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DIY laws and codes that you do not want to break

Dealing with DIY home improvement projects is a great way to save money and be happy with your efforts. But ignoring critical codes and laws during your engagement can cost you in various ways.

It is important to remember that building codes are in place to ensure a safe building. Although it may feel like the county is only milking you for a penny, it means that an inspector cleans your work means you can sleep at night and know that the job is up to snus. In addition, insurance companies can not cover damages caused by unauthorized work.

A project completed without critical permission can also be called out by an inspector when you go to sell the home. In the worst case, this can mean that the job is ripped out and it is done right. As a minimum, fines are common for the violation.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the building codes vary greatly from place to place. So even if you know the code in Florida, do not expect it to be the same in Oregon. Regardless of location, here are some major violations to avoid.

Feel free to wait

gloved hands install a valve in a wall

In almost all areas, your bathroom, kitchen and fireplace must direct air to the outside of the house. Ventilating a bathroom in the attic, for example, leads to the formation of moisture, mold and even mold, which violates the code.

It’s not okay to be on fire

burning electrical outlet and plug

Inside the walls, all wires must come together in the junction boxes. Never leave wires hanging out behind a socket or light switch without the metal box for protection.

While we’re talking about electrical outlets, make sure each circuit contains a GFCI. This is an earth leakage circuit breaker, a safety device that overrides the electrical current to the socket in the event of an overvoltage or other high power consumption.

Return of the handrail

woman holding a wooden railing in a home

Yes, even the handrail is under control in the eyes of all inspectors. First of all, it must be placed within a certain height of the stairs. But most important of all is that the handrail must be bent back into the wall, known as a railing. This is to avoid creating a hazard that can catch sleeves and bags, which can cause falls on the stairs.

If you are building or renovating stairs, also pay attention to the distance between the balusters. Current codes usually prescribe balusters for all stairs inside or the exterior cannot be more than four inches apart. This is a safety feature that prevents children from falling through railings.

Remember to flash

tire construction material with flashing

If you are building your own deck, you should be aware that you need to blink between the boards on the deck and the ones where they are mounted in the house, called a ledger. Because the area is susceptible to rot, flashing is crucial to the integrity of the tire.

While we’re on the subject, tires generally have a lot of rules to keep in mind. Check with local authorities about requirements for how far from the ground a deck can be, if it requires a railing, and if you can build a pergola or other cover without a permit.

Be worried

hands installing a smoke detector

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are heavily regulated from production through installation because an incorrectly placed detector does not protect your family. Carbon monoxide detectors should be placed outside the living room, but not near a fireplace or a kitchen. According to the EPA, “Because carbon monoxide is slightly lighter than air and also because it can be present with hot, rising air, detectors should be placed on a wall about 5 feet above the floor. The detector can be placed in the ceiling. Do not place the detector right next to or over a fireplace or a fire-producing appliance. ”

For smoke alarms, new homes must have a unit inside each bedroom, mounted on the ceiling is best. But existing homes must have a unit outside each bedroom and on each level. In both cases, the smoke detectors must be tightly connected with battery backup so that they sound the alarm in a series when one of them detects smoke.

Maintain a window to the world

basement exit window with cement wall

Each bedroom must have an escape route. This means that even basement rooms must have an exit window that is large enough for a firefighter wearing equipment to crawl through, usually at least 24 inches high and 20 inches wide.

Talk about windows, make sure yours contains security or broken glass, especially in the bathroom, kitchen, stairs and other areas where a person may end up in them and cause crime. When replacing windows, upgrade to a double-glazed window with safety glass to avoid the pain of high heat bills and fines from the building permit department.

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