5 DIY Tips & Tricks for Successful Installation

Doing a project by yourself provides great satisfaction and can save you money. Here are some tips and tricks to keep your DIYing from going awry.

  1. Measure twice, cut once. Sounds logical but many errors with home installation projects go wrong due to incorrect measurements. This leads to additional costs to purchase more materials because they are too short for the job as well as more time spent on corrections. Trick: Ensure your measuring tape is straight and flush to the edge of the area you are measuring. Have a “building buddy” hold one end if the measuring tape for long parts; if you are building alone, use a block of wood to stabilize the end of the tape measure, so you can measure without the tape sliding toward you. Then, repeat.
  2. Safety first. Before beginning a project, ensure the work area if free of hazards, such as electrical cords, furniture, rugs, etc., and you have a clean, dry, clear area to lay down the parts and tools you are working with. Trick: Pros have a plan, and you should too. Plan ahead before you begin the job. Think ahead to the type of area you will need to work and clear it of debris before you begin, also checking weather conditions in advance for outdoor projects.
  3. Inspect all parts. After reading the instructions to familiarize yourself with the parts and their installation, your second task should be inspecting all of the parts to ensure they are in good “new” condition and are all there. Missing or incorrect parts can halt a job, especially if the part you are missing is one of the first to be installed. Trick: Use the installation manual to identify the parts, ensuring you have everything necessary for success. Set aside the time you need to do this first; the more parts there are, the more time you will need.
  4. Acquire all permits. In some cases, local authorities require permits for permanent structure additions to homes. Avoid fines and find out before you build anything if a permit is required. Trick: Go online to your local township’s website to check if permits are required for the structure you are adding. This will save time, money and hassle.
  5. Don’t wing it. Read and understand all instructions and warnings before you begin the build. Don’t do like most people and read only the parts of the installation manual that you cannot figure out on your own. Not all projects are as complex as others, but if you have more than 10 parts to put together, it is highly recommended to read the directions before putting the project together. Trick: Use the instructions’ reading time as quiet time for yourself to comprehend what you are about to undertake and ensure you know what to do when you’re ready to start.
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