How to Demolish Sheetrock Walls


There is nuance to everything in construction, even the seemingly chaotic process of demolition. Removing Sheetrock, or drywall, from a wall can be messy, so the right demolition method is particularly important. Start by turning off the breakers in the main electrical panel that power the area where you will be working. It's also a good idea to shut off the water and gas at the main shutoffs, in case there are pipes hidden in the wall.

Things You'll Need

  • Dust mask
  • Work gloves
  • Boots
  • 2-lb. sledgehammer
  • Hammer
  • Power drill with driver bit
  • Crowbar
  • Utility knife
  • Put on a dust mask, work gloves and work boots. Knock several holes in a hollow portion of the wall with the 2-lb. sledgehammer. Make the holes in a circle, an arm's length in each direction.

  • Remove any remaining drywall between the big holes, using the smaller hammer. This makes the circle of holes a continuous void.

  • Grab the drywall with both hands at a point in the circle that is far from any wall studs. Pull the wallboard back gently at first, flexing it. You are trying to coax the biggest piece of drywall off the wall. Working the area slowly will yield you a large piece of drywall, which is easier to dispose of.

  • Remove any drywall screws you find. The screws will be seen as circular dimples in the drywall when you pull at it. Back out any screws with your drill, then continue removing the drywall. Use a crowbar to pry the drywall away from the studs if necessary.

  • Cut the drywall seam at the corner if you are only removing drywall from one wall. Slice through the corner with a utility knife.

  • Discard your pieces of drywall in a stack in the center of the room. Keeping the scraps organized eliminates tripping hazards. Continue with the demolition process until you have removed all the drywall in your work area.

Tips & Warnings

  • When your pile of drywall is getting large, take a break from demolition and move the scrap outside to a pickup truck or large waste receptacle.
  • In some parts of the country, your municipal waste company may recycle your drywall debris for fee. Otherwise, find out which local dump will accept your drywall debris.
  • Always wear a dust mask and eye protection. Drywall dust is very fine and extremely irritating to your eyes and throat.
  • Always wear work gloves and boots to protect against the sharp drywall screws.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/ Images
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