DIY Home Addition: What to Know Before You Begin

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DIY Home Addition: What to Know Before You Begin

Need a little more living space? You can take on the project by yourself, but there are some things to know first. Here are some things to consider before embarking on a DIY home addition.

Can I Do it on My Own?

Know your limitations. Yes, you can complete most of the planning and work by yourself, but unless you’re a contractor or have lots of experience, it’s best not to complete a full DIY home addition or demolition independently. Doing it completely on your own could end up costing more in the end if mistakes are made, codes and ordinances are ignored, or improper materials are used.

Step-by-Step Home Addition

Here’s how you can still perform a DIY home addition and receive some assistance.

  • Hiring a contractor or an architect to help design the expansion is a great place to start. Create a design plan, draw it out, and include specifications. Submit the plan to your city or town’s building and zoning department. They’ll look for compliance with building codes and property line demarcations.
  • Once the department approves it, collect all necessary required permits. Better Homes & Gardens lists electrical, plumbing, and gas permits as the most common ones. You’ll be required to prominently display those permits while you work on the project.
  • Before beginning the excavating process, call 811 –the national “call before you dig” hotline–to ensure you do not damage any underground utility lines. They will notify utility companies to identify where buried cables, electric lines, water, or gas lines are located on your property. The last thing you want is to hit a utility line. Not only is that dangerous, but you’d have to pay for repairs, and set your project timeline back.
  • Rent the necessary equipment or hire a company to help you excavate.
  • Before starting the building process, consider renting a dumpster. A roll-off dumpster provides the convenience of throwing everything from landscape debris to discarded plywood in one bin.
  • Ensure the ground is level before pouring your concrete slab.
  • Collect materials for forming a concrete slab:
    • Measuring tape
    • Chalk string line
    • Level
    • Hammer
    • Wood Stakes
    • Shovel
    • Tamper
    • Plywood
    • 2×4 and 2×12 lumber
    • Carpentry nails
    • Gravel
    • Plastic Sheeting
    • Rebar
  • Follow this eHow guide to pour your concrete slab.
  • Next, frame your structure. That includes the floors, walls, and roof. Materials you’ll need include, according to The Spruce:
    • Framing hammer
    • Speed square
    • Chalk
    • Electric miter saw
    • Power-actuated nailer
    • Nails
    • 2×4 lumber that’s at least eight feet long
  • Solidify the walls and roof with sheathing and keep out the elements.
  • Wrap the entire addition in Tyvek or another waterproofing cover and install the roofing paper.
  • Install any windows and exterior doors at this point.
  • Cover the roof with shingles or another roofing material of your desire.
  • Before you install insulation and drywall on the interior,  you’ll want to complete any electrical, plumbing, and HVAC work. You’ll install the pipes, wiring, and ductwork before you close up the walls. Again, this is another step where if you don’t have expertise in these fields, call a professional for help. These mistakes can be dangerous and costly in the end.
  • Time for the cosmetic finishes! It’s time to install flooring and cabinetry and paint the walls.
  • Lastly, return to the electrical, plumbing, and HVAC work to complete the final hookups for fixtures and outlets.


Save With Our Elite Dumpster 

If you’re hiring contractors to assist you during various stages of your DIY home addition project, you may want or need to rent a portable toilet for your property. Instead of searching for a portable toilet rental and a roll-off dumpster rental separately, call redbox+ Dumpsters. Our exclusive Elite container features a two-in-one design that combines a roll-off dumpster and a portable toilet into one convenient unit. DIY home additions can be a lengthy process, but you won’t ever have to worry about cleaning the toilets. Our teams are ready to clean and service the dumpster’s portable toilets directly on-site.

Contact us to get a free estimate today.

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