The field of do-it-yourself home repair, projects and renovations is not limited to men. Women can become very proficient at all types of do-it-yourself projects. The key is in knowing how to begin and in remembering that everyone has to start somewhere. Take the plunge, or plunger, and you may find yourself enjoying the world of do-it-yourself work.
Start with safety:
Anyone involved in home repair or construction can tell you that working safely makes all the difference in any job’s success or failure. Begin by knowing and following all of the safety recommendations for the project you are starting. You do not have to take hours of construction safety classes but you do need to know the basic safety rules for all tools and projects you want to get involved with. In addition, no matter what you may see others do, always turn off any electrical supplies as well as gas or water supplies before you begin working on them.
To begin learning about do-it-yourself home repairs the first thing to think about is what knowledge you already have. Are you math skills good? Math skills do matter in many projects. How much experience do you have in doing projects yourself? How much time have you spent watching or helping others in do-it-yourself projects? Then consider what repairs or projects you want to complete.
There are an incredible number of excellent books on all kinds of home repair and do-it-yourself projects. You can use the Internet to search for instructions and videos. Videos can be extremely helpful as they allow you to watch the entire project before you even begin it. While plenty of free information is available being able to refer back to a book that you own if you need makes it a good investment.
Many home improvement stores have classes that you can take for specific projects. Some of them even have “ladies only” classes if you feel uncomfortable. If you really want to become involved in home repair or improvement you might even consider taking classes at your local community college.
Learn about your local building codes:
You do need to know your local building codes and how they can affect you before beginning a home repair or renovation project. Painting your interior walls will not be a problem. If you want to add a second bathroom you may get into trouble if you do not have a permit. Call your local building department to find out what the requirements are, if any, for the do-it-yourself project you are going to do.
Learn about tools:
Do-it-yourself projects can involve a countless number of tools. You need to know what the tools are and how they are used. You do not necessarily need to own all of them. Tools that you only need on one occasion can be rented or borrowed. Even if you never do more than hammer in a nail you should have your own set of good quality hand tools.
Do not be afraid to ask for help:
While you can use a larger wrench to give yourself the leverage you may need to loosen something there are times when assistance is required. Hanging a large light fixture alone can be dangerous and bundles of roofing materials can be hard to navigate. If you do not have someone that can help you check with your local handyman businesses. Many handymen earn a living by offering assistance on do-it-yourself projects and a couple hours of paid help may make all the difference.
Finally remember to keep your sense of humor:
You may run into a salesman at your building store who says the wrong thing. While asking for information on the best lumber for a privacy fence you may be told that you could not possibly set the posts all by yourself. Smile as you swing the 10 foot 4 x 4 onto your shoulder. There are some things you can never fix.
Remember that there may be times when things go terribly wrong. If the house is still standing and you are in one piece then things are okay. You may not want to try that same project again or you might find that you learned from the experience. Remember to be proud of your do-it-yourself successes and learn from the mistakes you make along the way.