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I've got a property where a house will built. Currently there's this little hut that needs to be completely removed to make room for building a real house. To keep costs down, I'll be doing most of the tear-down myself.

The hut is roughly 30 square meters and around 60 years old. It appears to be put together rather simply:

  • it has single-pane windows, wooden-board walls, and wooden rafters hold up the roof.
  • There's a concrete foundation under the outside walls but apparently not underneath most of the inside area. The inside flooring is vinyl that is very soft in many places; presumably there's wood underneath that has become rotten. About a third of the inside area is tile (looks like a later addition) and I expect that there's a reasonably solid concrete foundation underneath that.
  • There's no heating at all, and no gas, but there is electrical cabling throughout, and a sink. I've already turned off the main water pipe where it enters the property. There's also a main fuse box at the property's edge where I can simply remove the fuses (old ceramic-body type) to make sure the power's off.

According to the previous owner and builder whom I can't ask anymore, the hut was originally a bear cage from a zoo that was being closed - this was pre-war times when people reused all sorts of things! If that's true then there might be a very sturdy steel frame in there somewhere. It's likely too, because the hut was hit by a large falling tree in a storm once, and it withstood it with barely a scratch. I think most normal garden huts would've been obliterated.

What's the best way to tear this down? With "best" I mean simple, cheap, effective.

What tools will I need? Will regular "household" DIY tools suffice? My circular saw will probably be very useful, but I think I would need to rent a very powerful chisel to remove the foundation, at least.

I also plan to rent a big general-purpose dumpster to put the rubble in -- otherwise I'd have to spend weeks to cart everything to our local recycling center where they'd make me hand-sort the rubble into metals/glass/stone/wood/cardboard/etc.

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Prepare yourself for a shock when you go to dispose of all the rubble. It's ridiculously expensive. You'd have to pay this anyway even if someone else did the demolition, so you will still be saving money. –  DaveNay Jan 29 '12 at 0:19
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2 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

OH, looks like fun! Love to demo small buildings. Basic tools will be great. Large rip claw hammers, pry bars, a good 4 foot demo bar, a circular saw, and MOST IMPORTANT tool would be a good reciprocating saw with long bi-metal demo blades.

Be careful, start at the top, remove the roof panels. cut off the rafters one at a time. then either cut and knock down the walls and dismember, or take off the sheathing first, then disassemble or cut off the framing.

Wear good gloves, boots, and eye protection. I dumpster is a good idea also.

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Thank you! A reciprocating saw is the only thing I don't have. Perhaps I can borrow or rent one. As for gloves, I never had any better than these gloves with kevlar from my local hardware store. –  Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Jan 30 '12 at 19:01
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Why not add in paper or craigslist; 'Free shed pickup only'

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I don't think this shed is reusable. That would require a very careful dismantling, and frankly this hut is not worth that effort. –  Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Jan 29 '12 at 13:38
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@TorbenGundtofte-Bruun somebody might want the "hut" for materials. Lots of people use reclaimed lumber and other materials to save costs and the environment. –  Tester101 Jan 30 '12 at 15:21
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