Strap on a toolbelt, ladies

Traditionally, men have often been the ones in the family who take on the home repairs.

But with more women remaining single, getting divorced or finding themselves widowed, and women who simply want to take on a more active role in fixing things up around the house, the division of labour by gender isn’t cutting it anymore.

A new series of workshops being put on by Dan Nugent of Ease Ability Renovations along with Dom Daviau of Handy Mum Home Improvements, is designed to show women where to start and get them comfortable with some of the basics.

The goal if for women to leave with the attitude "I can do that," said Dan’s wife Barb Nugent. "Even for younger couples that are maybe buying a home for the first time, the home that they’re purchasing might need some home repairs and when they’re buying their first home all their dollars go into the downpayment or small renovations that might be needed for their new home and any jobs that they can learn on their own…they just need some small guidance on how to

get started."

The first session in the series, entitled "You Can Do It", took place on Tuesday, Oct. 21 and addressed the subject of hand tools.

Sessions are also scheduled for Oct. 28, Nov. 4, and Nov. 18, from 7-9 p.m., and Barb said there are also sessions planned for the new year.

Attendees on Tuesday night covered a wide age range from women in their mid-30s to late 60s.

It’s not just about teaching new skills, said Barb, it’s about fostering

a sense of confidence.

Some women have grown up with the idea that "girls don’t do those things," she said, and that can leave women intimidated to pick up a hand saw or cut baseboards.

But more and more women are finding that they can’t afford to pay somebody to do small fixes, which can be as basic as hanging flower baskets or patching drywall.

"They’re looking for a way of how to save money, how to empower themselves, how to learn a new task," Barb explained. "It can help a homeowner hugely when they don’t have any extra money."

The remaining fall sessions will start with two classes on power tools, then move on to small drywall repairs.

Additional classes in the new year will address plumbing, electrical, exterior home maintenance and painting.

Classes are being held at the Island Savings Centre in Duncan and you must book in advance. They are $35 each. You can register online at facebook. com/easabilityrenos, or email easerenos@gmail.com or call 250-732-3760.

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