Maintenance of the home.
Maintaining your abode.
Making running repairs.
Yep: no matter how you choose to put it, home maintenance still not going to be any fun. It’s still something that we have to do, rather than something we choose to do.
Or is it?
For some people, the idea of spending a weekend tinkering with their home is their idea of heaven. They look forward to it, flicking through websites for inspiration, comparing paint swatches, assembling their bolt collection and preparing their elbow-length gloves for drain cleaning.
There is simply no universal truth for how everyone handles home maintenance. Someone reading this may think it’s a chore, a burden, something to be procrastinated from at any given opportunity. Others may believe that it’s a wonder, an enjoyment, even getting close to being a hobby, this is one of the many reasons I chose to be an interior designer. And if there’s a divide with a chasm this wide between two types of reactions, how many others are there that fit in between?
We’ve got it figured. We think, that there are five different personalities when it comes to approaching home maintenance. Which one of these sounds familiar to you?
PERSONALITY TYPE: Proactive, Proud, and Practical
OVERVIEW: A Proactive and Proud (PPP) doesn’t care if you think home maintenance is boring. Their family may mock them; their colleagues may think they are crazy for lusting after a weekend doing chores around the house. But PPP’s don’t care. They like knowing that their home is safe and secure.
GOOD AT: Everything. Years of home maintenance have given them skills that means the contractors don’t even get a phone call – they know how to handle even the trickiest of tasks. From climbing a ladder to replace a roof tile, to drilling holes for furniture, they get it done. What’s more, they get it done, and they do it with a smile.
BAD AT: Letting things go. If there’s a chipped bit of paint, some wallpaper that needs attention or overhanging branches in the garden, then they have to be dealt with. In fact, PPP’s would never admit it, but they find it tough to relax if they know there are still home maintenance jobs to be done.
WHAT’S THEIR HOME LIKE? Competently done and well-managed. Everything has a place, and any small repair tasks are carried out within the week of noticing them.
WHAT CAN THEY IMPROVE? Acknowledge that sometimes outside input from a professional interior decorator, like All About Interiors or a contractor is useful. No one can be an expert in all things, so occasionally, it’s worth consulting someone who might know better than you.
PERSONALITY TYPE: Adventurous, Accident-Prone, and Ah-Well-That-Will-Do
OVERVIEW: This personality type has all the right ideas. AAA’s notice flaws in the same way that PPP’s do – the difference is in their execution. AAA’s will throw themselves into home maintenance tasks they are not quite capable of and don’t know how to do, because they figure calling for help isn’t worth the time or effort. These are usually the phone calls we get to “fix” the giant mistakes they just made.
GOOD AT: Imagining grand designs. There is no need to prompt an AAA to think of what their home should be like – they’re great at that side of things. They can visualize a finished house should look like; their problem comes in getting there. They are also fairly proactive and will take notice of issues, so you’re not going to see many crumbling walls or neglected floor tiles in their homes.
They’re also tenacious, which means even when a project goes wrong, they will do what they have to so they can carry through to a finish point. (Even if it’s not quite the finish point they had in mind.) Oye Vay!!!
BAD AT: Carrying through their grand imaginations into reality. The Accident-Prone part of the personality is important here. An AAA is more likely to cause more damage throwing themselves into a task they are not really equipped for than they will finish the job. They also struggle to ask for help, refusing to accept that occasionally you might need a professional opinion on something.
WHAT’S THEIR HOME LIKE? Maintenance is generally good, but a little haphazard. The house will look different every time you see it, and they may skip between tasks without fully finishing them in a logical sequence.
WHAT CAN THEY IMPROVE? Planning and preparation – as in actually do them! Try and write down ideas rather than just flying into them without thinking how they might be made to happen. There’s nothing wrong with being creative, but try and learn to channel it into the right areas and in the right ways.
PERSONALITY TYPE: Dreaming, Demure, and Distanced
OVERVIEW: A DDD personality is a difficult one to overcome. They notice the flaws in their home and know they should do something about it, but they’re too worried about the consequences if they take a risk. DIY is anathema to them. If they see a problem with the roof, the last thing they would do is scale a ladder to fix it themselves – they’d be on the phone to www.FergusonRoofing.com in no time.
They will stretch themselves to fix huge problems, but when it comes to decor, they prefer beige and magnolia. They dream of something better, but they don’t want to take risks when it comes to getting to that point. So rather than having a go, they make do.
GOOD AT: Keeping everything as it should be. This personality type values the status quo so much that they won’t rock the boat. They won’t attempt DIY they’re not capable of, so they don’t have to deal with the resulting problems. They know their limits and are aware of the potential hazards with home maintenance and renovation, so they keep themselves out of it.
BAD AT: Living their dreams, primarily. Their home is not perfect, but they’re happy with sacrificing the ideal vision for something functional. This is also an expensive personality type, as it tends to involve a lot of calling in others – even for extremely simple tasks. They won’t hang a picture by themselves for fear of nailing through to a wire; never mind bigger jobs that require deep knowledge. They don’t DIY, but they know someone that can do it for them – and that’s good enough for them.
WHAT’S THEIR HOME LIKE? A little boring, but safe and comfortable. Repairs are generally done to a high standard, largely because they have been completed by professionals. They’re never going to have adventurous, Avant Garde homes, but they’re also never going to have to clear up from a disastrous attempt at DIY.
WHAT CAN THEY IMPROVE? A bit more go forward never hurt anyone! Though it goes against their natural instinct, a DDD should learn that there’s nothing wrong with trying something new. If they don’t like it, that’s okay! Making mistakes is all a part of learning our own style and how we want to keep our home. So make small changes early.
PERSONALITY TYPE: Reckless, Ruthless, and Rugged
OVERVIEW: If there is a direct opposite to a DDD, then it’s the RRR. This personality type is determined just to get on with things. They will decide in the morning that they want to knock a wall down, and will be surrounded by dust and rubble by the evening. Will they have called for someone to check and see if it’s a load-bearing wall? Only if someone else told them to. Again, as a designer, I cringe…
They start projects without any real idea of how they’re going to end up – all they know is that they want something to change and that they’ve got a sledgehammer. So there’s nothing in their way.
GOOD AT: Getting on with things and being experimental – even if they don’t work out. There’s something to be said for a sense of adventure, a thought process that just lets you try something and damn the consequences. It’s impressive in its own obscure way.
They may be competent, so the result of their daring can turn out to be impressive – that shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s just the way they build themselves up to the task and throw into it that’s a little more alarming.
BAD AT: Thinking things through. There is very little planning with an RRR; they are instinctual people who go off what feels like a good idea at the time. They might decide they want a conservatory and rush through the consultation process, but then they’ll realize there’s no space for the dog to run around – and sadly, the conservatory is already built.
They have a tendency to rush things too, thanks to their habit of focusing on the result and not thinking much about how they get there. If there’s a corner to cut, then they’re going to chop it off at the first opportunity.
WHAT’S THEIR HOME LIKE? A mess, in a constant state of innovation and change. But the parts they have completed can be glorious, intelligent and artistic – if you can just ignore the surrounding still-to-be-done projects that surround it.
WHAT CAN THEY IMPROVE? Take some time before launching into something to make sure it’s viable. It might also be worth introducing them to the list of hazards involved in this kind of DIY and maintenance work, as detailed here; www.ehstoday.com
So what does all this mean and what personality of Home Maintenance are you? Regardless of which category you fall into, it’s always a smart move to consult a professional designer or contractor about your ideas before you dive into them head first and regret mistakes later.