Saturday, December 22, 2012

Being a DIYer in Oman

I don't know alot of DIYers [Do-It-Yourself] in Oman. Maybe because labour is so cheap and people can always find a couple of Pakistani dudes on the road willing to do heavy lifting and all (and haphazard construction). But I like to do things myself.

No.1 with an Omani husband it gets done alot faster since husband is always oh Gooooooooooooooooooood noooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!! Wife can sooooooooooooooooo not be alone in house for any deliveries or construction because the workers are....

Nevermind that I am perfectly capable of locking myself in any given room in the house and all our doors are the same as our front door in strength so...

Anyways. Yeah, so if they didn't paint the house before we moved in, I either have to go on vacation until it gets done, or it never gets done. And it never gets done.

No. 2 it always get done better. This last weekend we bought two used old bedroom sets that needed a little repair and after moving needed to be reconstructed because they are massive and thus need to be taken apart to be moved through any given door.

I am absolutely sure even for 30-60 OMR no Indian or Pakistani or even [most certainly] Omani dude is going to drill it and hammer it and fill gaps as well as the actual owners of said furniture. With the state our stuff was in, I am sure they would have just told us it couldn't be done. But we did it. After 12 hours of hard work and alittle elbow grease, we successfully guessed which unlabelled peices went with what, how to repair the things we couldn't buy parts for, and the stuff looked good and ready for the makeover I intend to give one of the sets (an Arabic faux-European style set in a light colour like the one above, needs a little updating and styling for me to find it acceptable in my home since it reallly, really is not either my classic anglo-style orr my rustic GCC style).

No. 3 it totally saves you money. If you want an entire bedroom set that looks like it belongs in a nice home for under 100 OMR then you are going to have to master the art of DIY.

No. 4 Women AND men find it totally sexy when someone can get things done around the house without needing alot of help. Hear that boys? Lean how to hang your own curtains, ladies, know how to sew them ect if you are not up to hanging them.

Anyways, if you are going to be a DIYer in Oman I recommend you buy the following tools (they save you alot of cash and hassle) first:

 I own a small Black and Decker drill (I am pretty faithful to brandnames when it comes to power tools) with a cord. I bought it for 16 OMR at Carrefour. It works for hanging curtains, mirrors, through cement, metal, and wood (though not for attaching sattelite dishes apprently). It came with its own set of drill bits and have been all that I have ever needed as far as DIY work in the house. For around 35 OMR one can get a really really useful cordless drill of more strength and better grip than my little baby [pictured below]:.

Now, since scredrivers come with different headtypes, it is useful to have more than one in the house and to match the screw driver with the screw. The Standard [also known as "slotted"], Philips [also known as "star"], and Robertson [also known as square] tend to be the most common types but products from China often use the "toryx and "hex" and European products occasionally mystify with the "Pozidrive".  If the screws won't fix into freshly drilly surface (common with cement walls) then little rubber or plastic "anchors" solve that little conundrum so commonly encountered in Muscat (and are available in Carrefour and Rameez):
A classic tool. It is used to pound nails into wood (not so good generally with cement). I tend to use a small and medium size hammer in home improvement projects rather than a large carpenter's hammer.
I honestly believe EVERY home should have a ladder the reaches at least one's ceiling. Because everyone should be able to change their own lightbulbs and if you are going to dust properly, let alone paint your own walls, you are going to need one. Often if you rent your landlord may already have one you can borrow. If not, invest in a good stainless steel one it will be safe for your to store outside.

If you are buying just one kind, get an adjustable kind. It is used for holding things and turning objects that the human arm doesn't have the strength or ability to do easily.

Anyways, if you don't buy my speal about DIY work being better than professional [hahaha a loosely used term in Oman ANYWAYS] work, see this blog for some inspiration of what you TOO are capable of with a little know-how:


Omanly said...

Totally agree. A DIY piece carries a lot more value than just's a bit of you.
I am still looking for 4-5 old wooden boxes to convert into book/toy shelves for the kids room...
but these days everything is packed in cardboard...damn...

Anonymous said...

Would love to see some of your DIY! We are DIY'ers and feel so proud of getting the job done ourselves...

Omani Princess (not Omani...yet) said...

Omanly: Yeah, I absolutely always take more care with furniture I refinish than furniture I bought brand new I don't know why:)

Anon: I will try. I have alot of work to do before any of my ongoing jobs are completed. Maybe at the end of 2013 ???? InshaAllah:)

Jdw said...

Any recommendations to buy tools other than the Carrefour? :)