DIY home improvement ain’t what it used to be
I remember hearing lots of stories about the “good ol’ day” when “if you wanted an extra room in your house, you just got some wood and built one!” Have you heard dad or grandpa say something like that? Well, in a way, it actually used to be that way. You could figure out what you needed…or get cousin Bob, who knew his way around a toolbox, to calculate how much wood and nails you’d need…and then start hammering out a room addition. Or even a total house makeover. But I promise you, DIY home improvement isn’t like that anymore. At least not if you live in an area where other humans live. And that’s most of us, isn’t it?
Where you live plays a big role.
Nowadays a lot of people live in multi-family communities or covenant controlled communities or HOA controlled communities. And if that’s you, then you probably already know how much you CAN’T do without getting permission first. Permits are needed for a lot more things these days than they used to be. For example, I talked to a woman this week who had a leak under her kitchen sink. She told me the plumbing company who came and tore out the drywall to access the pipes said they didn’t need a permit to do the work. Well, she lives in a townhouse community, and she shares some of her walls with neighbors. She was curious if the plumbers should have gotten a permit.
I’m not an expert in permits, but I told her a company should “err” on the side of at least looking into it. Let’s say you’re a plumber, and you tear out drywall, look for leaks, cut pipes, insert new upgraded pipes and connections, and do a great job of sealing all the leaks. But later, the neighbor, who shared the wall behind your customer’s pipes complains of leaks coming through her walls. What do you suppose would happen then? Probably not something good.
DIY home improvement could possibly lead to even worse things.
Imagine you skipped the professional plumbing company and did the work yourself. And the same thing happened. Neighbor complaints can lead to much more than just ruffled feathers.
It’s not that you shouldn’t do any home improvement yourself these days. The point is…there’s a lot more you should be aware of before you begin. At least if your home shares walls, a roof, or some sort other sort of covenant agreement with your neighbors. Why take the chance of making things cost 2, 5, or even 10 times as much as they should?
On the good side…there’s a ton of information on how to avoid the DIY home improvement pitfalls right here on the internet. Educate yourself before diving into a messy project. And give yourself a high five because you saved yourself not only the cost of a professional service, but also the cost of a disgruntled neighbor.
P.S. I build stuff, too.