With so many events like home shows that demonstrate just how easy it is to do the job yourself and to obtain the necessary tools, some homeowners believe it's possible to take cheaper shortcuts and get the job done without having to hire a professional for them. However, these shortcuts have sometimes fallen short when it comes to safety and passing inspections done by Minnesota building inspectors. Even something that seems as relatively simple as putting up a deck can lead to a major headache.
With a host of issues, such as water problems, electricity shorts and other safety hazards; here are some of the biggest concerns that inspectors have found in their journeys.
- Walls That Haven’t Been Moved Correctly: Not only does this reduce the integrity of the home as a whole, but it can cause a lot of structural damage that makes the home a ticking time bomb. Certain walls are what are called load bearing - they support major structures in the home, and they can't be removed. And if you're altering them, if you don't take the right steps to ensure they continue to provide support means you’re essentially putting your life in danger!
- Decks That Wobble: If you like that floating feeling, then by all means put up a deck that is not at all safe to stand on. Pair it with a wobbly handrail and you’re really risking a lot of safety in the process. These decks can come down at any point, especially in harsh Minnesota winds or with our freeze-and-thaw cycles. Make sure that if you’re putting up a deck, you know how to do so for the safety of everyone. And by the way, adding a deck usually requires a building permit, which means an inspection. Don't skip this step.
- Plumbing That Has Been DIYed: Plumbing (and electricity) that has been done by the homeowner is usually not done correctly. While there are small projects that can definitely be fixed at home, such as replacing a toilet, some of the other projects might be better left to a professional. When water is leaking into the foundation and basement of the home, then you know something went wrong in the process. And certain plumbing projects actually will require a building inspector's approval, which can only be given if work is done by a licensed plumber. You may not have an issue now, but you will when it comes time to sell your home. Or if your repairs lead to problems that your insurance company won't cover.
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