Handywoman’s Guide to DIY

Handwoman's Guide to DIYAs women we are blessed with many gifts – amongst them are our multi-tasking abilities, knack for reading directions and attention to detail. Individually, these attributes are invaluable – in combination though, they’re even better. Why? Because they make us women the perfect candidates for DIY.

Women are putting down the diapers, picking up the power tools and embracing the DIY revolution. Whether that means renovating the kitchen or simply fixing a nail in the wall, the do it yourself lifestyle is here to stay. Since home repair can be intimidating at first we’ve put together this little go-to guide to help you on become an experienced handy-woman.


  • “You’ll need a Phillips for this repair” – A Phillips Head Screwdriver that is.
  • “Have you checked out the cistern?” – a cistern is anything that’s used to store water, like say, your toilet tank.
  • “You might need to bleed your valve” – your radiator valve that is, usually located at the top of your radiator.
  • “It might need to be soldered” – no, not fixed by a soldier; soldered, as in fused together using this metal alloy.
  • “So it’s your stack that’s leaking” – you know, that vertical pipe that carries stuff away from your sinks and toilets.
  • “Are you using the correct wattage?” – a watt is a measure of power, so it’s commonly used when dealing with anything electric.
  • “Better check the consumer unit to make sure everything is turned off” – just another word for a fuse box.
  • Primer first” – some things don’t take paint very well. Primer can help!
  • “A little varnish and it’ll look like new” – A protective finish for wood.
For a bigger glossary of terms, check out http://uktv.co.uk/home/dgiped/kw/259


Top Tools

–Some jobs may require additional tools, but if you keep a box filled with these essentials around the house you should be able to tackle most repairs no problem. Everything we’ve included here can be picked up at your neighborhood home depot, and some of it even comes in pink if you’re so inclined.

  • Safety Gear – You’ll never know when you might need eye glasses, gloves or protective footwear.
  • A tool set – A must-have for every home, a tool kit should include screwdrivers, adjustable wrench, hammers, pliers, a drive tool and sockets. Doesn’t have to be top of the line, just not plastic please.
  • Ladder – Much safer than dragging the kitchen chair around the house.
  • Stud Finder – Looking for a man? Just kidding – this handy little tool will keep you from putting holes in your walls only to encounter a stud.
  • Level – Crooked pictures be-gone.
  • Flashlight – Chances are you already have one, but if you don’t now you have no excuse.
  • Cordless Drill – You’ll be surprised how often this awesome little tool will come in. handy. An extra battery pack is never a bad thing to have either.
  • Utility knife – Add this to your tool set if it didn’t come with one.
  • Tape measure – Much more accurate than trying to use your arms.

Getting Started

– A few quick home maintenance tasks

Clean Your Dryer Vents – We’re sure you’ve heard it before, but this is an important one. Dryer vents can become a major fire hazard if not cleaned regularly. This video will walk you through what you need to do:

Fix the leaky faucet – It’s annoying and unfortunately pretty common but leaky faucets are an easy fix with a little bit of time and effort. The first thing you’ll need to do is remove the handle – just pop the decorative cap off and remove the screw (household tool kit to the rescue)! From here, follow the step-by-step directions on eHow.com for quick repair.

Stop a squeaking door – There are two ways to stop a noisy door – the right way and the lazy way. If you want the problem solved in 5 minutes or less, grab some lubricant and go to town on the hinges. If you want to stop the squeak once and for all, follow these directions from Popular Mechanics.


Paint – No real directions required for this one! Grab a brush, some old clothes and maybe some crappy sheets and you’re good to go. A new coat of paint can quickly refresh a room and give it a whole new look.


DIY Do Not’s

– We don’t want to discourage you right out the door, but there are a few things around the home that you should leave to the pros.

  • Electrical Work
  • Plumbing
  • Roofing
  • Structural Work
  • Tree-cutting

DIY doesn’t have to mean renovating your whole home, minor tasks like unplugging the drain can be just as empowering. Start small, get motivated and be careful!

This guest post was brought to you by PartSelect, distributer of KitchenAid parts and home of the Virtual Repairman™.

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