DIY Construction Mistakes That Can Cost You Down the Road

Building something, whether a birdhouse, a shed, or even an entire house, is an extremely gratifying thing. With your own hands you have constructed something of value which has a purpose, no matter how small. This moment of pride is just one of the many motivating factors behind the DIY Construction movement.

The first, of course, is the matter of finances. Skilled labor is hard to come by nowadays and the price one pays for contractors reflects that. This has pushed many “civilians” to consider completing their own projects, even if they have nothing but a YouTube tutorial to go by.

Though a DIY Construction can be a great learning opportunity and can save you quite a bit of cash, stay away from these following mistakes many people outside the construction industry make when taking on projects.

  1. Not Getting a Permit

Depending on the nature and scale of your project, as well as the jurisdiction in which you live, you might need a building permit for your project. Even something as small as a deck may require you to get a permit from the city you live in. If you don’t get one before you build, you risk being fined and having to take apart the thing that took you so much time, sweat, and money to put together.

  1. Building on the Wrong Soil

When you decide to build a structure that is resting on or supported by soil, you better be sure that it’s the right kind. If you are investing your time and money into this construction project, you don’t want to run into a situation in which your building starts sinking or your deck becomes uneven. Either buy or rent soil testing equipment to ensure a good analysis of soil properties and then design your project and choose your materials accordingly. Otherwise, you’ll have to do a lot of, possibly expensive, problem solving due to sliding structures, crooked walls, or slanting floors. Some might argue that there is no “bad” soil type, however, you should be aware of what you are building on and adapt accordingly.

  1. Making it Up as You Go

Every professional has a plan for execution before starting a project. They have likely designed blueprints, made a cost estimate, and purchased the necessary materials before putting a shovel in the soil. Many DIY-ers don’t have the foresight to think through the entire project before they get started and consequently deal with issues as they come up. This lack of foresight can lead to glaring errors, budget overruns, and longer timelines as you keep having to pause your work to either pick something up from the hardware store or start over again.

  1. Safety

All construction professionals are aware of the risks surrounding the industry and that personal safety equipment is an important part of getting the job done successfully and safely. Amateurs are less likely to identify situations in which they are at risk of an accident and what kind of safety equipment they should be wearing. Save yourself the cost of the ambulance ride and invest in safeguards that will keep you whole and healthy.

There’s no reason to dissuade an excited individual from trying their hand at building something.  That is, if they are willing to do the project properly so that it makes fiscal sense. Avoid the mistakes of forgetting to get a permit, building on the wrong soil type, improvising, and disregarding safety and you can be well on your way to one of the most rewarding activities of your life.

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