The Subtle Persuasion of a Sledgehammer

Picture of Dawn Matze, the Woman Builder

Dawn Matze, the Woman Builder

Dream. Build. Love.

You know you want to.


s it just me…or is everyone happy destroying things when it seems like you’re doing something wrong?

It feels really good to be a little bad sometimes! We place ourselves under so much pressure in life to do all the right things that acting out with physical force feels good. I have so much misdirected frustration these days (viruses, politics, government oversight, judgy people in public, feeling out of control with quarantine, and plain worry about income) that demolition is the perfect fix.


he workout is amazing.

Swing that sledgehammer and make a huge hole in the drywall. Just the weight of its head is enough to put you on the floor with the first swing. The key is to let the tool do the work; no need to muscle it.

As a woman general contractor I love this phase…well at least for the first hour. I exert so much energy releasing stress. It’s a full blown workout!

The “sledge workout” is not just for girls either. The men in my crew jump when they get to do my demolitions. Not only do you reduce stress, but you become a genuine sweaty hot mess! I wonder how your Apple watch would categorize the sledge workout for calories burned?


reating a mess somehow frees us.

Did you ever make mud pies as a kid? I did – it was great for the imagination, and what a mess!

When your sledgehammer hits the wall your imagination is free to roam. Boom! Out flies the dust and dirt and flying debris. Oh how good it feels for the soul. Demolition is a therapy of sorts, freeing your mind in the mess.

Don’t be careful. Don’t be shy. Put your whole self into it (as long as the sledgehammer handle doesn’t hit you in the face, like I’ve done). The mess just feels right. There’s no need to be neat and tidy. Let things fly everywhere. Demolition is a must-do mess if you want new and fresh in your life, so go for it and swing. Swing hard and let er’ rip.

“I’ve never been happier yelling out ‘whoo-hoo!’ than with a room full of laborer guys feeling the same way as I do, all of us swingin’ that sledgehammer into the wall.”


emo is like detox.

I know it sounds crazy but a demo is similar to when you get rid of the junk and clogged-up old food and blow out your intestines. Okay, that was gross, but you get the idea. Detox your home-demolition with your sledgehammer and clean out the garbage for good. A new vision is coming and there’s no room for the old-school look. Your home is your temple, just like your body. Demolition starts a chain of events towards a refresh and renewal.


hange is good.

Change in your surroundings is scientifically proven to change your mindset and encourage your best and new self. Demolition is the invitation at the door for this change. Your most creative self comes out.

Destroy first, and then build back to a beautiful nest. When a forest fire burns down an entire forest the new spring growth has a chance to rise up. The ashes feed the new seedlings with nutrients.

We are so in love with building and remodeling in America that seeing a new home helps us to again embrace our love for living. A fresh new cocoon emerges. Change brings us a young and exciting energy, a new aura in which to live happily.


mbrace the letting go of demo with your whole being.

Don’t hold yourself back people; now is the time. Some folks are so tightly wrapped around the axle that demo is just the thing to release habitual discomfort. Play loud music, and dance around. Lose yourself in the moment of mess. Generally, I am a serious gal on a mission but somehow demolition gets my juices flowing again.

I have found that when I’m doing a demo most owners don’t want to be involved in the dirt, chaos, stink and dust of it. What a shame! Allowing yourself to get down and dirty can be wonderfully freeing. Simply follow with a long shower and a full bar of great-smelling soap!

I’ve never been happier yelling out ‘whoo-hoo!’ than with a room full of laborer guys feeling the same way as I do, all of us swingin’ that sledgehammer into the wall.

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