DIY Network

How to Get A Space Ready for a New Contemporary Kitchen

At the start of most remodels is a good demolition. DIY remodeling expert Paul Ryan shows how best to dismantle an old kitchen and prepare for the new.

More in Kitchen

  • Time

    Under Half Day

  • Price Range

    $250 - $500

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Make Room for the New Kitchen

To achieve a new and contemporary kitchen design, designer Diana Berndt came up with a plan that eliminates a wall in the existing kitchen to enlarge the new space. It also includes a new tile floor, new granite countertops, new cabinets, updated appliances and a cooktop integrated into a new kitchen island.

The existing kitchen has to be dismantled piece-by-piece. Just as every good kitchen starts with a plan, every good remodel starts with demolition. But clearing out the space needs to be well-orchestrated: What gets thrown out? What gets saved? Where to store items to be reused or given away? How to keep the rest of the house running while turning off water and power to the kitchen?

A large renovation job like this usually requires a large (e.g. 10-yard) dumspter. You can usually keep the dumpster for as long as you need it.

It’s time to get started.

Step 2: Turn Off Gas, Remove Appliances

Turn off both gas lines -- one at the appliance and one at the supply origin.

To clean out the kitchen, start with what you can easily move: appliances. It’s easiest to remove appliances with an appliance dolly, which can be rented for around $15 a day. If you plan to keep the appliances for use in another room or to give to relatives, put them in a place that won’t see everyday traffic. If you plan to give them away, put them in an accessible place where they can be easily picked up.

Step 3: Remove Sink, Cabinets and Countertops

Some of the cabinets and drawers from this remodeling project are going to be saved as additional storage in the garage or workshop.

Once the cabinets are removed, it's time to pull off the countertop. But first, the garbage disposal needs to be removed. Most disposals are held in place by a retaining ring. Use a screwdriver to turn the ring, and slip off the disposal. Be careful: It’s heavier than you think.

To remove the sink, use a pry bar on the side of the sink to break it loose from the countertop. Work the pry bar around the edge of the sink, and, if necessary, place a block underneath to lift it up so you'll be able to get a hold of it with your hands. Be careful: A cast-iron sink can weigh more than 150 pounds.

Use a reciprocating saw to cut through the countertop around the sink. Use a short piece of wood along the front of the counter as a fulcrum to pry up the rear of the counter, and pull the whole piece out. Remove the cabinet bases using a reciprocating saw and elbow grease.

Step 4: Pull Up the Old Tile Floor

When appliances are gone and cabinets and countertops removed, start on the floor. You never know what may be underneath an old tile floor, (in this case, old green vinyl tile), so take care when pulling the individual pieces up. For this project, the green vinyl tiles were stripped from the floor as well.

To make the task of ripping up the tile easier, you can rent a roofing shovel for about $10 a day. These shovels have serrated teeth and built-in fulcrum to make the job much more manageable.

Step 5: Bust Through the Wall

This renovation involves knocking out a wall to gain space for the new kitchen. But before busting through any wall, make sure it's not a load-bearing wall. If you are uncertain, consult an architect or certified building engineer.

Also be sure the power is turned off at the circuit box. Once the wall is down and the wiring exposed, a licensed electrician should take a look at the configuration. ?

Cover all entryways with plastic to keep dust from spreading throughout the house. During the renovation, try to enter and exit through the same doorway, preferably an exterior entry, to lessen the amount of dust that can settle throughout the rest of the house.

Use a hammer to knock holes in all of the stud cavities to check for what's inside. Note the location of wiring as you carefully work around it.

In this project, a kitchen soffit vent is removed to fit the new, larger cabinets.

When the electrical wires are out of the way, pull the studs down. A well-swung hammer can pop out most of them. The corner posts are likely composed of multiple 2” x 4”s or 2” x 6”s, so you may need to use a reciprocating saw to cut through and remove those pieces.

Next, the top and bottom plates of the wall need to be removed. Be careful of any electrical outlets. Use a pry bar to remove the plates. Remove all "old" drywall.