Community DIY: Home Repair Cooperative

A home decorating/maintenance coop is a group of homeowners with do-it-yourself-energy and specialized talent (plumbing, electricalrepair, painting).

We all have projects in our house waiting for our attention. It may be the living room that needs fresh paint and wallpaper, a dripping faucet that wants a new washer, or kitchen lighting that needs installed. If you are a stay-at-home-parent, do-it-yourself projects may not only be practical, but a financial necessity.

At the outset, do-it-yourself projects seem like they will be quick and easy to complete, but we often lack the momentum or expertise to get them off the ground. Of course, if you have young children at home, it can be that much more difficult. That is were a home improvement co-op comes to the rescue.

By pooling the resources and talent of a group of friends, home projects can be accomplished more quickly, often with more expertise, and undoubtabley with more enjoyment. In addition, once you schedule a time for a group of people to work on a project, it is less likely to be put on hold while you walk the dog, or do another load of laundry.

I've found that a group of 3 people to work on the project and another two (depending on the number of children) to babysit, is the most effective. If your group of friends consists primarily of stay-at-home moms (or dads), selecting one morning a week (say every Wednesday) to devote to project fix-ups works best. This develops a consistent routine and maintains momentum.

To keep everyone enthusiastic about the projects, it's best to be able to complete each job in one or two sessions. This provides a sense of completion and an ability to complete work on more peoples' homes in a relatively short period of time.

To get started, each participant fills out a project request form with a project description. The project should be limited to 3 - 4 "Work Hours". For example, a job that would take 9-12 actual hours of work by one person could be completed by 3 people in 3 - 4 Work Hours.



Second, the form also asks the participant to rate the level of difficulty of work. More difficult jobs may require more prep time, or the added knowledge of an "specialist." This allows everyone to be prepared for the job at hand, and not have any delays before starting.

This brings us to the next part of the form. Each member is asked to list their specialties, whether it be an understanding of plumbing, hanging wallpaper, or electricity. Build a house Maintenance/ Home decorating co-op with your friends.

We all have projects in our house waiting for our attention. It may be the living room that needs fresh paint and wallpaper, a dripping faucet that wants a new washer, or kitchen lighting that needs installed. If you are a stay-at-home-parent, do-it-yourself projects may not only be practical, but a financial necessity.

At the outset, do-it-yourself projects seem like they will be quick and easy to complete, but we oftenlack the momentum or expertise to get them off the ground. Of course, if you have young children at home, it can be that much more difficult. That is were a home improvement co-op comes to the rescue.

By pooling the resources and talent of a group of friends, home projects can be accomplished more quickly, often with more expertise, and undoubtabley with more enjoyment. In addition, once youschedule a time for a group of people to work on a project, it is less likely to be put on hold while you walk the dog, or do another load of laundry.

I've found that a group of 3 people to work on the project and another two (depending on the number of children) to babysit, is the most effective. If your group of friends consists primarily of stay-at-home moms (or dads), selecting one morning a week to devote to project fix-ups works best. This develops a consistent routine and maintains momentum. To keep everyone enthusiasti c about the projects, its best to be able to start and finish each job in one or two sittings. This provides a sense of completion and an ability to complete work on more peoples' homes.in a relatively short period of time.

To get started, each participant fills out a project request form with a project description. The project should be limited to 3 - 4 "Work Hours". For example, a job that would take 9-12 actual hours of work by one person could be completed by 3 people in 3 - 4 Work Hours.

Second, the form also asks the participant to rate the level of difficulty of work. More difficult jobs may require more prep time , or the added knowledge of an "specialist." This brings us to the next part of the form. Each member is asked to list their specialties, whether it be an understanding of plumbing, hanging wallpaper, or electricity. This allows us to be sure to include the specialist in the projects that require these skills.

Commerce:

Tracking participation can be done in one of two ways. In our group, the honor system seems to work best. One day a week is chosen, and everyone that can show, helps out. Typically, there are enough people to cover the project. For more formal co-op, you could trade popsicle sticks for hours worked. This way, by volunteering more time, you can get more time at your house. In addition, those with specialties (plumbing, electric) may be elegible to earn 2 popsicle sticks per hour.

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