Ep 36: The Woman’s Place in DIY, Broken Noses and Giving Yourself Some Credit

“I could never do that.” Almost every time we share the final photos of a project, we have someone make this comment. We start this episode by talking about it, and how people need to give themselves a little credit.

“I’ve never done that” sometimes becomes “I can’t do that,” but it shouldn’t be that way. Google, watch Youtube videos, read books, ask friends and neighbors who have experience. Learn what you need to learn so you can do what you want to do.

Listen to the latest episodes on: iTunes, GooglePlayStitcher.

This Episode is Sponsored by:

Get 20% off your first room.
Visit www.modsy.com/chrislovesjulia to receive the discount


Thomas Avenue Ceramics

Thomas Avenue Ceramics
Receive 20% off your tile order
Visit www.thomasavenueceramics.com/clj and use code CLJ

Listener Question: How to choose the right flooring 
• The final decision isn’t always final
• What factors to consider for deciding on a material and color
• How to best use flooring samples
• Offsetting costs by self-installation

“The woman’s place” in DIY
• “You’re so lucky to have a husband who is handy”
• Every contribution achieves the end
• Little things aren’t less important because they’re little
• Respect every part of the project

This day is CLJ History: “Keyless Isn’t Always Cool”
Chris reads an old entry from 2012, Masterpiece Theatre style, from when Julia had to ninja her way into their locked house to retrieve the car keys. Moral of the story – doorknobs with keypads are a great investment.

Keyless Entry

Game: 15 Ways to Get Rid of Negative Energy at Home
Chris and Preston go head-to-head in this family feud-style game, trying to guess as many of the 15 ways outlined in this article from House Beautiful. Surprisingly, playing smooth jazz is not on the list.

Can’t Get You Outta My Mind

Chris: Old age is setting in, so Chris has decided it’s time for prescription sunglasses. He shares his recent purchase from Warby Parker (not a sponsor of this episode) and how simple the order process is. You can even have up to 5 styles sent to you at once to try in your home.
Julia’s glasses: The Durand in Whiskey Tortoise
Chris’s glasses: The Nash in Greystone
Chris’s sunglasses: The Halford in Jet Silver

Julia: It’s a well-known fact that the swipe feature is the only reason people have been buying Android phones (I jest… but really…). Google makes a keyboard app for iPhone called Gboard, which includes lots of features like emoji search, gif search, and yes, swipe texting.
Preston: Preston’s most recent project included painting his downstairs, and he talks about how his Wagner paint sprayer (not a sponsor of this episode) saved him hours of time getting it done.
Please leave a rating and review for the podcast!
Have questions you’d like us to answer on the podcast? Email podcast@chrislovesjulia.com.
Theme song Headphones by Preston Pugmire


  • I listened to this episode yesterday and had to laugh as you described the “woman’s role in diy”. I’ve been tearing down walls and ripping up hardwood and patching drywall all by myself while my husband just keeps the kids out of the way and tries hard not to be too annoyed by the mess. ;-) But then, as you said, every relationship is different and what works for you is different from what works for me. My husband is handy, but I’m the one with the vision. He usually doesn’t see the necessity of my project ideas, so it’s easier to just execute it myself (with him to rescue me when I get in over my head). If he was in charge of my current project (turning a closet into a mini-mudroom), he would have screwed a few hooks into the studs at the back, bought a shoe shelf from Walmart, and called it done. Not exactly what I want to look at in my kitchen every day!

    I grew up with a fabulous role model too–my mom single-handedly brought our rental house back from the brink of being condemned (rotten subfloor, anyone?) to being the gem of the neighbourhood. As you said, every part of the project is important, even the kid-wrangling!

  • Reply May 3, 2017

    Kathe C

    You two remind me of my husband and myself. We have been doing DIY together since our first house way back in 1997 and we’ve managed to stay married. For years my role was the designer, painter, and general holder. The latter is the worst. I’d get stuck holding the wood while my husband drilled, sawed or whatever’d it with the various power tools. He never showed me how to use the tools and I never asked. This meant that I had to wait until he was home to do anything beyond the drill. A few years ago for Mother’s Day, I asked him to show me how to use the tools. I didn’t want a gift, just the instruction. He bought me my own leather tool belt, a good pair of work gloves, and a pop up stand for our miter saw. (Although I think he really wanted the stand himself and used my request as an excuse to buy it.) He showed me how to use the compressor, how to set up and use the miter saw and the table saw. Armed with this knowledge, I have been able to complete several projects. We still work together on the big house stuff, but I’m no longer relegated to the holder job.

  • Reply April 28, 2017


    Julia (&Chris & Preston), this episode had so many funny moments. I was killing myself laughing driving home from a week away from home. I think this was my favourite show ever. Thank you for keeping me entertained.

  • Reply April 27, 2017

    Andrea Beu

    I interpreted the husband comment a lot different than most, I guess. I heard that comment on the podcast and I have actually had the exact same thought regarding Chris and Julia (as well as John and Sherry from Young House Love). I think it is great that these guys are so handy and they have the willingness and desire to actually do DIY with their wives as a team. My husband doesn’t have any interest in doing home stuff and while I am super handy and can do most DIY projects by myself, it would be a lot more fun and rewarding to do it together. He will help me if I really need him but the process isn’t enjoyable for him. He just doesn’t like it. That is why I’ve thought that Julia was lucky to have a husband that was handy. Not because I’m a woman and can’t do it myself. It just gets a bit lonely doing everything solo.

  • Reply April 25, 2017


    Oh man, this conversation about not daring to attempt DIY hits home for me in a hard way. As someone who deeply wants to be a DIYer, and actually has fairly good confidence in trying new things I will tell you what some of my stumbling blocks are: 1. Tools! I only have a few tools and I don’t know what they are or do. When a blogger posts a “use your router to make a quick…” they have already lost me, sadly. I never know how to operate the basic wood cutting tools that I could rent. I don’t have anyone handy in my life who can model how to use these type of tools. I would love to take a basic wood working class at a community college someday, just to get comfortable with the where what and how of tools.
    2. I think Preston hit the nail on the head that the cost of failure is higher stakes on a DIY project. 3. I don’t have a partner in life who is ok with trying and failing so I have to try stuff in a secret laboratory so he doesn’t hover over my shoulder being the most negative back seat driver eva.

    I need to sand, and restain a wood playset. I got that part covered. I also need to replace a few boards and I am told this part will be easy, but holy heck, I am SO SO depressed and intimidated about how to make that happen :(

    • Reply April 25, 2017


      This is such an important comment, Nat. And I promise I have felt this way so many times myself. Not having the tools is a huge obstacle in a DIY project. I remember years ago, when we didn’t have much money, we won a hardware store contest and spent most of the money on tools and that has set us up big time. But, we’re not lying when we say, we have learned A LOT on YouTube! Hang in there girl. You got this. Remember, it’s not that you can’t. It’s that you haven’t yet.

  • Reply April 25, 2017


    Thanks for mentioning that it DIY can be done without a handy husband and that there are many party to a project. Those comments that imply only a man can do handy things bug me so much.
    I have always DIYed alone or with my sister. Now that we are a two people household the guys job is listening to my ideas and agreeing or making me rethink, sometimes a little material shopping assistance and keeping me well fed when I work on things…
    Keep up the great podcast – I love listening to it while I work on projects!
    Greetings from Germany

  • Reply April 24, 2017


    I listened to the podcast early this morning after waking up with a teething baby and all day I can not get Julia’s story out of my mind! I was laughing and cringing and loving listening to Chris read Julia’s words. Thanks for the fun listen this morning, you three are great entertainment!

  • Reply April 24, 2017

    Rebecca Williams

    BUT gboard isn’t as user friendly in my opinion. MUCH touchier. Coming from someone with an android (my preference) for personal use and an iPhone for work.

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