Is there a way to remove drywall without exerting brute force? Being that I live in a condo, I don't want to go all happy with a hammer to my wall and disturb my neighbors. It seems there would be a way to saw lines into the drywall so that it could be easily pulled away. While a saw isn't whisper quiet, it's definitely far less barbaric than a hammer.
Well, you really only need to punch one or two holes in the drywall to get it started, then you can simply pull it down with your bare hands. Assuming it's really just drywall and not something heavier.
Sawing lines won't really help, however, as properly installed drywall has screws ALL OVER it - so just go with "punch hole and start pulling"...
Sawing drywall is pretty loud. The drywall acts like an amplifier for the sound. I would not recommend it as a quiet method.
You can use a utility knife to cut the drywall. It would take several passes but it will work. Once a piece is cut you can pull it free. This might work for a small piece but would be a lot of work for a whole wall or room.
You should consider just tearing the drywall down when it would bother your neighbors the least. It goes pretty fast and would be over quickly.
What are you going to do to keep quiet when you replace the drywall? Installing screws or nails are both pretty loud. You could use adhesive, that would be very quiet.
Punching holes and tearing it down is a horrible idea. You create a huge mess with many small pieces. Using a utility knife to cut it is quiet but takes far, far longer.
The best way is in-between. Use a sawzall, or at least a hand saw. You can cut the drywall into manageable pieces that can be carried out by hand--maybe a few large pieces at a time. It's a lot faster and, if you work it out, you might be able to slice it all up in rapid time and carry it out afterwards.
I've done this twice. The first time I helped someone do the hammer it down method for a storefront. It took us forever to shovel up all the small pieces and haul them out to a dumpster.
Whenever I see this commercial on TV where someone takes a sledge hammer to a wall to tear it down, I cringe.