Building Safety Month on May, 2023: the middle class have a safety gap built in during hard times?

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May, 2023 is Building Safety Month 2023. Public Invited to Building Safety Month Kickoff Lunch - Fairfax ... Building Safety Month,

the middle class have a safety gap built in during hard times?

Economically speaking some people of all classes have a safety net built in is is called a savings account and is used only in times of great need.Pay your bills on time and save something every month. That is how to do it. Before you say there is nothing left at the end of the month realize that you are spending on things that are not needed and stop buying things that are not necessary

Is it plausible to diy build a brick home?

Is it plausible to diy build a brick home?

When I was younger I felt the same as you about wanting to build my own home some day. For me it became almost an obsession and at age 30 I actually did it.

All through my 20's I studied everything I could get my hands on about building a home and taught myself to build, plumb, wire, etc etc. I mean I learned everything! All about construction and reading building plans and working with the local building permit office as well as learning all about financing such an undertaking.

I highly recommend you follow a similar path. Today you are lucky enough to have the internet. I just had books and a few television shows like This Old House but I was able to do it.

As for laying your own brick... That is a HUGE job! You'll need to take some classes at a local community college if possible or work some with a mason to learn the trade. I don't recommend taking on the block and/or brick laying though. It will be very time consuming and if you are bricking the entire home and working alone that one item could take you months. By months I mean 6 months to a year or more if you're working alone and doing it after work in the evenings and weekends.

The other factor you have to work around is the bank. If you are paying cash for your home then you can work at any pace you wish and if it takes years to complete that's just fine. But, if you're working with bank financing, you won't have the luxury of an unlimited timetable to finish the home. Construction loans typically run 9-12 months maximum before the contract requires the home to be complete and the loan converted to a conventional mortgage. So, it's better to focus on the jobs you can do and finish in the time allowed by the lender, and contract out the really big jobs. That's what I did.

I was able to get the bank to allow me to be my own contractor with a few stipulations. Primarily I had to have the house 100% complete within 12 months. I also had to hire a licensed contractor to oversee my work and make sure I wasn't screwing up lol.

I built most of my house with my own 2 hands but a few of the jobs that were going to push me beyond the time limit I contracted out so I would meet the banks deadline. I hired a man to do all the grading and dig the footings. Then I hired a couple of helpers to assist me with pouring the footings. Then I hired masons to lay the foundation but I worked with them some carrying block etc. Then I did all the framing and had a roofing company come in and roof the house in 1 day.

Then I had the masons come back and lay the brick. I have a large home and it took skilled masons a few weeks to do it all. I did ALL the wiring and plumbing and after those items passed inspection I hired a crew to hang and finish the sheet rock. Sheet rock and finishing it is another HUGE job for a self builder to tackle by-the-way. I don't recommend that you tackle sheet rock either.

Then I did all the painting and finish trim throughout the house as well as install all the cabinets and plumbing fixtures. I put in about 1700 square feet of hardwood floors and hired a helper to work with me to move that along. He came in the evenings when I got off work and we got it done in a couple of weeks. Then I hired a guy to stain the floors etc. I also hired a carpet crew lay the carpets.

Then there was the landscaping outside. I did that too.

I told you all of this to illustrate what a huge undertaking you are considering. I love the fact that I built my home but you MUST be prepared for what the long term commitment and go into it with your eyes open. If you have a game plan going in as to what you are going to do and what you are going to hire out you will probably have the best outcome.

To be more specific to your question though... yes an amateur can lay the brick but I don't recommend it. I do recommend you learn about the electrical and plumbing because that is something you can definitely do. But you'll need to be proficient at it and be very well self taught or go take some classes. It will have to pass code, so don't worry that it will be screwed up. Just know how to do it right the first time and what the local codes are and you won't have any problems. Teach yourself all you can about construction framing too as well as finish construction. Again, take classes if you need them for these areas too.

In the end you'll save a ton of cash and have the pride of living in a home you built yourself and you'll also know it inside out.

Good luck to you and I hope this is helpful!

Anyone tried building a diy sauna? Any hints or tips please!?

Anyone tried building a diy sauna? Any hints or tips please!?

There are very nice steam saunas available on the market, but when I searched the Internet for it I saw that I would need to spend a lot of money and knowing that the shipping would need several weeks maybe months, so I looked for another solution, because I felt really bad and my energy was going down more and more. To build the box wouldn't be a problem, but how could the steam be made? After some searching with steam producing tools (steam cleaner and wall paper remover) I found a very simple solution: I used a 5 liter pressure cooker from the kitchen. Where the safety bulb comes out on the top, I connected a hose, the other end of the hose I put through a hole into the steam sauna box. The hose shouldn't be longer than 2m (6 feet) otherwise it is loosing too much heat, even though you wrap insulation around the hose. The outlet of the steam hose should be under the seat. Then through an other hole the hose from the ozone generator enters the box. That's it! A simple gas burner will heat the water up in about 10 minutes, then I let it boil for 10 minutes and also I start the ozone generator. I found an old thermometer from a tractor with a sensor, this tells me the temperature inside the box. If it tells about 45 - 50°C then one can go into the box. The temperature goes down 3-5°C when one opens the door, but goes up again in a few minutes. It is good to have a clock nearby. The seat in the box should have the exact high for the person using it, otherwise it will be not comfortable, as the head is outside and with a towel around the neck so that no steam and ozone escapes. When you take the steam sauna, then there should be always a person near. It might be that you get thirsty or a fly insist to sit on your nose... Well, more important is that there is the right temperature and if it gets too hot then there should be somebody turning down the heater. It might be possible to make a hole on one side of the box to be able to reach out to regulate the cooker, but in my case the cooker stands in another room, so this is not possible.



hole for head

Penelope enjoying 'heat for health' to close the box

producing steam

I am doing the steam sauna every second day, and I tell you that I feel much better now. I have more energy and after the sauna there is no muscle pain. I was told that I have to do it for at least 6 weeks. That I will do. [update 1 1/2 years later: I am healed from Fibromyalgia, but I found out that I feel better continuing the sauna, so I do it now every second day.]

Remark: I have done it now for several weeks and I don't want to miss the steam sauna anymore. I am doing it still every second day and my health is improving a lot. I think that soon I will do the sauna only every third day. (Later: I have tried this, but I'm back to every second day...) (Updated: I have done this now for more than one year. The first sauna box has fallen apart, because it was made from press wood and the humidity and the heat was too much. I build a new one from solid wood and this will probably last for a few years... I am doing now the sauna every third day and this feels right to me.)

I am preparing now an infra red sauna which doesn't need the steam... I will report about it when I have build it and have tried it. (I am waiting for the examples of the infra red heating elements since nearly one year and nothing happens. I will look for another company now... Update: It's now two years and I haven given up, also I think the humidity of the steam is important and better than the dry infra red, apart of my latest investigation about electro-magnetic fields, which are probably too strong and not doing any good if heated by infra-red elements...)

Holidays also on this date Monday, May 1, 2023...