I had the luck and pleasure to talk to three ladies who are not afraid to take the saw in hand and do something in their backyard or basement. If you think DIY projects are men business, now it's the time to rethink about this. By the way if you browse the directories of do-it-yourself blogs, you are going to find a lot of ladies there. Let me introduce you these who answered my questions:
Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog in 2009 and started blogging about it. You can read her whole story here. Her Thrifty Little Blog has a strong focus over her home renovation but you'll find a lot of craft-related topics too.
Kelly at Tearing up Houses is an architect with an interesting story that you can read here. She has an Etsy store with a lot of lovely stuff in it. Her Tearing Up Houses blog has hundreds of posts related to home renovation and DIY so you'll definitely have a lot to read.
Sandra at AboutSwingSets is a professional writer on DIY topics. Her blog is all about outdoor swing sets and combines advice on buying, maintenance and making swing sets yourself.
Let's get to the questions:
What is the favorite Do It Yourself project that you have completed? Can you tell us a bit more about it?
Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog: Easy! This has to be my dining room table project. I bought a solid wood dining table off of Craigslist thinking that I could simply re-stain the wood to make it more my style... well, seeing as it was my first attempt at refinishing, it didn't quite go as planned! After a disastrous attempt at staining it darker, ended up having to redo the entire project. Thankfully a pro friend was able to step in and give me some pointers. In the end, I'm proud that I followed through with the project and learned a new skill that I'll have for years.
When things went wrong: http://www.thriftylittleblog.com/2010/03/return-of-renozilla.html
Part one of the refinishing: http://www.thriftylittleblog.com/2010/03/how-to-refinish-furniture-sanding-and.html
Part two: http://www.thriftylittleblog.com/2010/04/finishing-refinishing.html
Kelly at Tearing up Houses: At this very moment I'm enjoying the kitchen that I wrapped up last week. But ask next week and I'm sure it'll be a different answer
Sandra at AboutSwingSets: Surprisingly it's not a swing set. I mostly like to do little things like mechanical toys or model airplanes for example. At least these I'm always sure I can complete :)
Is there a project you dream to do but never got the required time, guts or experience?
Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog: I would love to do an entire tile project alone.
Kelly at Tearing up Houses: I'd really like to buy some commercial real estate, but the right opportunity has never presented itself. I'd also be interested in tackling a century old barn or shed or some sort of working or mundane structure.
Sandra at AboutSwingSets: Oh yes, there are a lot such projects. One of the things I really want to do myself is the furniture of our house. But I never have the time or perhaps the experience... you imagine.
What's the next DIY project in your to-do list?
Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog: The next big DIY project is re-texturing the guest bedroom ceiling. I lived in the tiny extra bedroom while I removed the popcorn ceiling texture from the rest of the house and never haven't had time to go back to that bedroom.
Popcorn ceiling removal: http://www.thriftylittleblog.com/search/label/popcorn%20ceiling
Kelly at Tearing up Houses: Bathrooms!
Sandra at AboutSwingSets: Finally a swing set - a one made of steel.
Why are you doing things yourself?
Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog: I suppose finances play a big factor in my decision to DIY, but I've realized over the past year that I just enjoy the intrinsic rewards of completing projects myself. Now, looking at potential future homes, I can't imagine moving into a completely "finished" space.
Kelly at Tearing up Houses: I don't always do it myself. I have construction crews here and there. But I like being hands on because it helps me understand the space better.
Sandra at AboutSwingSets: Well, it's a combination of many things. Doing things yourself is fun and helps you save money, yes. But sometimes the main reason to DIY is because you can't find what you want at the market!
Can you imagine doing things yourself after twenty years? Or do you think everything then will be too cheap or too technical for doing at home?
Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog: I'm sure there will always be projects that I'll want to tackle and skills I want to learn over the next 20 years.
Kelly at Tearing up Houses: I don't know. I like to be involved in all of my projects, so I think I'll always play a large role.
Sandra at AboutSwingSets: Twenty years ago the science fiction and even popular magazines were writing how the kitchen of the 21st century will be full of robots who will prepare food for you. Do you see this done? I don't think things change that quick. If I am in good health, I'll keep doing things myself in 20 or even 30 years from now.