How to Demolish a Nonbearing Stud Wall
A methodical approach and some basic tools get the job done quickly and safely.
Interior, nonbearing stud walls typically run parallel to the joists above and below, and don’t carry structural loads, but they can contain plumbing or electrical lines. Demolishing these walls is easy and safe when you follow this methodical approach.
To start, shut off any electrical circuits, plumbing, or other mechanicals in the wall. Then remove any fixtures or trim. Next, remove drywall, using a hammer to punch a hole large enough to fit your hand in. To avoid a huge mess or damage to hidden utilities within the wall, use your hands to pull the drywall off in large sheets or chunks. Try to pop the drywall off the screws or nails by rocking it forward and back until it breaks free of the fasteners.
To remove the studs, use a reciprocating saw with a carbide-tipped demolition blade to cut the nails along the base plate. Then lever the studs out from the top plate. At doorways, cut the nails along the top plate and remove the framing as one piece.
Use a hammer and pry bar to loosen and remove the top and bottom plates, and finish the job by bending all of the exposed nails over for safety.