Easter is the perfect time to tackle those troubling DIY jobs and the author of the new Women's Home DIY Manual from Haynes says no-one should need to call out a professional to help. And she should know - she runs a building company.
Kerrie Hanafin, Managing Director of A Woman's Touch, set up her building business after one particularly slapdash tiling company left her home in a mess. She has now written the ultimate easy-to-read guide to every DIY job in the home, including laying a floor, basic plumbing, basic electrics, putting up shelves, fitting locks and tiling.
The Women's Home DIY Manual has, in true Haynes style, clear, step-by-step photography and easy-to-follow instructions. Written in jargon-free language, Kerrie hopes this manual will encourage more women to tackle common DIY tasks rather than pay a professional or nag a man to do them.
To get a taste of Kerrie's approach, here are her top five DIY tips for Easter:
- Small gaps between floorboards can easily be filled with papier-mâché.
- Make it from strips of paper and thick wallpaper paste, and mix in some wood stain to match the colour.
- A dripping tap could waste as much as 90 litres of water a week. When mending it don't forget to put the plug in, in case you drop any small screws or washers.
- Coloured tiles can vary from batch to batch. Variations in colour will be less noticeable if you mix tiles from different boxes as you go along.
- If you are leaving paint to dry for several hours between coats, wrap your roller or brush in cling-film so you don't have to keep washing it.
- When you are wallpapering a room always start at the focal point, such as a chimney breast, and work from the centre outwards.
For bigger jobs where you do need a professional, here are Kerrie's tips for getting an honest quote:
- Always asked for a written quote and check everything is included, from materials to cleaning up afterwards and taking rubbish away.
- Ask for references and photos of previous work.
- You may be able to save money by doing some of the groundwork yourself - talk to your professional about whether this is possible.
- Double-check who is going to buy the materials - trades often get a discount which they may be willing to share with you.
- Familiarise yourself with what needs doing, ideally by buying the new Haynes Women's Home DIY Manual.
Author Kerrie Hanafin says: "I hope Women's Home DIY will empower more women to do their own DIY, whether they are students, first-time buyers or busy professionals. It is more satisfying and cheaper to do it yourself."
About the Author
Kerrie Hanafin set up her building company, A Woman's Touch, in 2003. She won the NatWest Businesswoman of the Year Award in 2006 and the BT Female Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2007.
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Haynes Manuals is the world's leading publisher of illustrated workshop car and motorcycle manuals, as well as producing manuals on a wide range of DIY, leisure and lifestyle subjects. These will continue to include motoring and motorsport related subjects.