Two Great British Obsessions – Tea and DIY
Sharing the tasks
Although, as we noted earlier, women are more centrally involved in a wide range of DIY tasks, most couples tend to specialise in different areas. "I do all the painting while my husband does all the stripping and sanding. I have more delicate hands than he does."
In other homes the roles were reversed, with men doing the painting while women did something else. On the occasions where people stepped out of their assigned roles, however, friction sometimes ensued. "I painted a door once and my wife wasn't happy with it. So she did it again, properly." The need for each partner to feel in control of a particular area of DIY, and to have primary ownership of the finished result, was also evident in a number of discussions with informants.