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The DIYer's Common Code Violations

Paul Tosello

Paul has been in Real Estate for 32 years, working as a Realtor, but in addition he owned a real estate consulting and coaching company.  ...

Paul has been in Real Estate for 32 years, working as a Realtor, but in addition he owned a real estate consulting and coaching company.  ...

Aug 7 2 minutes read

The smart DIYer knows that certain projects are beyond their scope. Whether it's due to lack of knowledge, the wrong tools or a needed license, sometimes a professional is the best option. Why? Because missteps can be costly when you try to sell your home and they could even put you and your family at risk. Here are the most common areas that homeowners, despite good intentions, go wrong.

Courtesy of Darrell Park, inspector. 

1. Electrical Work

Of all the projects a DIYer should be careful with, electrical work tops the list. You should almost certainly rely on a pro when it comes to electrical installations or updates, as code violations are common and mistakes can be dangerous.

2. Exhaust Fans

Installing an exhaust fan for the bathroom may seem like an easy task, but venting to the wrong area causes mold and wood rot and violates code in most municipalities. Fans should route to the outside and not the attic, which is no small task.

3. Handrails

Improper stair handrail installation could lead to a variety of code issues. From spindle spacing to anchored returns, installation errors are obvious to any home inspector and make accidents more likely.  

4. Outdoor Construction

That white picket fence may be pretty, but if it isn't the right height it could be a violation. Likewise, deck additions need specific bolts, fasteners and flashing before they will pass code. 

Codes vary by city, and you might be surprised how many projects need permits. The easiest way to prevent code violations is to get the proper permit and if need be, hire a pro. 

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