THIS WOMAN saved over SEVENTEEN-THOUSAND-POUNDS in labour costs after she taught herself to use power tools.
Stay-at-home mum Shauna O’Connor (29) from Killorglin, Ireland, first developed an interest in DIY in November of 2020 whilst on maternity leave. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Shauna had spent most of the year in her four-bedroom detached home and needed a creative outlet to pass the time.
Just before lockdown, a tiler had been installing a backsplash in Shauna’s kitchen but as the country shut down, the job was left unfinished. With no tiling experience, Shauna decided to finish the job herself and instantly fell in love with DIY.
Since then, Shauna has taken on a series of larger projects including completely transforming her living room for just £430 (€500). Shauna spent her budget on MDF, timber, and screws and used these to custom make a desk with cabinets and overhead shelving, which now sits in the alcove next to the fireplace, along with a bay window bench seat.
Shauna also bases upcoming projects around what materials she already has to cut down unnecessary purchases.
“There was a lot of work that needed doing around the house and I desperately needed a creative outlet to pass the time. I started off with simple jobs like replacing the front door seal and that gave me the confidence to keep going.
“One project led to another, and I fell in love with the process of learning to DIY and the sense of empowerment that came with it.
She made Tik Toks of how she taught herself to use power tools
“I jokingly made a TikTok showing my first attempts at learning to DIY. I showed my failures as much as my successes. I was blown away by the attention the video got.
“I’ve been told anecdotally that my own labour I have put into my home could have cost up to twenty-thousand Euros (seventeen-thousand pounds).”
Currently, Shauna is competing in series two of The Big DIY Challenge to compete for a £8,636 (€10,000) grand prize which is currently airing on RTÉ One Television in Ireland. The final of the series is due to air on June 10, 2021.
Next, Shauna hopes to transform her outdoor patio area into a place she can socialise and relax with family and friends – including building a BBQ kitchen, fire pit, and dining area. Indoors, she’s looking to tackle the spare room, transforming this into a guest bedroom / office.
“The message I want to convey to women is that you are capable. If you have an interest in DIY pick a tool and get stuck in,” Shauna said.
“Do not fear making mistakes, it is part of the process. The sense of achievement and empowerment that awaits you is the most incredible feeling.