DIY Home Improvement: It Doesn’t Have to Be Stressful

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Deciding to do a home project yourself is an excellent way to get the project done without involving outside parties, and will likely give you an even greater sense of accomplishment when the project is complete. However, if this is your first DIY endeavor, it can get a little stressful if you aren’t aware of a few basic tips.

Know If You Need a Permit.

Money Crashers says it is best to check with your city government about required permits before beginning any kind of DIY project. Some common projects that require a permit are demolition work, additions, adding or removing walls, plumbing work, electrical work, removing or building a stairway, building a deck or fence, or installing new siding. In addition, although some renovations may not require a permit, some municipalities have certain restrictions such as a height limit for fences. It is best to check with your local government to make sure you are complying with all rules and regulations.

If you are caught doing home renovations without the required permit, you will be required to cease working, and in some cases, you can be ordered to remove the completed work and pay a large fine. Permits may appear to take away the convenience of doing a home project on your home, but they are actually in place for your own benefit, as they ensure the right prep work and engineering has taken place to make sure your renovation is safe and complies with all building codes.

Calculate Costs

 

One of the biggest motivators of doing a project on your own is the money it can save you, but don’t underestimate the true costs of a DIY project. It’s important to factor in every single cost no matter how small. Make out a list of all materials you will need, keeping in mind that you may need extra. For example, you may have conducted measurements and determined that you need 40 feet of fence to fence in your pool. However, if you make the wrong cut or find that one of the boards is splitting, you will find yourself making a trip to buy more – a cost that you may not have considered.

When you write out your costs, factor in materials, labor, time, and permits. Try using a home renovations estimation tool to get a better idea or starting point. If you are still unsure, ask the opinion of a professional at your local hardware store. They help people taking on DIY projects on a regular basis, and they know what materials you need and which ones you can do without.

Safety First

Safety is important regardless of whether you are tackling a home project on your own or you are outsourcing the work. By following simple safety practices and avoiding common blunders, you can reduce the risk of injury and danger. Make sure you are dressed appropriately. Wear work boots, safety glasses, gloves, and a facemask if working with hazardous chemicals, and avoid loose clothing or hair. When you are using tools, always read the instructions first and if you don’t feel comfortable using it, ask for help from someone who does. The most basic safety tip is to always have a first aid kit on hand and a phone nearby should you need to call for help.

Doing a project on your own is a unique and fulfilling experience, and it can be safe and stress-free as long as you are prepared. Just don’t rush into a project without properly researching and taking all of the necessary precautions.

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