Not only is it fun to get in there and hack into every surface like a crazy person, but it's your chance to make everything look and be new again. This past week, with only a short break for Thanksgiving, we tore into the Lockeland Springs home we're flipping. We didn't hold back; everything was fair game--walls, staircases, doors, fixtures, appliances, all of it. Though we were able to salvage some few things (the front doors and some of the door hardware), most all of it went out the front door via wheelbarrow and straight into a nearby dumpster. (This place is/was a dump.)
Over the course of a few days we had three guys working on demolition--two were constantly sinking their sledgehammer into something, while another was wheelbarrowing out the debris left from all their grunt work. We filled up two 30-yard dumpsters and then had to order a third. This place is big--about 3,000 square feet--and was a duplex before we knocked down the dividing wall. It was also ramshackle, to put it kindly. Not only were we surprised to find that there was no insulation--NONE ANYWHERE--but we ran into some surprises with sections of the floor. In two of the bathrooms the floor was rotted out, thanks to slow but apparently profound water leaks. In one of these bathrooms, we also found that the floors joists had been cut incorrectly. We now know that we need to rebuild this part of the floor entirely.
This is pretty par for the course with demolition. About 95% of the time, you'll run into unexpected "surprises." We've learned--or are in the process of learning--to budget for these surprises and not to let them knock any of the wind out of our sail. Instead, we keep our eyes on the prize, which will be a beautiful (mostly) new, properly insulated single-family residence that someone will soon love to call home.