Gutting a Basement
Completely gutting a basement is the first key step to renovating this area of your home. Whether you have an old basement or a newer one, if you wish to remodel the area, you will need to remove everything from the old basement. The level of gutting depends on your project; if the walls are old, stained or damaged, for example, you can remove the drywall to leave the exposed wall studs.
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.
- If you plan to remove the basement's drywall, unscrew light switchs and wall outlet plates before prying the drywall away from the studs.
- When performing demolition work, wear protective gear, such as goggles, a dust mask, gloves, steel-toed boots and ear plugs. If the basement has windows, open them to keep the area ventilated as much as possible.
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.
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