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New Haynes Manual makes light work of DIY

Women's Home DIY Fix-it and finish-it manual
April 2011
Dr Kerrie Hanafin
5 May 2011

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.

The information on this page is supplied courtesy of Haynes Publishing, please credit accordingly if you intend to use it. For more information or to request a review copy please contact Spirit PR on 0117 944 1415 or email Haynes PR

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. Sparkford, Yeovil, Somerset BA22 7JJ. Telephone: 01963 440635 Fax: 01963 440001 E-mail: