As James Brown once sang, this is a man’s world. Though we’re inching our way to gender equality, we’re still in the midst of an unsettling gender pay gap and women everywhere are subject to a gamut of gender stereotypes. When it comes to DIY many women are a little skittish, which is a shame since women (especially Mums) often find themselves confronted with quotidian household disasters every bit as much as their male counterparts. Some women may make a bee-line to the phone to call Dad, little realising that the task at hand requires nothing more than a dab of elbow grease and a little knowhow.
While there are undoubtedly some jobs left to the professionals (electrical problems in particular should be left to the likes of MMK electricians) most DIY hacks are far easier than a lot of women realise. So when faced with these 3 common household scenarios, there’s no reason not to grab your tool belt and proudly subvert some gender stereotypes.
Did you ever walk past your all-singing-all-dancing double glazed windows ands feel a draft? That’s because the silicone based sealant around them can perish over time, leaking heat out of the home despite the energy efficiency of the glass. Thankfully, repairing these is fairly easy and you can achieve a really professional finish that looks neat and keeps heat inside where it belongs. Here’s how you do it:
- Scrape off the existing silicone with a stiff scraper.
- Use a solvent and some kitchen roll to remove any remaining traces.
- Line the window’s circumference with masking tape leaving a gap of around 5mm to ensure a nice neat line.
- Using a mastic gun, seal around the window’s edge, smoothing the silicone down with a wet finger.
This works just as well for baths and sinks where the sealant can get discoloured and yucky over time. Just be sure to fill the bath while resealing.
Changing a door handle
Changing a door handle is easier than you’d think. The hardest part is removing the old one. This is best from inside the room with the door closed. Locate and remove the two screws (usually one on either side of the handle). If you can’t see them they may be hidden by the handle plate. If this is the case, pry the plate off with a flat-bladed screwdriver. Once you’ve removed the screws with a long Phillips head screwdriver, it should be easy to remove the handle, open the door and pull the handle out from the other side.
Fixing a leaky tap
The constant drip-drip-drip of a leaky tap can be distracting and irritating. Many people (men and women) get skittish around plumbing and suffer in silence not wishing to exacerbate the problem with their meddling. Still, while there are some plumbing repairs that you should never attempt fixing a leaky tap is fairly straightforward. The most common cause of a leaky tap is a worn or damaged washer. Simply turn off the water supply, plug the sink or bath and switch the tap to the ‘on’ position. To remove the tap’s ‘headgear’, undo the headgear nut with a spanner and prise it off. Then simply prise off the washer with a screwdriver and replace it with a fresh one. Ta-da! Your tap will now flow freely and the annoying leak is now just a memory.
Easier than you thought, right? With a few simple and inexpensive tools and a little knowhow, mastering DIY is one big step toward gender equality.