The To-do List

What’s Hot in Home Improvement

By Heather Vandevoorde, Ph.D.


Are you the type of woman to strap on a tool belt and get busy with DIY projects?  According to the UAE’s Marketing to Women platform, 60% of us are. In fact, if you’re part of the 40% of women who shy away from DIY, isn’t it time to add some new skills?  YouTube is full of step-by-step instructional videos. Here’s a checklist of the 10 skills everyone should know how to do around the house:

  1. Unblock a clogged sink
  2. Fix a leaky sink
  3. Reseal a bath
  4. Re-oil wooden surfaces, doors or tables properly
  5. Paint a window without sealing it closed
  6. Hang wall art
  7. Clean limescale from taps
  8. Use power tools
  9. Change a fuse
  10. Hang wallpaper

It’s a growing trend; women are not just writing the “honey do” lists any more, they are completing them. Perhaps that’s why the results of a recent annual online survey conducted in the UAE by Al-Futtaim ACE has shown some unique and emerging trends. Some of the more feminine-touch highlights include:

  • 95% of respondents indicated a willingness to pay extra for long-lasting, energy-efficient lightbulbs
  • Also in the “green” frame of mind: low-chemical and odour factors beat out price as the top features customers looked for in paint
  • 50% (a 12-point rise from last year) wanted to further beautify their homes by adding mirrors, wall art and other decorative accessories
  • 50% were looking to obtain kitchen appliance upgrades, followed by 47% looking to change kitchen doors, knobs and other features.
  • 48% of the same wanted to add accessories to the bathroom

Overall, 88% expressed a desire to make some sort of household improvement this year with 75% volunteering to do the work themselves versus hiring someone. The average budget range was from AED 1,001–5,000 allocated to these projects.

Outdoors, 60% of respondents prioritised adding furniture, plants and grills over other work. Indoors, people felt the same with 47% indicating that new furniture topped their lists.

Answers were high-tech oriented with a 17-point increase, with 38% of people reporting that they researched online, and a further 22% used social media for home improvement ideas.

Ninety-three per cent of those surveyed owned basic hand tools, though very few owned power tools. Ladies, if you have never used a drill, you are really missing out on some fun. Get yourself geared up and get going at home!


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