Remove all the furniture, shelving, decorations and other elements from the basement, taking them up the stairs and storing them elsewhere in the home. The gutting process is dirty and dusty and can cause damage to any items that remain in the basement. Completely empty the basement before beginning to gut it.
Tear up the basement's flooring. If the basement is carpeted, use a utility knife to cut through an area of the carpet and pull the carpet away from the floor. Upon removing the carpet, pull up the tack strips with a hammer or pry bar. If the floor is linoleum, cut through one area, and aim a heat gun at the glue beneath the linoleum to melt and soften the glue.
Pry off trim, quarter-round and other molding on the bottoms and tops of the walls with a pry bar if you plan to keep the walls intact. If you're going to tear out the basement's walls, do not remove the trim and molding separately.
Knock holes in the drywall with a hammer or sledgehammer, and pry the individual sheets of drywall away from the studs. Use the utility knife simultaneously to cut stubborn areas of the drywall.
Things You Will Need
- Utility knife
- Heat gun
- Pry bar
- If you plan to remove the basement's drywall, unscrew light switchs and wall outlet plates before prying the drywall away from the studs.