Demolition – Here’s what has to go:

  • In the upper level, our clients demoed sheetrock, flooring, and insulation behind the knee walls prior to the White Crane crew arriving on site. In certain situations, this may be an option for cost-cutting in your project but is a decision that must be thoughtfully considered.
  • Next Up was interior framing and a partial roof tear down, including roof vents, shingles, and roof framing.
  • For the Dormer addition to transition into the existing facade (back elevation), we had to remove gutters and downspouts as well.
Quick Pro Tip from the Project Manager: While budget is a critical part of the design and construction conversation, make sure the decision to do part of your own demo is informed, despite the cost savings. The fact is, demo takes time to be done correctly and is a serious physical challenge, not to mention doing so in the summer heat or subzero winters. Do you have the proper gear, time, patience, and strength to feel comfortable demolishing a part of your home? What happens if you find something unexpected, like asbestos? Will you recognize it? Think about the options, consider the investment you’re making, and do what is best for your family.


Demolition is an important step in preparing the home for all the upcoming construction. To frame for the dormer addition, half the roof and downspouts needed to be removed along with interior walls, flooring, and insulation.

Special engineering usually pops up during framing, so why is it a concern now?

It’s likely not a surprise that when you demolish half a roof in favor of building a new shed dormer, you’ve got to support the rest of the roof and maybe install a few new headers as well.

  • Window headers and a ridge beam: We needed to prepare the exterior walls running East to West to accept a new ridge beam along the center of the roof once framing began, which meant we also needed to stabilize those existing walls for the future load, including adding stronger window headers over the existing windows. Demo was the right time to get the lvl headers installed, given we already opened up most of the upper level.
  • Stabilizing half a roof: For half the roof to be removed, the other half needed to be stabilized until the new ridge beam and dormer roof could be added during framing. Temporary supports were installed under the remaining roof to maintain its’ integrity.


Looking just inside the upper level, notice the added lumber supports that provide stability to the remaining roof until the new ridge beam and roof are framed.
A temporary covering installed at the center of the roofline is used nightly to protect the home for possible rain that could damage the interior of the home.

Demolition is Here, But So Are the Surprises.

When demolition started on the interior of the upper level, asbestos was discovered. Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that was used often times throughout the 60’s and 70’s in a myriad of products, including various construction materials. Thanks to modern science, we now know that asbestos can cause harmful diseases like lung cancer if exposed over a long period of time. Once found, demolition stopped and we immediately contacted a special asbestos abatement crew to get rid of all the affected material, which in this case, was tile found under the old carpeting upstairs.


Asbestos fibers are so small that they are easily inhaled into the lungs. Once disturbed, the tiny fibers can remain in the air for days on account of their size, which is why it is so important to vacate the site and immediately call a removal team.  It took about a day for all the tiles to be removed with special filters and safety gear. Although this added some extra time to our construction timeline, this is without a doubt, an instance where extra time not only protected our clients’ investment in their home but also guaranteed a safe and healthy house.



Demo creates quite a bit of construction debris. Mitigating mess is an important part of this stage of the remodeling process. A clean worksite keeps the worksite safe and the neighborhood happy. Large dumpsters like this one are filled, emptied as needed, and removed from the site promptly when they are no longer needed.
Shingles and framing were among some of the materials removed on this job site. A new roof will be added much later, with shingles to match the existing product on the remaining roof.

Up Next…Look Inside Framing this Cape Cod Dormer Addition in St. Paul with More Posts to Come.




Framing a Dormer