Home Life: House Doctor
Sunday 16 August 1998
Women are a different proposition. They just do not like the mess of building, and cannot wait to get it finished and get you off the premises. Cooking, bathing and sleeping areas must be preserved at all costs, and structural work, however complicated, hidden behind polythene and Hoovered at the end of the day. But if women are only concerned about the final decorative finish, and ignore what's happening underneath the wallpaper, they become easy targets for unscrupulous builders who take short cuts. And if men are only interested in the meaty side of construction, their builders may get away with murder on finishes. But why these differences in the first place? Well, it's got to be social conditioning, hasn't it? In an ideal world, children of both genders would be taught the rudiments of construction, so that when they grow up they are able to distinguish shoddy cowboy rip-offs from genuine home maintenance necessities. They might also learn the basics of lighting, colour and space, so they have confidence to make themselves comfortable in their own homes without slavishly apeing glossy style mags or a bunch of interior designers poncing about on TV.
As it is, you'd think the punters most likely to get a good result from a builder would be a male and female couple. How does the smart builder cope with that one? Easy. Find out which half pays out the money - and just go for it.
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