Doing home renovation work around your house by yourself can be a fun and rewarding activity if you know what you are doing. Plus, DIY projects are an excellent way to save money. However, if you lack the skill, tools, and knowledge to carry out the work, you are potentially endangering your life and even breaking some codes and regulations.
Sure, everybody is allowed to do some small remodelling work on their house, but depending on the type and size of the project, you may need to get a licence and conduct the work in accordance with your state’s law. So, let’s take a look at some of the most common code violations that home remodelers make, so that you know not to do the same.
Not getting a permit
First and foremost, the vast majority of homeowners carrying out the remodelling work themselves don’t bother getting a permit. While you don’t have to have a permit for changing the sink in your bathroom, if you are planning on doing some large-scale work around your house, especially if it’s on the outside, the city law requires you to get one. Otherwise, you are risking inspectors busting into your home and fining you for building without a permit.
No fire blocking
Fire blocking is installed to help prevent or slow down fires from spreading. In almost all countries in the world, properly installing fire blocking is required by the law. Furthermore, there are special instructions that you need to follow and you need to use proper fire-resistant materials. According to fire marshals, this is one of the most common violations in households.
Regardless if you are tearing down a wall, building a new stairway, or adding a new layer of insulation, you will need to take care of fire blocking. So, contact your fire marshal or look up your state codes for it, so that you know what the law requires.
Mishandled wiring work
Another common code violation around households is botched or mishandled electrical work. While working without a permit won’t put you in a direct danger, working on wiring problems will. Many DIYers don’t realise, but doing electrical work requires a state licence. Furthermore, if you don’t know what you are doing or you don’t have the proper equipment, you are endangering yourself and everybody around you. Mishandled wiring work can cause severe injuries, start fires, cause power outages, etc.
So, if you don’t want any of these things happening to you, or even if you end up having an electrical emergency that needs immediate attention, hire a licenced electrician like Glenco to carry out all the work.
Vents not leading to the outside of the house
Next, we have vents that don’t lead outside of the house. People usually install vents and lead venting pipes only to the attic. This is a massive and potentially dangerous mistake. If your bathroom vent is venting into your attic, sooner than later, all that humidity will cause mould to grow and your wooden beams to rot.
As you can imagine, rotten wooden beams are a structural hazard, and mould is no better either. It can cause many health problems, mostly with the respiratory system. So, make sure you lead your vent pipe all the way to the outside of your house.
This violation is usually found in small homes. When people don’t have enough room to install a proper-size stairway, they usually make the steps more seep and narrower. While this violation is not a health hazard, if you plan to sell your house sometime in the future, a steep stairway won’t help you get a better price. So, if you don’t know how to do build them correctly, maybe you should hire a professional constructor to help you with this project.
Windowless basement bedroom
Building a bedroom in the basement is a much cheaper option than adding a new floor to your house. However, even basement bedrooms have some regulations. For example, if you decide to go with this project, you will need to make space for an egress window. Depending on your country’s regulations, you will have to build a window with the specified minimum measurements, but more importantly, the size needs to be enough to serve as an escape route in case of a fire.
Not testing for hazardous materials
Finally, during home renovations, most homeowners don’t bother testing for hazardous materials like asbestos and lead. This is especially important in older homes that were built before the 1990s. At that time, there were no regulations and restrictions for these materials, and they can be easily found in your walls, paint, flooring, and any other area of your home.
As you probably know, asbestos and lead are extremely hazardous materials and long exposure to them can cause serious health problems. So, make sure to have that checked out by professionals.
Of course, people violate construction codes in many different ways, but these are seven of the most common ones by far. As you can see, some of these violations can become real hazards, so make sure you do them properly.