It's all about confidence and empowerment
‘Wow, I feel really empowered’, grins Lisa, 35, a commercial accountant from Berkshire. She’s just executed a perfectly arched cut into a piece of laminate flooring using a jigsaw – it’s the first time she’s even held a power saw let alone used one.
It’s the second day of the Chix & Mortar course and it turns out empowerment is the unexpected by-product of a weekend spent up to your elbows in paint, putty and grout.
Chix & Mortar is a relatively new concept – a DIY course aimed at women. It’s run by Collette Dunkley (the chick) and Big Brother 1 winner Craig Phillips – TV’s most famous DIY handy man (he’s the mortar); their mission is to teach women how to tackle their home maintenance and improvements with confidence.
‘[Confidence] is often what keeps women from doing more DIY’ says Craig, ‘it’s two things really, confidence and the knowledge of the tools and materials. It can be really intimidating for ladies going into your B&Qs and Homebases - there’s just so many different drills and so much choice for materials.
But I find ladies are keen enough to have a go at the DIY, sometimes even more than the men. Men will happily put it off until next weekend but the girls want to get their hands dirty straight away.’
That certainly seems the case on the Chix and Mortar course. Sixteen gung-ho women have been getting mucky all weekend and so far we’ve covered painting and decorating, wall-papering, tiling, drilling, and basic carpentry, plumbing and flooring.
Plus we, novice handy women, have been introduced to drill bits, jigsaws, tile cutters and other previously unknown tools. Yes, I can confirm it. There’s nothing quite like wielding a power tool for feeling empowered.
Image: Chix learn the secrets of drilling into wall, wood, plastic and tiles.