#1
Can I do it at home? I'm getting the ebony one and I don't want the pick guard on it. I was wondering if it would still be ebony underneath or whether the paint would be messed up and if It's a simple process to take it off or if I need to get a guitar store nearby to do it.

Thanks
Gear:

2004 PRS Swamp Ash Special
Peavey Valveking 212
Dunlop Crybaby 535Q
Line 6 UX2
#2
Taking a pickguard off is easy, just undo the screws and remove. It shouldn't effect the finish or anything. But I've never took one off on a explorer.
#4
I don't think you'd have to worry about routing under there like on strats.
Gear
Schecter C1 Hellraiser FR
1967 Ventura Les Paul Copy
Marshall JCM 2000 Dual Super Lead