Tina: Love your description of Lowe's. Most people consider Home Depot the store for professionals, while Lowe's focuses on women and does a great job displaying their products so you can see what your choices are.
Tina: Have you tried shopping for home products online?
Gabby: I bought a table on Overstock.com recently, but that's about it. I'd love to purchase more things for the house but Christmas killed that idea.
Where do you get ideas for your home projects?
Gabby: My favorite place to get ideas is Pinterest. There are so many cool ideas, I can spend hours (don't tell anyone) and it's so much fun to dream about what I could do with my home.
Tina: It's true that Pinterest can be addictive. At the same time I love how great ideas are being spread around the world, which means everyone is learning more and challenging the status quo. For example, who would ever have thought to cover their refrigerator with contact paper, and now there are companies creating products for this.
Tina: Do you ever go to home show to get ideas for your home, or to check out product choices like roofing materials?
Gabby: I once went to a home show with a friend, who wanted to show me these pots and pans. She said they were great, had a lifetime warranty … so I bought them, and still have them.
Tina: That's too funny as I see those pots & pans at every show, but I've never checked them out … even when there's a big crowd standing there watching the demo.
What DIY projects do you like to do?
Gabby: Hmm, I really don't have time for many DIY projects. I did recently use chalk paint on a side table for my daughter's bedroom … and it came out pretty nice. It only took a couple of hours, so I was pretty happy.
Tina: So it seems like you're comfortable painting?
Gabby: Yes, painting a wall or room doesn't have a lot of risk. Otherwise it can take me a long time to get up enough nerve to try something I've never done before. That's why there are “Fail” boards on Pinterest. Some of the most important painting decisions include:
Tina: I can relate to that. When I made Jello blocks for my granddaughter's Frozen birthday party, I couldn't get them out of the pan. Hadn't made them for my boys for so long, I'd forgotten you need extra gelatin … so I got to make a second batch.
Tina: How could HomeTipsforWomen help you tackle more projects?
What DIY projects do you hate the most?
Gabby: That's easy. I don't like construction projects. Generally I don't have time for anything that takes more than 4 hours given my work schedule.
Tina: Does the 4 hours include the time you spend researching and shopping?
Gabby: No, it took me about 4 hours to paint the side table and I also created a gallery wall before that.
Do you have a budget for home projects, both maintenance and home improvements?
Gabby: After we talked about this topic, my husband and I came up with budgets for both maintenance ($100/mo) and home improvements which we agreed to at $250/mo. My husband handles the maintenance while I get to decide on which home improvements will make … but have to wait until we've saved the money before we start.
Tina: How do you know that you're doing all the necessary home maintenance?
Gabby: We don't really know, and I'm sure we're missing some.
Tina: How does your husband remember when things need to be done?
Gabby: He sets up reminders on his phone for things he has to do frequently.
Tina: That's great and I'm starting to find other services to help homeowners, like FilterSnap that ships the right size filters to your home, on the schedule you pick. The challenge is picking the schedule because we don't use our heating and air conditioning the same way throughout the year. (Read: How the Right Home Air Filter Can Save You Money)
Tina: Would you find a weekly home maintenance tip helpful? Because after years trying to motivate homeowners to create their own home maintenance schedule, I realize they're more likely to respond to gentle pokes so I'm adding them to my weekly newsletter for homeowners.
Gabby: That's a great idea as we are too busy, so knowing you're sending us those reminders will certainly help.