How to Gut a Room

Josh Patrick

Whether by choice or necessity, gutting a room means lots of sweat and hard work. If you're doing a full scale remodel of a space usually requires removing everything "to the studs." A natural disaster, such as a flood, may force you to gut a portion of the house.

Safety is a priority when remodeling.

In a nutshell, gutting means pulling or ripping everything out of a room and getting down to the bare structural elements. Once gutted, you're ready to rebuild the room however you see fit.

  1. Hang plastic sheeting on the door frames of the room you intend to gut. This will limit the flow of dust and particles into other parts of the house. Also, cover furniture and artwork in adjacent rooms. If weather permits, open windows for ventilation.

  2. Shut off power to the room. You risk an electric shock if you try and gut a room that has electrical power running to the outlets.

  3. Remove all furniture, decor and appliances from the room. Get help moving anything large, awkward or heavy.

  4. Pull up carpeting, starting in the corners. Watch for tacks and nails. Use a pry bar to get the carpet started. Roll up the carpet and chuck it out a window.

  5. Pry out all drywall, leaving only the support timbers. Be especially careful around switches and outlets. Sweep up the mess into a wheelbarrow and take it outside.

  6. Remove or sweep away any leftover carpet and drywall bits.

  7. Tip

    You may need to rent a dumpster to hold all the drywall, carpet and other waste from the gutted room.


    Wear heavy-duty gloves, goggles, dust mask, hat and long sleeves when gutting a room. Older homes sometimes have asbestos insulation in the walls. A professional team will need to remove any asbestos.