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home improvement project
roof trusses
new addition
important things
Thinking Of That DYI Project, Now What
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Thinking Of That DYI Project, Now What

You have been thinking about that home improvement project awhile now. It has come to time to doing it, or has it. There are a lot of things to consider when doing a project around your home. Some of the more important things to think about at first are, is it an inside job, an outside job, is it landscaping, putting on a new addition.

Lets say that it is an inside job and you are going to open up your living area for more space. You want to tear down one or two walls to open it up. First you need to determined if it is a load bearing wall. You can tell by looking at which way the roof trusses are going and which way the wall is going. If the trusses are going the same way as the wall, then it is not a load bearing wall. You can take it down with out doing any extra work.

You will have to figure out your electric though if there is some outlets on that wall. If it is a load bearing wall, then you will need to put a header in to support the roof. The size of header will be determined on the length of the wall you took out. Each state and city have their own rules, so make sure you check for the correct codes.

If it is an outside job you are going to do, pick a sunny day. Just kidding, if you are to replace the siding on your house, that is a large project. To do it right, it could take a couple of weeks on a small house or a couple of months on a large house. It all depends on the type of siding, the shape of the sheathing and how straight the walls are. If the sheathing is bad, replace it. If you don't, you will paid the price down the road. Check to see if the walls are straight by running a string from one end to the other end. It won't be totally straight, but if it is real bad try to get it straight if possible. It will make a difference.

Then make sure you put on some house wrap. It will keep the cold air from getting in and the heat from getting out. Money saved. When it comes to the siding, use a transit or laser to mark your starter strip. It will take two or three people to do this job. Set up your transit or laser so it is level. Have one of your friends take a tape measure to a corner and hook it on the bottom of the sheathing. Look thru the transit at the cross hairs and see what the reading is. Have them write that down on the wall. Go around to all of the corners to find the largest number. That will be your low spot. Write the number down and go back to all the other corners with the transit and make a mark on the wall for your started strip. That way your siding will be level all the way around the house.

Landscaping is hard work. You can make your house look great if you plan it out. Remember that you aways have to make sure that it scopes away from the house. If you don't, your basement might leak. Make sure there are no holes or deep spots that could become ice rinks in the winter. First impressions are great if it's right.

If you are thinking of making your house bigger, think ground up. It has to start at the ground. You have to have footers. Depending where you live will depend on how deep your footers will be and how wide. And remember that your ground needs to be at 90% density before you pour your footers. If you don't, your addition will start to come apart at the seams in about a year. If that happens, tear it down and start over.

There is a lot of weight on those footers, so do it right the first time. Make sure you seal the outside of the blocks before you back fill so it will not leak in to the house years later. Back fill and pack it to 90% density after you start to build your walls. The weight of the walls will keep the block in place.

As with anything, you must have a plan. Think about what you want and how much you can spend. Take your time and think about what type of siding you want. Will the landscaping help the look of the house. Is the addition to big or to small. These are all things that you need to consider before you began to take on your project.

Also, aways add 10% more in price and about twice as long to do it. If it is just a small job in the house like a cabinet or bookcase, same thing. You need to have a plan and have plans to go by. Do not try to remember everything to do, because you won't. Enjoy doing your next project.

Street Talk

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