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    “If you take care of your things, they will last longer”
    -Mom and Dad

    Ready to Tackle your Own DIH Project?  Keep these tips in mind:

    1) Research Your Project.
    Take some time to research your project -- start to finish. There are so many resources now available to us:  the web has really changed things.  There are some incredible web sites that offer fantastic advice.  Retailers’ websites such as Lowe’s and DIY have interactive workshops and how-to libraries. Check out some books at the library or hit a bookstore to aid in your research. I’ve noticed that many community or adult education are offering home improvement classes. Find out exactly what tools and materials you will need, how long the project should take and how much it will cost. Sit down and put a budget and timeline together just as contractors do. If you go into a home improvement store with no goals and little knowledge of what you need, you might end up with all the wrong products.

    2) Don’t get intimated.

    Remember: men are not born knowing how to build and fix things – their knowledge came from hands-on experience, making mistakes, talking to others who are experts  trial and through classes. The same goes for women. Remember, the more you know, the more you are able to walk into a retailer and sound like you really know what you are talking about – put yourself in the driver’s seat.  Just because a stereotype exists doesn't mean you have to live by it and let it define you. Be assertive!

    3) Ask Questions

    If you don’t know how to do something, start asking questions. Keep asking them until you understand what you need to know. As friends, ask neighbors – you will find out that if they don’t know, they know someone who does. Persistence is key. But what happens if you walk into a retailer and you ask a salesperson a question and they treat you as less-than-competent or look down on you because you're a female? I’ve been there many times – once when I ordered a set of folding doors at a local retailer, the salesperson started laughing when I told him I was doing the work.  If my husband is along, 99% of the time, they direct answers to him, even though I asked the question. What’s my solution:  look for someone else or ask for the store manager. If they are not helpful, complain and take your business elsewhere. It’s that simple. There is absolutely no reason for you to put up with being treated as a second-class citizen because of your gender. You can walk out and find a store that will serve you as a customer, not just as woman.

    Remember:  knowledge is power.  You can overcome anything with knowledge and achieve your project.