Kitchen Reno: Part II (Demo Day)

Full disclosure: Austin and I are novices when it comes to how to demo a kitchen, since in our last kitchen flip we stuck to finishes and appliances.  But I did want to share one trick from our recent Denver kitchen demo that saved us a lot of money, but also a lot of time and effort!

How to Demo a Kitchen the Free & Easy Way

We’re renovating a 1972 ranch ourselves and chronicling our adventures here.  If you missed last week’s post on the plans and design for our new kitchen, read it now.


Please, please, PLEASE test your home for asbestos BEFORE doing any demo work if you live in an older home. We had planned on testing but were mostly concerned with the linoleum and ceiling tiles, and since we weren’t touching them during the demo we didn’t think to test beforehand. We later found out that we had 3% chrysotile in our drywall surface texture, which of course we did disturb during the demo.

After we found out there wasn’t much we could do about it except vacuum the kitchen extensively and wipe up any other dust with wet paper towels, while wearing lots of gear. This did affect our decision of how much area to have the abatement company work in though – we ended up having them do the entire top floor of the house with the exception of the bathrooms. Since part of asbestos abatement involves having the air quality tested afterwards, we could be sure that there was no asbestos in the air from our mistake going forward.

How to Demo a Kitchen For FreeSO if you have a kitchen demo to do and you want to save time and money, here is our tip: Post your cabinets/appliances/the whole shebang on Craigslist BEFOREHAND.

We posted our cabinets on Craigslist for free with the caveat that whoever wanted them had to help us with the demo and haul them away. I was skeptical that anyone would want them but we actually had a large response and within a few days it was time to wreck this baby!

I’m so glad we did it this way.  Swinging a sledge hammer is not my thing, and while Austin did do some work it was great having other people basically come in and do everything for us, for free.

Here is what the process looked like:

How to Demo a Kitchen for FreeFirst, Austin and our new Craigslist friends removed the upper cabinets that were hanging between the kitchen and the living room.  I think all this required was a drill, maybe a hammer.How to Demo a Kitchen for FreeThen they pulled off the disgusting faux wood panelling behind the cabinets…How to Demo a Kitchen for FreeAt this point I think they took off the overhanging soffit, before starting on…more cabinets!How to Demo a Kitchen for FreeThen more paneling came off as well as the counter and stove.  That part proved a little tricky, because we had to be sure to keep the cabinets totally intact.How to Demo a Kitchen for FreeThose bad boys got loaded into a truck, and we had all this lovely exposed wiring to look at. (Probably a good time to remind you to turn your power and your water off before you demo!).How to Demo a Kitchen for FreeThe remaining cabinets and soffit were removed, and in the space of about an hour and a half — we were free!

I highly recommend using Craigslist to save you some time and money when it comes to demoing your kitchen.  It went very quickly and we were relieved our entire kitchen wasn’t ending up in a landfill.  The people who came and took our cabinets were planning on using them in their garage, so it was a win-win!

In a few days I’ll be sharing the full story of our asbestos saga.  Oh, the drama…



Have you demoed a kitchen before? Have any tips for us newbies? Share them below!

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Comments (4 )
  • Karrie
    | 6 November 2015

    Such a great idea… We redid our front lawn in CO, the previous owners used tons of mulch and we wanted grass, we advertised free mulch, just come bag it and go! Half of it was gone in a weekend! Woop!! Ugh and so sorry about the asbestos, we had the same issue in our mid century ranch as well, so stressful!

    • annabode
      | 7 November 2015

      Thanks Karrie! That’s so awesome — isn’t Craigslist the best?! Yeah we were not happy when we found out about the asbestos, but now we know to keep an eye out for it if/when we buy another home. Where did you find yours?

  • nicole
    | 13 November 2015

    Looking forward to the reveal, this will help with our remodel. We have a 1978 ranch and the kitchen is still trapped in 1978 and I’m ready for a change.

    • annabode
      | 16 November 2015

      Thanks Nicole! Let me know if you get started on your kitchen so I can follow along!

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