In Minnesota, preservationists like John Kistler of Minneapolis ensure the historic architecture that defined the state’s neighborhoods is protected and restored to its finest quality. An accomplished restoration expert, Kistler shares a few of the most important rules for home improvers to keep in mind when working on independent projects.
John Kistler of Minneapolis has been at the center of many professional restoration projects, becoming a respected leader in the field after decades of notable contributions. John Kistler was instrumental in saving the Oakland Apartments from demolition, which were built by Harry Wild Jones in the 19th-century, and he’s also responsible for the restoration of the Eugene J. Carpenter house.
Here, he helps readers interested in taking on their own home improvement projects identify a few key rules that will ensure success and, above all, safety.
1. Determine if Your Project Requires a Permit
Failing to obtain the proper permits for a home project can cost the homeowner a lot in the long run, from legal penalties to holdups in future transactions. Before anyone begins a home improvement project, they should identify the scope of the project and determine if a permit will be required long before they begin.
“Some home projects that require a permit include things like structural changes, electrical work, and plumbing as opposed to non-permit projects like painting and replacing countertops,” says John Kistler of Minneapolis.
2. Triple Check Electricity is Off During Electrical Projects
It’s not enough to double check that the electricity is off, Kistler says. It’s better to triple check it if you can, usually by having a second pair of eyes confirm that all the proper power sources have been cut. The high-voltage electricity powering our houses can mean instantaneous death for those who encounter it, either directly or through conductors like power tools.
3. Plan Outside Projects Around the Weather
“Inclement weather can make even the simplest outside projects a nightmare, whether it prevents home improvers from completing work or else ruins the progress they’ve made so far,” says John Kistler of Minneapolis.
The weather isn’t something that is up to the home improver, and it’s not always something that can be worked around. Take into consideration the season and the ideal temperatures to work in when setting out to accomplish outside home projects. Check local radars days before any improvements and only prepare for work when there’s sure to be conducive weather for the entire duration of the project.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
If a home improvement project looks like it’ll require more hands at some point, don’t be afraid to ask for help from friends, neighbors, or from professionals who have worked on this or a similar type of project before. You don’t want to get too far into a project before realizing that you won’t be able to complete it to its best quality on your own.
“This isn’t a comprehensive list by any means, but by sticking to these basic rules, staying knowledgeable, and exercising a little common sense, you don’t have to be intimidated by home improvement projects,” says John Kistler of Minneapolis.