A great DIYer will know a lot about all the tools and techniques that go into building your home as well as knowing about all the building codes that exist too. Any home improvement projects that are done must comply with the codes in place and be able to pass inspection from your local building authorities. Here are seven of the most common code violations many homeowners make.
1. Working Without a Permit
Homeowners are allowed to do their own home improvements without needing a contractor’s license but you will still need a permit. Many homeowners opt out of getting a permit because they cost money but it is very important that you get one because they allow you to know that your work will comply with the latest conservation measures saving you money in the long run and making your house more marketable.
2. Not Testing Older Materials for Asbestos and Lead
These two materials are some of the most dangerous materials that linger in older building materials and there are laws that are set in place to protect your health and the health of others since trash removal workers and landfill operators could come into contact with them when they are being disposed of. Asbestos can be found in many common building materials like:
- popcorn ceiling texture
- drywall joint compound
- vinyl tile
- hot-water pipe and duct insulation
- cement shingle siding
- attic insulation
It can especially be found in houses that were built before 1970. Most housing communities have their own testing facilities but if you suspect that you may be exposed to asbestos then you should contact your local building authority to find out the safest way to test and remove it since it could be unsafe to even try and test it.
There are laws in place to prevent contractors from using lead paint since 1978 and there are specific precautions in place to contain and dispose of building materials that are contaminated with lead. If you are doing it yourself you aren’t required to adhere to these laws but it could be beneficial to you to follow their safety precautions otherwise you could be putting your own health at risk if you use materials with lead in them.
3. Improper Fastening of Deck Ledgers to Houses
As a great DIY project building a deck is pretty straightforward and the materials are easy to get access to. The most important thing when building a deck is the construction of it and the thing that many people fail at is making sure the deck ledger fastens to the house. If you’re building your deck on your own make sure to have it inspected to make sure it was built properly and make sure you inspect it every year.
4. Botched Electrical Work
Having your electrical work done right is not only beneficial for your home and deck if you want to add lighting like Aurora Deck Lighting, but also for your own health because unlike other home improvements and repairs, bad electrical work can be life threatening. A few of the most common wiring mistakes are the wrong size circuit, splicing wires without a junction box, and not using a ground-fault circuit interrupter, GFCIs.
5. Not Following Fence Height Requirements
Fences are a major source of issues between neighbors. Determining where the property line is or how high is too high on top of any complaints you may receive from any local building and planning departments. One of the biggest problems is that homeowners put up fences in order to establish a form of privacy and end up making them too tall which is why there are codes to limit fences on the side and the back of a homeowners property to 6 feet in height and the front of the home to between 42 and 48 inches. If you go over the code restrictions and someone makes a complaint you could end up with a building official at your door with an order to tear down your fence. Fence installation doesn’t need to be an incredibly difficult task. In fact, there are many fence sets like Dezigner Fence that are easy to install and made of maintenance free material options like wrought iron.
So if you have a big home improvement project that you want to do make sure you don’t make one of these common mistakes that many homeowners make. In the long run it will make your home and your experience that much better. So whether or not you choose to do it yourself or hire a contractor just make sure it is done properly.