DIY Project Success

Time for spring DIY home improvements!

Philip Attansaio, Fab Lab Instructor,


Spring is just around the corner...we hope! Are you contemplating a DIY project at home? Perhaps, a kitchen renovation or a new deck for your barbecue grill? You've probably watched the YouTube videos, researched manufacture's website and have an idea of how it will all come together perfectly.   

What comes next? You need to get your ideas on paper.  Not only will this help determine a budget, but it is usually mandated by your local building department.  Don't attempt to build a deck (or any structure) without obtaining building permits from your local authorities.  When the building department finds out that your project is under way, and they always find out, you will be subject to fines and an immediate halt to your project.  The smart way to obtain permits is to provide the local authorities with a scaled drawing of your plan that demonstrates your project meets their code requirements.  The building department, often, will have the code requirements available to you on their website.  For example, the minimum joist size for decking is a 2" x 8."  The pickets should be spaced so the space between them are no greater than 3 inches; this prevents a baby from falling in between the pickets.  Stair risers are usually no greater than 7 inches.  This information is pertinent to completing your project right the first time.  

Whatever your project is, the Fab Lab can help!  We offer a beginners 2D Drawing class, based on the AutoCAD platform, or one-on-one assistance.  AutoCAD allows you to draw your plans and annotate your drawing with notes, callouts, dimensions and a Bill of Materials.  We can teach you how to print/plot the drawing on the appropriate size paper.  Please refer to the Fab Lab schedule online or contact the Fab Lab via telephone for assistance.   

Good luck and have fun on your next DIY Project!