5 Important Things to Know About Gutting a HouseHome renovation shows have made gutting a house quite a glamorous endeavor. Is it worth it? Are you the right person to handle it?

Here’s what you need to know about gutting a house before shopping for that major fixer-upper.

Renovation vs. Gutting a House

There is a difference between renovation, remodeling, and gutting a property. Gutting a house means stripping it down to the studs and completely redoing it. You may be able to leave the exterior intact, keep windows and doors, or leave the foundation alone, but some properties will even require attention in those areas.

In a gut job, you need to budget for all new interior, and likely more. Some houses may need professional, certified demolition crews depending on building material (think Asbestos), so make sure to get these details before finalizing your budget.

A renovation, on the other hand, might include cosmetic changes or minor remodeling without changing the whole interior.

Saving with DIY Demolition

Some demolition labor can be mitigated by doing it yourself, but if you risk damaging the property in the process it may be worth the price of labor. If you have a strict timeline, hiring a crew may also be in your best financial interest.

On the other hand, renovating and remodeling can sometimes take place in part of the property while you live in it, or can be done slowly over time as budget allows.

Before getting excited about redoing a house, consider what your budget, timeline, and stress capacity will allow and whether gutting a house is realistic for you.

Is It Financially Worthwhile?

Gutting a house and redoing it is a major investment. The demolition and disposal of removed materials alone represent thousands of dollars. In 2022, gutting a house, not taking into account any of the renovation costs after the initial gut job, will probably cost between $1,000 and $5,000.

In some cases, the totally updated home will not make sense as an investment, which is why real estate investors tend to flip a house by making minimal, mainly cosmetic, renovations. On the other hand, if you plan to live in your home for ten years or more, you may find the investment is worthwhile.

In order to figure out if gutting the house is worth it, decide whether you plan to live in the house long term, sell it in a few years, or rent it out as a short term rental or other income property in the future. This will help you determine the expected ROI and if it makes sense for you.


Remember that gutting a house is a potentially hazardous situation. Having the right insurance is essential. Even if you never use, and hopefully you don’t, it is worth the financial investment to have proper insurance on the job. You will need insurance on the property, and insurance on the workers.

Even if you plan to do most of the demolition yourself, with the help of friends and family, you need insurance to cover everyone that will be present.

What Houses are Good Candidates for Gut Jobs?

If you have decided gutting a house is for you and you are ready to take on the exciting challenge, the next step is looking for a house that is a good candidate for a gut job.

Work with a contractor or other qualified professional to get an idea of whether a house is worth gutting. Look for houses with a good foundation and structurally sound frame. The cost to demolish and pour a new foundation or rebuild the house completely will almost never be a good investment. Unless the location itself is totally ideal and you are ready to pay top dollar, look for a property with a solid base.

For more information about finding a property in Panama City Beach for your project, contact us today!

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