Kitchen Reno: Demo day & what you don't see on TV

By: Calley Kohlhagen

When you open pinterest, are the first 4 images on your feed beautiful, diy, kitchen renovations? If you're like me, your brain gets churning and add that to binge watching Fixer Upper and you've got yourself a new 30-day challenge! How about 30 days of kitchen renovations! 

The best part about this month is that I am endlessly learning new things with the help of my close friends and family. This is so rewarding, both by learning a new skill but also by doing this myself. (Or if not myself with the help of my friends!) 

First things first- demo day(s). Here are my tips and tricks for how to survive and thrive through demo day!


Make sure you have supplies before you start demo-ing!!

This might sound like a durrrr statement, but it's important to not only have supplies for yourself but for the friends and family members you rope in. The space that your demoing will result in a lot of mess, dust and clutter. Here are the supplies I found helpful for my kitchen reno:

  • drop cloth plastic sheets
  • safety glasses, gloves, and face masks
  • hammer & crow bar
  • garbage bins
  • trailer 

^^^let me explain further off this list so when you demo your house, you can (most importantly) save some money!!


Borrow a trailer versus getting a dumpster.

Bringing your debris to a place that accepts demo material is significantly cheaper versus renting a dumpster. My three trailer loads added up to $60 which saved me a lot! By borrowing a trailer I was also able to donate my old cabinets, countertop, sink, and flooring. Yes, HGTV does an excellent job of showing people smashing everything- but Habitat for Humanity's Restore accepts your building materials. Did I mention that it's FREE! That's the best part! Free and your helping the community. Win + Win!


Plastic drop cloths work as dust barriers.

As much as it pains any neat freak, like myself, to live thru a dusty renovation- by putting up barriers for your work area, it helps eliminate the spread of dust! Best part, if you go to the painting section of any home store - you'll find plastic drop cloths that come in a pack of 3. These are the kind I got from menards and only $5. Score!


Facebook Marketplace lets you sell things for free!

When I opened my walls, I didn't find shiplap 😫 instead it was plaster and lath. Aka dust and a lot of wood. As I had a few options for eliminating this excess wood, Facebook Marketplace came across my mind first. One of the best parts of home reno is that people are always looking for free stuff (myself included!). What I like and appreciate about Facebook Marketplace versus Craigslist is that when you interact with people you know that they're real people. You can even see the mutual friends! Again, free and easy tool that can help you sell or give away your things. Best of all- short on some cash? Sell some stuff on Marketplace and you can get some extra cash for your reno project! 


Be as flexible as possible when it comes to demo-ing and planning.

This is my last and yet most precious tip of them all! Have a plan, but understand you might not get to stick to it. For example - my dream was to open my dining room to my kitchen. No wall / just open air, even if that meant putting a beam in. However, upon opening the walls we discovered my HVAC and plumbing are all hidden in that wall.. Sad day, but I'm adapting. I COULD reroute those things, but in the essence of time and money - it makes more sense to leave the wall as is. But being able to change plans once your walls are open is key to discovering how you can actually transform your space. Pinterest, this blog, HGTV can all tell you one thing - but until YOU see what your house holds, you can't predict what are under them! 

Renovations are tolling and stressful - and demo-days are a perfect way to let off some steam and have a few laughs, maybe even consider it as a workout. I'm so excited to share more progress with you, but if you missed my last post on Kitchen Reno: Prep + Tips - read it before you decide to demo your house! Here's to dreaming of being like a Joanna but in Duluth in Minnesota and living thru the dust..... #dreaming

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