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.