It’s always good to do things yourself. But what if you can’t hang wallpaper, change a plug or mend a squeaky fence? Many people are fortunate to have relatives or small businesses that are recommended on trust. But what about everyone else? Do you have to resort to big companies that you don’t know or be charged a fortune in call-out fees for small jobs? Also see how to mend and repair things yourself.
Fortunately, there are some really good little businesses around, helped by innovative ideas. From social enterprises to online tasking, here are some ideas. These are not just good for those who need help, but also good for trustworthy handymen and handywomen to get involved in too. And having things mended and repaired is better for the planet and your pocket, than buying new. If you rent your home, check your lease as often repairs are covered.
- TaskRabbit is a site where you can help from thousands of vetted Taskers, to help with anything from cleaning to repairs to moving house. Popular projects are mending mending a running toilet, assembling furniture, lifting furniture upstairs, hanging pictures, painting and decorating and installing TVs. Taskers have to provide ID checks, and all taskers are reviewed online by users.
- Argonaut Community Enterprises (Birmingham) is one of a growing number of social enterprises, that offer services to vulnerable people in the community at affordable prices. Founded by two deaf people who worked in employment services, they wanted to help other people with disabilities find work. Other ones include The Leeds Handyman and Caring Hands Charity (Newcastle) that offers free services, apart from a small admin fee.
- Life Skills is a handy little guide to stuff you should really know by now. Books like this are really empowering, as it helps you do things and mend things independently, without having to rely on big box stores and others to repair things for you, and buy things when present items break down. It also makes life simpler! Some of the skills you’ll learn include how to sew on a button, change a tyre and more.
DIY Help for Women
No to sound patronising, but most of us are not ‘DIY-inclined naturally’, and of course (although most men are helpful), it can give rise to some women being taken advantage of, paying a fortune to have little jobs done, that they can’t do themselves.
Obviously get the professionals in for electrics and plumbing. But it’s good to learn a few basic things yourself, to empower yourself, save money and not get ripped off. London’s Good Life Centre offers good DIY courses for women (and men) in plain English. The classes can also be taken online. From tiling to using a drill to knowing how not to electrocute yourself (like checking for cables behind walls).