Gutting a Property in Maryland

December 21, 2021

Gutting a property is the process of stripping a building’s interior down to the studs. Both commercial and residential properties require this process when preparing for renovations or the sale of the property. Unlike cleanouts where only contents are removed, gutting can lean more on the demo side of work and should be done carefully.

Gutting a property is necessary when someone wants to remodel or renovate their property. It’s a great way to get down to the bare basics and build the building back up to one’s individual needs. However, many don’t know where to start.

That’s why we’ve created this article. We want to help you understand the process of gutting a house or a commercial building so that you have an understanding of the level of involvement you will need for the project. This will allow you to best gauge the scope of your project and the time commitment necessary. 

We have been cleaning out and gutting homes, vacant properties, industrial areas, and commercial properties for over 20 years, so if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us. For now, let’s get into the details. 

The process of gutting a property

Like with any type of renovation or demolition work, there is quite a bit that goes into gutting a property. It’s important to be prepared and know what you will be getting into before you start ripping up carpets and removing items.

When stepping into a gutting project without knowledge of the process, one can find themselves quickly overwhelmed, frustrated and their risk of damages increases. So take the time to review the process and plan appropriately before you even decide to take on the job yourself. 


1. Make a plan

Gutting a house is not something to get into without proper planning. Without planning in advance, it can cause frustrations, extend the time to finish the job and increase the risks of accidents. 

  • Mark the important areas. This includes loadbearing walls, plumbing lines, wires, etc.
  • Understand the approach you will take. I.e. where will you start, who will do what, etc.
  • Always shut off the electrical and water before ripping things out
  • Contact contractors, cleanout crews, hauling companies, etc. well in advance of the gutting project to ensure availability
  • And of course, make sure you have the right tools and equipment

The better prepared you are, the smoother your gutting project will go.

2. Prepare the rooms

Gutting is a messy job. If there are things in rooms that can’t be removed, it’s important to protect them. You should go through each room that will be gutted and take the necessary precautions to prevent big uh-ohs. 

If there are important pieces of furniture that can’t be removed or nice flooring that we don’t want to be damaged it should be covered up. 

Utility lines should be turned off, marked and in some cases wrapped to prevent damages. 

Take any precautions necessary to protect the things of value in the areas that will be gutted. This includes the people you are working with. 


3. Get to Work!

Once you’ve done the preliminary work and have checked all the right boxes then the gutting process can finally begin! 


4. Time to cleanup

After the gutting process is successfully completed, then it’s time to clean up. You’ll want to ensure the property is thoroughly cleaned from top to bottom. That includes huge pieces of debris down to all the dust that is created. If you had a DIY gutting project you’ll still likely want to pay for a dumpster, as it makes things easier to clean up. 


5. Haul away the debris and trash

Finally, it’s time to haul away all the trash and debris. If you’ve hired a hauling company, they will haul away all the debris themselves once the job is done. This is usually a requirement unless you have access to a proper dumpsite for debris and the ability to haul it all away.

The process of gutting a property is a tough one, which is why most people who aren’t experts tend to hire the job out to a professional gutting company.


Other considerations when gutting a property

As we have just explored, there is a lot of prep, planning and work that goes into gutting a house. 


There are alternatives to gutting a property

The very first thing to consider is if you really want to gut a property. Many people want everything gone but they don’t necessarily want to rip out the walls and floors. You can opt for a cleanout instead. 

A cleanout is less intensive but will allow you to get rid of all the junk and old furniture. If you aren’t looking to remodel but just declutter or clean up then consider a cleanout. 


Know the scope of work before you begin

I’ve mentioned this already, and as you have explored, the process of gutting a property can be pretty extensive. And like with all projects, it’s best not to go off of the optimal time frame but rather expect something might come up that can slow progress down. 

This isn’t always the case but it’s best to plan for the worst-case scenario then plan for the best case and end up going beyond the time, money and resources you had originally planned for.


Hiring a professional is often a better idea than a DIY project

Many people step into cleanouts and gutting projects with the intention of it being a DIY project but quickly realize they should have hired a professional. 

Hiring a local expert will allow the job to be done quicker, more efficiently, safer and in some cases more cost-effectively. 

Professionals understand what needs to be done and have a team that can get the job done extremely quickly without causing extra damages and frustrations. This doesn’t just save on frustration but can also help save money if you are staying in a hotel or the office is working remotely while the gutting project is in progress. 


Save money by doing some of the work

Like I mentioned above, it’s often a good idea to hire the hard part out to a professional. However, that doesn't mean you have to pay a professional for the entire project. Doing the things you are able to do ahead of time such as moving items into storage, ripping up carpets, or whatever else is in your capacity, will decrease the time and money needed to spend on the help of professionals. 


Gutting a property can be dangerous

Many of us love a DIY challenge, but anytime we step into demolition territory it means there’s an increased risk of someone getting hurt or something getting damaged. It’s often our recommendation to work with a professional for every gutting project for our clients’ safety but we understand some people want to do it themselves. 

For these people, we at least suggest having the proper equipment and consulting with an expert to make sure everything is done correctly. 


One man’s trash is another man’s treasure

At Sanford and Son, we are big on recycling. We estimate around 50% of the contents we remove from homes are recycled. 

We suggest that our clients sell what they can to recoup some of the money spent and donate the rest of the items that are still functional. As part of our services, we will often times do this for our clients.


Need help with a gutting project in Maryland?

When it comes to gutting property, most people choose to opt to hire a professional because it’s easier and the job is done much quicker and efficiently. As Maryland's local demolition and cleanout company, we can help with gutting projects big and small. 

We’ve done the job for the past 20 years and not only do we understand how to get the job done, but we also understand what our clients truly want and need.

Whether it’s the full gutting project or just to haul away the debris, give us a call and we will be out to help.