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5 Fun Ways to Demolish Your Home

Categories: DIY + How To

2Modern doesn’t actually advocate you take such extreme or dangerous methods when contemplating a remodel, renovation or demolition, but we can’t help but giggle a little bit when we read this guest post contribution. Repeat: this isn’t to be taken seriously, okay?

So you’re tired of your cracked, peeling, composite kitchen counters. Also: your cramped, boring floor plan. Maybe your couch and ottoman and bed and toilet and, hell – everything – is looking like yesterday’s dog mess. It’s time to admit: you’re tired of your house.

You could go the easy way, opt for a kitchen refurbishing or overpay some minimalist home designer to zen-ify your living room. You might throw your hands up in the air and blame the house for its ugliness, move to a different suburb, and find yourself hating the “new” home five years later.

Most houses have served their owners well enough over the years. It’s a sad thing to watch them slowly die the death of a thousand remodels; a new stove here, a patched roof there. Double-paned windows can’t fix this malaise. It’s time to own up, man (or woman) up, and honor your house with a death befitting the structure that protected you from the elements over the years.

It’s time to blow it the hell up.

First thing’s always first: verify the house you’re about to destroy is in fact your house. You’ll feel pretty silly if The Johnsons come home from a day of frolicking in the park to find you standing on a pile of three-bed-two-bath German Colonial rubble. Check to make sure family pets and offspring are outside the shrapnel zone. Then, pick your house’s death from the list below, and give your home a Viking funeral the neighborhood will never forget.

Method: 104,000 LB John Deere 450 LC Excavator
Price: $60,000 purchase “lightly” used; $1300/day rental
Style Quotient: High

Imagine the neighbors’ envy as you rip through your two-story fashion faux pas with a hydraulic variable axial-piston hammer powered by a 15.7 liter, six-cylinder diesel engine. Your house could disappear in the space of a fun-filled day. True, this isn’t the most cost-effective or earth-friendly method to bring your house down to a pile of smoldering rubble, but imagine the tactile sensation of that first bite of ugly aluminum siding, the teeth of your bucket pushing through to gnash curling linoleum and wobbly Ikea bookshelf, cracked countertop and toothpaste-flecked faucet, engine screaming to push out a steady plume of wonderful, cleansing diesel exhaust. With the excavator option, you’ll feel the change. It’s the next-best thing to tearing apart your home with your bare hands.

Protip: Do your homework! Check around for multiple bids. If you’re uncomfortable navigating the twin-joystick, short-throw pilot lever manipulating system, you’ll need to hire a pilot with a similar distaste for your shabby house. Low-ball them on the labor, however – really, who wouldn’t want to spend a day knocking down a house with a 52-short ton vehicle?
Bonus: You’ll save money during clean-up with the excavator’s bucket function. Plus, if you’ve ever wanted a bigger basement, you’re in luck.


Method: Gasoline cans
Price: Roughly $3.75-4.10/gallon; $30-40/metal gas can
Style Quotient: Embarrassingly low

Depending on the size of the house you’re looking to replace, you’ll need to strategically position a number of gasoline cans throughout the domicile. Give yourself roughly one 5-gallon gas can for every 400 square feet of ugly. Rip your chintzy his-and-her bath towels into long strips, soak them in gasoline, and make a “line” of soaked fabric leading from your “starter pile” of three or four gas cans out the front door. You’ll doubtless find no small enjoyment in the symphony of destruction, but unlike most other methods, the “burning” option is a one-trick pony. Unfortunately, in the world of house removal, you get what you pay for. Try spicing things up with a crowd-pleasing twist! You could place cardboard boxes filled with a variety of fireworks purchased from your nearby Reservation in different rooms. The crowd will appreciate your stylish flair, and will almost guarantee a full guest list once you’ve rebuilt.

Protip: The attendants might try to upsell you, claiming that Premium or Plus gas will destroy your false wood cabinetry faster. Don’t bite; gas is gas, in terms of arson.
Bonus: Leftover cans can be used to power the lawnmower.


Method: 10 Lb Mountain Screwgun-fired bowling balls
Price: $25,000 cannon; $5-10 a piece bowling balls
Style Quotient: Very high

Hit “repeat” on Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, dress up in your finest Admiral’s uniform (or Wednesday night league shirt), stack your bowling balls in a neat pile, and take down your house the Prussian way.

Protip: Watch your flank – The Ottoman cavalry strikes fast.
Bonus: Makes a stylish front yard statue.

Method: Give the neighborhood firebug a pack of matches
Price: 20 minute walk to your nearest night club or bar
Style Quotient: Zero

Every neighborhood has one. The creepy kid who burns bugs with magnifying glasses, shoots at pets with airguns, throws large rocks at passing cars – the type of behavior that’s verging on sociopathic, bed-wetting, future Bond villain-type stuff. Time to put this kid to use! Simply stand out front of your house with a pack of matches, wait for him to creep by, and make insinuating comments like, “I hope I remembered to put the cap on that gasoline can,” or “I sure hope my house doesn’t start on fire,” or “take this pack of matches and burn down my ugly house.”

Protip: Turn the kid in, collect on insurance. Carefully count down the days until he’s released from Juvey.
Bonus: Having a life-long nemesis is considered very stylish in most circles.

Method: Announce free “kegger” over daughter’s Facebook
Price: $0
Style Quotient: Mild

Ask these poor British parents about the power of a Facebook-announced party. Or, ask this Australian party host. Never underestimate the power of social media, promises of free alcohol, and underage hormones. The demolition won’t cost you a dime, you’ll get your story in the paper, and your daughter gets some serious rep amongst her classmates. Everyone wins!

Protip: Teenagers can’t tell the difference between non-alcoholic beer and the real stuff. Save yourself the police fines. Plus, if they find out there’s no alcohol, they’ll be more likely to riot.
Bonus: Your daughter will finally have more Facebook friends than that snot, Doreen.

This post comes courtesy of Alex Levin through our “make a guest post” page. Got a great lead, product find or idea? Share yours and it could make it on the 2Modern blog! Find more home improvement or home destruction articles at The Granite Transformations Blog.

Images: Flickr members ceasedesist, xlibber, peretzpup, The Webhamster, tsuacctnt, LHOON, boltron-, licensed for use under Creative Commons’ license CC BY-SA 2.0 and CC BY 2.0 and the John Deere website

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