My Kitchen Remodel – Part 1: Demolition

By Ty Criswell

Last Updated

Kitchen Remodel 1

This post is part 1 in a series I am doing on my kitchen remodel.  This project is now completed.  I am going to write through all of the steps that I did.  See part 2 here.

Ever since we bought our house I’ve been frustrated with the kitchen. It is just wrong on so many levels that I decided that it needs a full gutting and remodel.

I plan on doing everything myself, including building the cabinets, installing the floor, etc.  This will not be an easy undertaking, but I always like a challenge.

This post will deal with the current issues that I am planning on resolving, why I’m going to raze the whole thing, and then show that demolition process.


Current Issues

Old Kitchen

Let me explain what the current problems are.

1. Cabinets

The previous owner made a sad attempt at adding some new cabinet doors and also forgot to paint them.  This isn’t the only problem with the cabinets, however.  There are not enough of them, and the functionality is very limited because of just all around poor design.

They will have to go completely and there is no salvaging these for something else because they are built in place.  A sledgehammer is the only option.

2. Refrigerator

The fridge is on the wrong side of the kitchen.  The reason I say this is because it is jammed up against the stove, causing there to be no cooking space.  I will for sure move this to the other side of the kitchen.

3. Pantry

There is no panty to speak of.  I don’t know where they thought we should keep all the food, but our food is randomly strewn about in all the cabinets and another free standing cabinet that I built a while back.

4.  Flooring

The tile floors are not attractive at all.  The grout is ugly and dirty.  These will have to be hammered out of existence.  I don’t think it will be too easy to accomplish either.

5.  Ceiling

The popcorn ceiling adds to the dated look.  Also, the lighting is subpar by my standards; I like to have plenty of light.  There is currently one ceiling fixture at one end of the kitchen and a fan/light combo towards the other end.

6.  Appliances

There is no reason to do a kitchen remodel if you aren’t going to replace the appliances.  Besides, none of the current appliances match, and they are all quite dated.

Before Demolition

So before I actually began demoing the whole thing I decided that I could work on the ceiling first.  This way I could get it out of the way and have good lighting for the rest of the remodel

It wouldn’t matter if I had the recessed lighting installed when I went to take out the cabinets.

So here is a photo of the recessed lighting.  It was the first thing that I did for the whole project.  At this point I am scraping the popcorn off the ceiling and taking down the old fan.

Kitchen Remodel Demolition

Cabinet and Floor Removal

Once I got the ceiling settled it was time to go after the cabinets.  This wasn’t too hard except there’s just a lot of trash.  We temporarily moved it into my garage and it took up the entire space.

A sledgehammer made quick work of the cabinets.  I also had to use the hammer on the floor because it was impossible to scrape it up.  It had to be smashed to pieces basically.

Here is the kitchen gutted:

Kitchen Remodel Part 1

The washer and dryer in this photo were in the small room through that doorway.  They were moved to get the floor out of there.

Clean Up

The worst part about the whole thing was getting rid of the old stuff.  None of it is useful, and it always ends up taking up 5 times as much room as you would think.

I ended up getting a trailer and backing it up to the garage to load it up with everything.  Then I hauled it off to the dump.  Quite a hassle.

When you watch those home improvement shows they either a) don’t show you any of the cleanup so it seems super easy, or b) they have a big dumpster that they rented and has a ton of room to fill up.

I could have done option b, but I didn’t know when I would actually do the demolition, and I didn’t know how long it would take.  So renting a big dumpster like that just isn’t practical unless you’re a contractor who is going to get the job done in a timely fashion.  And you just charge the client for it anyway.


The demo is done, and the next step is to clean it all up, prep the walls, and install the cabinets.  The cabinets are built already.   I will go over quickly what I did to build them in the next post.

I think that nearly anyone can do this demolition if they want to.  It is definitely nerve wracking clearing out your whole kitchen not knowing if you’ll ever be able to cook in there again.  For a minute I thought well that’s ok, who wants a kitchen anyway all you do is wash dishes and clean constantly.  But you gotta eat stuff, so here I go fixing up a new kitchen.

Check out the next post here where I install the cabinets, flooring, and appliances.