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Safe Building and Remodeling Tips

Home > Articles > Additions & Remodeling > Safe Building and Remodeling Tips

High quality model home build by SteinerHomes

Written by: Wade Myer

Authors Note: Wade Myer has worked as a grunt, framer, grunt again, light equipment operator, and building inspector. Finally, he's getting to write about his experiences on behalf of Steiner Homes who builds  Valparaiso homes.

Choosing to build and remodel your home is an exciting time and it can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of construction. However, customizing your home can be dangerous to even the most skilled carpenters so steps need to be taken to insure your safety, and the safety of your property as well.

Remodeled great room featuring a beautiful stone fireplace.

First Things First

Before the first hammer swing happens there are some vital steps that need to happen to insure a smooth building experience.

  • Double Check Your Permits: Or if you haven't applied and gotten them yet, get your permits! Every locality has its own zoning and building laws and you'll want to make sure you aren't crossing any legal boundaries with your addition or remodel. If so, you could wind up getting stuck halfway through the job until everything gets cleared up.
  • Call Before You Dig: Don't assume a subcontractor is going to do it for you. If you are going to be moving earth for extending the homes foundation, adding a garage or driveway,  or for a host of other reasons, be sure to call weeks in advance to your power and gas providers. They can either tell you, or a serviceman will come out to mark where they underground pipes and wires are located so you don't run the risk of damaging them which can result in hefty costs and even injuries.
  • Balance the Checkbook: Remodels can quickly go over budget for a number of different reasons which can freeze a project, leaving you with a half-finished addition that is unsightly and unpractical. Make sure you know how to stay in budget.
  • Ducks in a Row: This goes in line with balancing your checkbook, but make sure you will have all the supplies you'll need. This includes materials as well as tools, and contractors if you'll be hiring professionals to get the job done.

Home built with highest quality green materials

Breaking Ground, Not Your Back

Any construction site, no matter how small, has risks associated with it and being aware of them beforehand can help to protect you, your family, and your home.

  • Protect the Little Ones: There is a medley of ways to hurt yourself on a job site, and this goes up by tenfold for children. Even minor jobs offer risks of splinters and other sharp objects around the home where the generally wouldn't be. Make it clear to the kids that the site being worked on is absolutely off limits and mark it clearly.
  • Know Your Limits: Even the most basic tools can be dangerous in inexperienced hands. Don't take yourself for granted and get injured in the process. If you're tackling the job yourself then be aware of your limitations and don't try to push it. Injuries don't just happen from accidents with tools, but constant strain from moving lumber can take its toll gradually.
  • Ignorance Is Never Bliss: The addition or remodel might seem simple to the untrained eye. "Sure, just knock out this wall and we'll double the floorplan of the bedroom!" Not so fast. That wall might be load bearing or have plumbing or electrical conduits running through it that can make your life a nightmare if you start messing with it.

A job is rarely as simple as it first seems. Take the time and extra effort to make sure that you're not biting off more than you can chew with your home improvement project and insure smoother sailing on calmer waters.

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