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The Life of a DIYer


Renovating a home DIY style means endless amounts of dust, cleaning the house religiously, showering about twelve times a day (slight exaggeration, but seriously sometimes twice is completely necessary!) and hours upon hours just working right into the late of night until our eyeballs have turned red. It's not a glamorous life in the slightest. 


In fact, if you were to randomly call round at my house one afternoon, you would find me in the most strangest and unusual combination of clothes. There is no place for glamour in a building site - and living in one means there's pretty much never any place for glamour or pretty clothing. In fact, there's no point wearing make-up and don't even get me started on nail varnish! You might think I'm sounding a bit extreme, but really when you end up looking like this after a days work maybe you'll understand why...


Of course, not every day is like this by any means. But for the most part, every day does involve quite some amount of dust, blood, sweat and tears. Although sometimes more tears than the rest of them ;) Looking good and feeling good is definitely something I really miss about day-to-day life prior to DIY renovating. I miss being able to wake up and choose an outfit I like, rather than one that's practical. But this is the life I chose, this is the house I chose and so, these too are the very unfashionable but practical clothes I must chose to wear.

Just to give you a little glimpse into my unglamorous life, you'll almost always find me in a beanie hat. Sounds a bit odd? Well, having rather long hair means it acts like a complete mop to dust. It just all ends up in there and becomes one giant matt. It's a real issue and one that makes me seem like a complete weirdo when I end up answering the door to the postman in such an attire. Paired with the hat, I almost always have a thick pair of gloves attached to me as dry skin is another real issue I have to contend with. Things like sanding walls or mixing up powered materials make the skin on my hands so dry and cracked. A good pair of gloves is absolutely essential and I recently picked up a lovely new patterned trio set from Homebase, just to add a touch of prettiness in the building site. So with hats and gloves being a must in this house, it basically always looks like winter. How totally becoming, right?

Our collective DIY wardrobe is a real mix of old clothes, ripped jeans (not the trendy kind), lots of PJ bottoms and a couple of old builders jackets. The jackets are in size XL, so just a tad oversized for the both of us, but they've been completely invaluable during our DIY journey, particularly during the colder months when we still have to spend a lot of side outside cutting and measuring materials. You may have spotted me in them a couple of times on the blog over the last few years.


Practicality is really important for clothing on a DIY building site. I can't tell you how many pairs of jeans and PJ bottoms I've destroyed. Trousers always wear out along the knees first, so having proper work trousers that are tough on the knees are also pretty essential for heavy DIY work. Engelbert Strauss workwear have a great selection of different options available that are double (or even triple!) stitched and made from a flexible and durable material. Both are important factors we look at when shopping for workware as they're far more hard wearing and suitable for heavy duty work. Having work trousers with lots of pockets is also pretty invaluable - I cannot tell you the amount of times we lose smaller items (namely pencils!!) during our DIY work.

As well as quality workware, I often have a dust mask stuck to my face, which is never as comfortable as I would like and generally leaves me with giant indentations on my face for hours afterwards and makes me fear one day they'll just stay there forever. But DIY safety is something I really take seriously. I've done a post on dust masks and which one we use previously, which you can read here. As well as the unglamorous but completely necessary dust mask, we also use knee pads. Am I sounding like an 80something year old yet? If you've ever spent enough time working on your knees (especially on a tiled surface!) you'd understand this one. Some work trousers come with in-built knee pads, but Grant has the best knee pads which are actually designed for cyclers and bikers but it means they're incredibly more hardwearing than the cheaper ones stocked in DIY stores and they fit much better too. He's had them for about four years and they're still going strong!

So you see, my rather unusual mixed outfit consisting of part winter-ware, part oversized clothing, part Pyjama and part practical is something that often turns heads for all the wrong reasons when I have to make a quick dash to screwfix for supplies. Don't worry - I don't really go out in my PJs ;) But the life of a DIYer is truly a very unglamorous one and sometimes I just crave wearing a nice pretty dress about the house instead. I know it'll be totally worth it in the end, and the dirt, dry-skin, dust-mania and odd outfits is all a very temporary affair, but I do sometimes miss that 'normal' life, if there was ever such a thing. Once upon a time, Asos and Toyshop were on my top visited websites, now it's Screwfix and Wickes. How times change right? The life of a DIYer goes far beyond a bit of painting and plasterboarding on the weekend, it can quite simply take over your life in oh so many ways and losing some style is certainly one of them!

How do you cope with the unglamorous life of DIY? And are your outfits as ridiculous as mine?

*Collaborative Post

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