Home ownership comes with upkeep, improvements, and beautification projects. As much as you want to add that fence, gazebo, patio or plant a garden you do need to consider a few things. I have learned over the years about DIY projects the right way after doing some the wrong way.
Have a Plan
Putting a shovel in the ground and knowing how far down, the width and what is under the surface are important issues to consider. One of the reasons municipalities require permits to start a project is because there are considerations. You will be required to have a drawing of your project. If caught without a permit, you will have to pay the permit fee and a fine. If the project is not up to code, you might have to tear it down.
There is usually a toll free phone number for utilities to come out and mark where underground lines are on your property. Keep in mind, if you do not take advantage of the free service and you hit a utility line you will be endangering yourself and others, likely you will be charged and fined for any repairs from your mistake.
My husband made this mistake while in a hurried state he started digging holes for fence posts. I was in my kitchen making tacos sipping on a wine cooler when the lights flickered. I thought that perhaps I should not have a wine cooler on an empty stomach since I was seeing things. My husband appeared with his hair slightly raised and a befuddled look on his face. It appeared my over anxious husband had hit the main electric line coming into our house. Luckily, he barely broke the coating or he would have ended up on top of our two-story house. Lesson learned.
Research The Experts
Planting shrubs and flowers is not rocket science, but I have learned when the recommended distance between plants is 3 to 4 feet then do not plant them a foot apart or you will be digging and replanting somewhere else. Silly me, made this mistake a couple of times, but it keeps me busy.
It is your property so change it to your needs.
Spending all that money, every month for your mortgage, means you have every right to change your home. My own front entrance to my house bugged me because it went left to the driveway where visitors park when they want to come inside. Of course, their car was in the way. I had an epiphany to change the whole configuration of my front porch. My husband is a carpenter so he jumps when I have my ideas. He found joy in tearing apart and rebuilding the porch and steps. Many a visitor has commented on how much better it is now.
When to Hire a Professional
When you need a new addition, flooring or have plumbing issues, sometimes the best thing to do is call a professional. In the end, it is better to call a professional before a project starts so you do not make mistakes where he will have to undo and redo. If you want to get in on the project, ask the professional what you can do to help and possibly reduce the cost of having him do all the work.
More from Jackie Moore Wagner:
How to Makeover a Spare Bedroom Under $150
Fixing Your Own Dryer Using the Internet as Your Guide
Antique Dresser Mirror Converted into a Beautiful Wall Decoration