How To Gut A House Diy

How To Gut A House Diy

Getting the Gut

A true gut means you strip away everything inside a home, down to the studs. Think floors, walls, insulation, plumbing, HVAC, cabinets, fixtures, appliances—everything goes. By doing this, you retain the structural skeleton of the dwelling but have complete freedom to re-think the interior of a home. A gut may also involve some exterior work. 

A remodel, on the other hand, usually means redoing certain elements of a home, but leaving the core structure as is. An example could be a kitchen or bath remodel to improve the aesthetics or function of those rooms.  

In this post, we will talk about the comprehensive cost to gut and remodel a house. Big picture, your cost will be based on the scope of the project, the size of the property, the extent of materials removed, quality of new materials installed and labor required. 


Is it better to gut a house or rebuild?

For homeowners who feel attached to the history, charm, and character of older homes, a remodel often makes the most sense. On the other hand, if you’re weighing a remodel vs. rebuild to make an older home more energy efficient, it can make more sense in some cases to rebuild.

Get the Right Tools for Any Job You’re DIYing


DIY enthusiasts may already have common job site tools like circular saws and nail guns in their workshop, but if you don’t, now is the time to research the tools you’ll need for any projects you’re planning to tackle yourself. For large power tools that are unlikely to be used after the renovation, such as jackhammers or posthole diggers, it may be more cost-effective to rent them from a local hardware supplier as needed rather than purchasing them outright.

8 Key Factors in Building a Gut Remodel Budget

  1. Location: Remodeling costs can fluctuate by up to 40% more than the national average depending on the construction market in your city. Just as it’s more expensive to live in the Big Apple, it’s more expensive to gut and remodel there too.
  2. Age: The age of a house will also impact costs. Old homes often mean old problems that may have never been addressed. The condition of the home will be a major factor in your budget. Be prepared for hidden costs like lead paint, asbestos, and rotting wood. Updates will be needed to ensure the home meets newer building codes. 
  3. Layout: Throwing out the floorplan completely? You’ll definitely be increasing the cost of your project. Structural changes like moving walls will add to your budget. 
  4. Size: In most cases, the cost per square foot goes up as the house size increases. According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost of renovating a 1,000 square-foot house is $19,000. Compare that to $100,000 for a 4,000 square-foot home. 
  5. Labor: Are you planning to DIY your gut remodel or hire the pros? The latter can inflate your cost anywhere from 18.6% to 50.8%.
  6. Permits: Permits are par for the course with a gut remodel. Any major structural change or electrical and plumbing work means you will need a permit. Going with a contractor normally takes that burden off of the investor as these pros know the laws and code and can handle the permit application process.
  7. Materials: Are you envisioning marble and Miele appliances for your kitchen? Then plan on beefing up your budget. Savvy investors shop around for quality materials that stand out and stand the test of time—for less.
  8. Additions: Adding any kind of new structure or square footage to a property will also add to the bottom line. Extending the house means foundation, framing, insulation, drywall and roofing—in addition to what goes inside.

You Can Do it Fast or Cheap, But Not Both


Any home renovation project is going to be time- and resource-intensive. Professional contractors can get the job done quickly, but their costs can also add up quickly. You can certainly save on labor costs by taking the DIY approach, but it will take a lot more time to complete each step—and you may have to teach yourself a few things along the way. Homeowners who don’t have unlimited time or an unlimited budget will need to find the right balance to keep their project going at a pace (and price) they’re comfortable with. Related: 15 Hidden Costs of Home Remodeling

Tearing Down the Walls

  1. Removing the wall coverings is the messiest and most labor-intensive part of a gutting job. Drywall comes off easiest when it’s nailed; you might be able to just pull it off. If it was installed with screws, however, you’ll probably have to back the screws out one-by-one. If the walls are lath and plaster, it’s usually necessary to pry off the lath with a crowbar after breaking up the plaster with a hammer. Most demolition specialists keep a dumpster just outside the room in which they are working so debris doesn’t pile up in the room.


A bathroom remodel can run anywhere from $4,100 to $55,000, depending on the scope of the project. The costs of a bathroom renovation are highly dependent on the materials, fixtures, and hardware you choose, with items like quartz countertops, jetted tubs, and custom wood cabinets coming at a premium. The National Association of Realtors reports that bathroom remodels return around 58% of the cost in resale value on average.

Learn More

To learn more about whole house remodel costs or to discuss any remodeling project you have in mind, drop us a line today. We look forward to meeting with you!

Josh McDermott For Josh, it’s always been about relationships. As J.T. McDermott’s 2nd generation owner, he believes nothing matters more than the enduring friendships that are built with the homeowners he serves. “If I can help both our clients grow and the team grow, everything else will take care of itself.”

How Much Does It Cost to Gut a House?

Gut renovation costs are relative, and vary from home to home. While pricing depends on your location, house size and material quality, the average homeowner will spend $44,850 on a studs-out remodel. Add contractor prices to the mix, and you’re paying an extra $4,600 to $9,200.

To lessen the blow of renovation expenses, you may decide to demolish your home’s interior yourself. All you need is a solid set of home remodeling tools, safety gear and a dumpster rental.

“A big benefit to gutting a house yourself is saving money. It’s an area of work that typically stands alone and is therefore a good option for some sweat equity. It also allows a contractor, architect or structural engineer to see exactly what they’re working with, and may reduce the likelihood of cost increases down the line due to unforeseen conditions.”

Antonia Marinucci | The Architetta


If the home requires replacing or adding vinyl siding, you can expect to pay between $6,100 and $16,000, according to HomeAdvisor. It generally runs around $7.50 per square foot of coverage. Thicker and more stylized siding options may cost more. There are other siding materials available, though wood and fiber cement are typically more expensive. The National Association of Realtors reported an 83% average return on vinyl siding installations.

What is the first thing you should do when gutting a house?

How to Gut a House in 5 Steps

Make a Plan for Your Gut Renovation. Interior demolition can be messy, technical and dangerous, so it’s important to start this project with a plan. … Prep Your Rooms for Demolition. … Remove Interior Walls. … Install the Essentials. … Plan Your Cleanup.

How much does a house flip cost?

The cost to flip a house equals the sum of the acquisition cost, repair costs, carrying costs, marketing costs, and sales costs. Costs vary based on where the home is located, property type, and the extent of the renovations needed, but the total cost to flip a house is usually around 10% of the purchase price.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.