DIY Network

How to Knock Down a Wall

Host Karl Champley shows how to knock down an inconvenient wall.

More in Remodeling

Step 1: Switch Off the Power

If there are electrical outlets or light fixtures in the section of wall to be removed, switch off the circuit breakers to the area before getting started. Relocate the outlets and/or fixtures. Call in a licensed electrician if you’re not confident you can do the work safely.

Step 2: Mark the Sections

Use a pencil and a straightedge to mark the sections of drywall to be removed. Make sure the lines are plumb.

Step 3: Remove the Trim

Use a pry bar to remove the trim from around the door and any other trim in the project area of the wall.

Step 4: Score the Drywall

Score the drywall along the lines with a utility knife.

Step 5: Knock Through the Drywall

Knock through the drywall with a hammer and pull the drywall away from the studs on both sides of the wall. Spread a plastic tarp over the work area before knocking into the drywall for easier cleanup.

Step 6: Remove the Studs

With the sheetrock removed, use a reciprocating saw to cut away the bare studs from the knock-through area. Use a pry bar as needed to help remove the studs and the top and bottom of the wall frame.

Safety Alert: Reciprocating saws have a strong "kick back" that can make them difficult to control. If you’re not confident you can control the saw safely, get help from someone with greater upper-body strength or simply use a hand saw for the job.

Step 7: Clear any Debris

Clear away the drywall, lumber and other debris from the site, including any nails that may have come out of the wall studs.

Step 8: Create a Pass-Through Opening

To create a pass-through opening in a second wall, To create a pass-through opening in a second wall, repeat the steps above. Cut a piece of 2x4 lumber to fit between the studs at the top of the wall cutout. Draw two diagonal lines from corner to corner on this piece to find the center. Drill a hole through the center large enough to accommodate the 1-3/4" copper pipe. Nail this top piece into place, attaching it to the wall studs at each end, to close off the top of the cutout.

Step 9: Give the Wall a Finished Look

If too much drywall came away during demolition, cut and attach new pieces of drywall to square up the corners and edges. Use a crimper and rubber mallet about every six inches to give the wall a finished look.

Step 10: Install the Trim

Install the trim around the top and sides of the opening.

Step 11: Fix any Irregularities

Fix any irregularities in the walls. To do this, use a hammer to create a depression at the irregularity. Fill the depression with drywall patching compound and smooth it down to the wall. Once the compound is dry, finish it with mesh tape and another layer of drywall patch. Let it dry and sand smooth it. Prime and paint the walls as desired.




  • Hand tools from Klein Tools
  • Wire shelving from Closetmaid
  • Sinks and fixtures from Kohler