How to Get Started as a Do-It-Yourself MomMay 31, 2012 10:05 pm Non-Fiction, Self-Help - Life and Mind Matters
For many woman, the idea of do-it-yourself, or DIY is something they smile indulgently about or roll their eyes skywards every time it is mentioned by their partner or spouse. While many people are all talk and no action (or sometime totally the wrong action) when it comes to DIY, many others have begun to discover that DIY can actually be a lot easier than they think, and rather fun too.
Even women who are looking to save money on home repair are starting to take a real interest stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot and learning the basics of home repair. Some of them are even getting their own tool kit or tool belt and tackling tasks that they would have been reluctant to try 10 years ago, before the Internet made it so easy to start to learn how to accomplish useful task online.
If you are worried about the high cost of home repair but fortunate enough to know a handyman (or handywoman), then ask that person to give you a brief orientation on tools and common problems around the home that you can take care of yourself.
Another source of knowledge and even inspiration are the home improvement shows on television. We were a fan of Changing Rooms when it first came out in the UK many years ago and have learned how to tackle a variety of decorating task once we saw how easy and fun it could be.
Watch the programs, visit the websites, and start doing research on the kinds of projects you would like to try. Print out the pages and bring them along to your local hardware store. They will usually be able to point you in the right direction for the correct supplies you will need, and give you hands-on advice on how to tackle the task you have set.
You can even install your own great deck and sun awning to create a little ‘playroom’ for the children once you know how.
You will also find online a number of suggestions as to the types of useful tools all homes should have on hand in order to tackle all their DIY tasks. These tools will include a hammer, tape measure, screwdrivers of various types and sizes, and pliers of various kinds. You should also keep one or two boxes of nails and screws for the inevitable times when pictures fall off the wall or something needs to be repaired. There is no need to have a 300 piece sprocket set. With just a few simple tools, you can complete a variety of repairs around the house without spending a lot on a repairman.
If you choose to use power tools or machines, it is important to read the operation manual and understand the right way to use it. Power drills and screwdrivers can be great in terms of shortening your work time and making a job much easier, but they also require a certain level of caution and in some cases, the either need to be plugged into an electrical outlet or its battery will have to be charged.
While most home repairs can safely be attempted by amateurs, electrical problems and some plumbing issues should be dealt with by professionals only. Electricity can be highly dangerous and should be managed only by a certified electrician who has knowledge of all the current safety regulations in order to protect him legally, and keep you and your home safe.
Major plumbing issues must be addressed by licensed plumbers who have the equipment necessary to handle it. While you can take apart and replace your U-bend in most cases, severely clogged S-bends and other common issues to do with your pipes should be left to professional plumbers.
Being an effective DIY mom is all about having the right tools, and the confidence to use them. It is also about knowing when you should not tackle a job yourself, but hire a professional in order to stay safe.