Women as builders

Can a woman build a house? I can’t think of a single reason why not.

In my experience women are as capable as men at most jobs and superior at many. Perhaps as a generality they are not quite as physically strong, and on average, not as tall but these are minor considerations and only means a different approach to certain tasks may be needed. Not all men are big and powerful either, and often have to learn tricks to handle heavy objects. I am quite big and strong, but I still use tricks to make heavy jobs easier. For example, I have learned ways to move heavy appliances in and out of houses by myself, without undue strain or danger.

Asphalt shingles weigh 70 pounds (31.5 kg) and up per bundle and can be floppy, especially in hot weather. I have thrown hundreds of bundles from the back of trucks onto roofs in my life, but that is not necessary any more. Many companies will now deliver shingles with equipment capable of placing the shingles directly on the roof for you. Both men and women can simply watch this once strenuous job being done.

Women as builders, of course they can

I don’t think this lady has ever used a hammer before

Drywall sheets typically weigh about 60 lbs. each in 4′ X 8′ and come two to a bundle. You will probably use many larger and heavier sheets. Once again there are many suppliers who place the drywall right in the rooms for you. A drywall lift can be purchased or rented at a reasonable cost which can be used to position sheets against the ceiling or upper wall while you fasten them. There are even wheeled tools available for moving sheets around although I think your floor would have to be kept reasonably clean. Recently a lighter type of drywall has become available. I can’t comment because I have never used it. I certainly intend to try it in the future. These developments should make the job easier for anyone including women. Note–Since this was written I have used the, so called super light dry wall board for a house. It is about 30% lighter and I could not notice any difference in use or strength. I believe it is completely replacing the older, heavier, board.

One caution. A construction site is no place for children. It is way to dangerous. Teens may be able to help at some things but even they must be watched carefully as inexperience can put them at risk.

A good aid for women as builders

Useful for lifting and placing drywall sheets

In most families someone will have to provide an income while their house is being built. If this happens to be the man of the house then why not the woman as builder. She has likely been intimately involved in the planning process and is familiar with the project. Women may design a more livable house.   She may also be a better shopper and able to make better deals on material. I know that my wife often leads me to good deals. I like to take her with me when searching for supplies.

Another caution. A husband and wife working closely together on a project can lead to bitter arguments. Tempers grow short when things don’t go right. Your relationship is different from boss/employee or friend/friend. Be sure you can handle it without an imminent divorce.

Some tradesmen or laborers may be reluctant to take direction from a woman or for that matter from anyone. Get rid of them, they aren’t worth the hassle. On the other hand always listen to advice or suggestions made with good intent. You may learn something.

If anyone suggests that a woman should be in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant then accidentally bump him with a two by four, you know where.

It might be cute but if you want to be taken seriously don’t use pink tools.

women as builders

Nice but not for the jobsite

Jewelry such as rings can be a danger around a construction site, put them away for the day. I once nearly lost a finger when my ring caught on a nail and I was left dangling. I no longer wear them. Long hair or loose clothing can get caught in equipment so tie back your hair and wear well fitting clothes. Halter tops and tight shorts might be tempting on hot days, but it means your male employees will be less attentive to their work and you are provided with little protection from splinters and scrapes. Pockets are handy.

You can expect some profanity on site, and it is best not to make an issue of it. Just ignore it or if you want to have a little fun, out cuss them. I have known women that could easily out cuss me. Of course they may have been better men too. I have certainly met women who were better workers than me.

 

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