Women - Getting Down and Dirty!

By: Branden Schroeder

Well done women! You did not sit and cry for a man's help when the plumbing leaked! According to two recent surveys, you have successfully embraced the do-it-yourself market. Yes, more women than men are now shopping for builder's supplies and more women than men are planning and tackling home improvement projects. Research published in a Yankelovich Monitor study and also research by Home Depot has shown that women are outnumbering men in the home improvement markets.

This is surely a sign of the times; there are so many single women who have simply had to 'have a go' as they have had no money for a professional job and no handyman in sight! (83% cited money as a factor in their initial interest in home improvements.) In fact, seven out of ten women said that it is only time and money that is stopping them from attempting more projects.

Apparently, gone are the days when women want to spend their weekends baking and shopping. According to the survey, 37% said that they would rather spend their free time on a home improvement project or an outdoor project; the same survey quoted only 33% of men as choosing this same option. By comparison, only 28% of women surveyed said they would rather be at a mall on the weekends and only 25% said they would rather be slaving over a hot stove!

Several of the home supplies retail outlets have recognized this swing over to female interest and offer free classes of instruction in many simple projects. Evening and weekend workshops demonstrate the use of tools, how to tile, how to lay a wooden floor, how to fix a toilet, how to wash and stain your deck and many other easy projects. These seminars are offered totally free of charge and they no doubt inspire many new do-it-yourselfers who will probably want to buy their supplies in the same store as the seminar.

They also publish instructions on the Internet using photos and give step by step instructions for many projects. Some of the projects include making a simple bookcase, building a trellis, installing plumbing for a garden pond, making your own hanging basket etc. One of the useful aids on these internet instructions is a list of materials and tools required to complete each job.

In a two year period, the number of women who remodeled their own bathroom jumped from approximately 8% to 20%, and the number of women picking up the garden fork has increased by 10%. Apart from the lack of cash, 78% of the two and a half thousand people surveyed said that their inspiration has been feeling 'a sense of accomplishment' and 67% said they liked working with their hands.

According to the US Census Bureau , a whopping 57% of single women are now homeowners and this figure is projected to rise. Figures out for 2006 show that over 17 million women are homeowners and last year for the first time, single home owners (both male and female) topped married homeowners.

It seems that one of the biggest obstacles to overcome is learning how to use the tools that were once thought of as a 'man's domain'. Do men feel threatened? Maybe they are having the last laugh as they sit back and flick on the sport's channel to drown out the sound of that pesky electric drill!

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