bags.  We bought the bag for $30 and Waste Management will come pick it up with a hook for $90 more.  It's a little expensive but a lot cheaper than a dumpster.  We got the 3 cubic yard bag and found out it's smaller than we thought!  We started throwing sheet rock in the bag and it was full before long.  We ended up having to take everything out and organize it better.  In the end it fit all our sheetrock but it's a good thing we weren't trying to throw out anything else because we were out of room!

By the end of the day most of the demolition was finished, the discarded materials were gone or awaiting pick-up by our curb and we were exhausted!  There are still a million more projects to do, but we're thankful we have this one checked off our list!

Cost breakdown:

Our budget for demolition was $300.  We spent:

  • $120 - Bagster Bag + pick up
  • $65 - A demolition bar, plastic sheets to seal off the work area, and safety gear
  • $0 - Giving away 2x4s and 1x4s
  • -$100 - Selling the wood from the subfloor

Total:  $85 ($225 under budget, woo hoo!)

Did you check anything off your list this weekend?  What sucked up all your energy or helped energize you for the week to come?

Comments (6) Trackbacks (0)
  1. How exciting! I dream of a blank slate basement. Interesting to read about your experience with bagster. I've been thinking about using them for some demo debris myself, but with the southside waste transfer station so nearby and free I ordinarily try to borrow a truck to haul the debris myself. For some projects, it would totally be worth paying bagster $120 to save that time and hassle.

  2. WOWZERS! That is a ton of demo! I like your tips and Katrina's 'band' picture, so true! Can't wait to see this project in action!

  3. It's going to be fabulous if you two have anything to say about it. I have faith in you! You're a great team with super ideas. I'm looking forward to seeing the transformation.

    Great demo tips! I can't believe you accomplished so much in one day! Awesome!


  4. Thanks for the encouragement! Josh, the southside waste transfer station was on our list but I guess renting/borrowing a truck and moving it sounded like a pain. We'll probably use it for smaller jobs like when we cut up the concrete. Thanks for the reminder!

  5. A basement redo is on our list too….but we’re wondering where to put all the “stuff” we’re storing down there. Where did you guys move all the stuff you had in the before picture?? Can’t wait to see the final picture!

    • We went through everything and got rid of a lot of stuff we didn’t really need. Then we picked out the things we use often and found places throughout the house for them to go… it’s not ideal. The rest we put in storage. It’s a pain to have to go get things we need on occasion (shouldn’t have put all the wrapping paper in storage!) but it works. And it gives us more motivation to get the basement done sooner. Good luck on yours!

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