Learn­ing how to do those house­hold re­pairs

The Telegram (St. John’s) - Home Buyers' Guide - - OPEN HOUSES -

Day-to-day main­te­nance is­nʼt gen­der-spe­cific. Nowhere is it writ­ten that leak­ing faucets are a guy thing or wall­pa­per is wom­enʼs work.

Nowhere is this truer than among a fast-grow­ing seg­ment of home­own­er­ship: sin­gle women. As women find out all too quickly when some­thing goes wrong at home, their op­tions are to hire the work out or do it them­selves. Ap­par­ently, more opt to roll up their sleeves and dive in.

ʻʻWe talk to a lot more women who want to know how to do their own re­pairs and projects around their house,ʼʼ says Beth Boyd, a mar­ket­ing man­ager for a build­ing sup­plies com­pany. ʻʻThey want the tools, they want the knowhow, and they want a de­gree of self-suf­fi­ciency.ʼʼ

The learn­ing curve for how-to skills is shorter than you might think, says Boyd. She ad­vises first-timers to try their hand at rou­tine tasks be­fore in­evitable re­pairs or emer­gen­cies arise.

This may be as sim­ple as tight­en­ing screws on cabi­net doors, ham­mer­ing in ex­posed deck nails, fill­ing nail holes in walls with spackle or oil­ing squeaky hinges.

As skills — and can-do con­fi­dence — grow, the de­ci­sions about per­son­ally mak­ing re­pairs or hir­ing pro­fes­sion­als can be made on a case-by-case ba­sis. ʻʻUn­less its some­thing that needs im­me­di­ate at­ten­tion, take the time to see if it matches your skill-sets and abil­i­ties,ʼʼ says Boyd. True emer­gen­cies, such as elec­tri­cal, heat­ing and cool­ing break­downs are best left to spe­cial­ists.

For most sin­gle home­own­ers, it all starts with ba­sic tools for ba­sic tasks. Boy­dʼs short list of equip­ment for women in­cludes: —Tape mea­sure —Cord­less recharge­able screw­driver (with Phillips and flat heads) —Ex­ten­sion cord and work light —Ham­mer —Pli­ers, plain and lock­ing type —Cord­less drill and as­sorted drill bits —Work gloves —C-clamps in var­i­ous sizes The best ad­vice, how­ever, might be that, when in doubt, ask for help. Boyd says women should check their qualms and mis­giv­ings at the door the mo­ment they walk into a home-im­prove­ment store. She says that the mind­set of stores now is that there are no ques­tions that are too ba­sic.

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