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Today’s guest post is from Tanya Tomson; entrepreneur, mother, blogger, and former seminar instructor for women looking to tackle DIY projects at home. In today’s post, Tanya takes a look at three ‘protests’ that she’s heard and addressed from many women who have been  faced with those minor, but important, home improvement jobs that often remain undone.

Take it away, Tanya!

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After working as an instructor for a DIY Women Seminar Series at a local building supply retailer, I began to notice that women from all walks of life were lacking skills in basic DIY handy work. Whether married, single, widowed or divorced, women everywhere seemed to have their reasons for their lack of knowledge and skills.

I’ve compiled 3 common protests I’ve heard from women about why they chose to hire a contractor when perhaps they didn’t need to, or why they decided to abandon their project.  I’ve also included some great ways to overcome them.

1. “I’m not handy”

A common protest I hear among women is that they just aren’t handy. In the age of the Internet, everyone is handy!  Researching your project on the Internet is the best way to discover the scope of the project, time it will take, tools required, and what materials you’ll need to use.

There are several sites dedicated specifically to empowering and teaching women how to tackle DIY projects.  One of my favourite sites is Be Jane.com .  This site lists common projects and how to accomplish them; everything from replacing a light switch  to repairing a large hole in your window screen.  They tell you specifically which tools you will require the supplies you will need and they walk you through the project step-by-step including detailed photos.

Another great Internet resource is Youtube .  There are hundreds of videos of regular women documenting their experience with every project imaginable. Be creative; do a Google search!

If you’re the more “hands-on” type of learner you can sign up for a seminar at your local building supply retailer. Often they run weekly seminars on common projects. They offer hands-on learning, instructors with years of experience and help along the way.

A great way to find out about the materials you’ll require is to visit your building supply retailer.  They are a great resource for information on different grades of material available, what to look for when buying, common complaints about products, & how to maintain the material once installed.  Build Direct has a great online resource called Build Direct Learning Center.  Here you can find articles about everything from how to choose the right laminate floor for your flooring project to guides on how to install all kinds of flooring.

2. “I don’t have the right tools”

Another protest women commonly have about tackling DIY projects is not having the right tools.  The basic tools every woman should own, or can easily acquire from a friend or neighbour are:

  • 12v cordless drill & bits
  • measuring tape
  • multi-head screw driver
  • adjustable wrench
  • small hammer
  • pliers.

Because owning and storing large tools can be cumbersome many people turn to Tool Rental Centers for things like powered saws, larger drills, pressure washers etc.  Tool Rental Centers are located in every city and can be found in the Yellow Pages .

3. “I don’t have enough time”

Lack of time is one of those grievances all of us deal with. Thoroughly researching your project before you begin will provide you with an educated estimate of how much time is required to complete this project, the materials and tools you’ll need, and the level of difficulty.

Sometimes your time is worth more than the money it takes to hire  a professional.  In this case, another visit to the Yellow Pages  will yield a list of contractors in your area who can help you complete your project.  Be sure to ask for contractor references & look the contracting business up with the Better Business Bureau .

But, after researching your project, sometimes the knowledge you’ve gained will empower you to Do-It-Yourself, realizing that the scope of the project and skill level is well within your means and schedule after all.  Doing  it  yourself can save you money, and brings you the satisfaction of helping yourself!

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Thanks, Tanya!

Be sure to ‘Like’ Tanya’s Facebook Page for EVA.ca.

Cheers!

Rob.

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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.