Sprucing up the neighbourhood
Free workshops teach DIY home repair skills
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This article was published 06/03/2019 (1557 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Maintaining or improving a home can be a daunting task. But it doesn’t have to be.
That’s why the Chalmers Neighbourhood Renewal Corporation is hosting a series of do-it-yourself workshops.
“We’ve done these home repair workshops twice before,” explained Liz Plett, housing support co-ordinator for the Chalmers Neighbourhood Renewal Corporation. “It’s free information on how people can do repairs themselves.”
Starting April 3 and running most Wednesdays through June 12 at 180 Poplar Ave., the free home repair workshops are part of the Chalmers Community Renewal Initiative. The workshops are facilitated by Rob Peters, a general contractor with 30 years experience.
“He does hands on stuff,” Plett said. “He will teach us how to fix holes, how to do basic electrical or plumbing, lots of stuff you can use. If he doesn’t cover it, he’ll take all kinds of questions.”
“(Participants) are not going to leave as fully licensed plumbers or electricians, but we’re giving people the basics on how houses work and how they can tackle issues,” said Peters, who has developed and facilitated similar workshops for the Spence Neighbourhood Association and the North End Community Renewal Corporation.
Peters is a firm believer in the “community building” approach that the workshops are based on.
“It gives people pride of ownership,” he said. “That helps them feel good about where they live. It helps the community, to feel good and grow, to be a healthy place to live.”
“It’s beneficial to everyone to spruce up the neighbourhood and to do repairs,” Plett agreed.
Over the past two years, the home repair workshops have proven popular.
“We think we have something for everyone,” Plett said.
Topics include: how to find and hire a contractor (April 3); pest control and how to fix foundations (April 10); insulating walls and attics and the Manitoba Hydro Energy program (April 17); how to maintain home exterior and fix plumbing (May 8); how to fix electrical problems (May 15); Manitoba Housing repair programs and secondary suites (May 29); how to patch and paint (June 5); and City of Winnipeg neighbourhood livability and bylaws (June 12).
“It’s important for people to know how their houses work,” Peters said. “I really look at houses as a system. If you know the systems, it enables you to do some troubleshooting so you’re not totally without any resources.”
“You don’t have to own a home to get the information,” Plett said. “Everyone is welcome, from any neighbourhood.”
Information will also be available on how to apply for funding for home improvement projects.
“Everything costs money,” Plett said. “We’ve invited Manitoba Housing and Manitoba Hydro to come and present about their forgivable loan programs. You can get up to $24,000 for landlords and up to $20,000 as home owners for major repairs.”
Each workshop includes door prizes. Child minding is also available. To register, call 204-333-9867 or email email@example.com
Sheldon Birnie is a reporter/photographer for the Free Press Community Review. The author of Missing Like Teeth: An Oral History of Winnipeg Underground Rock (1990-2001), his writing has appeared in journals and online platforms across Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. A husband and father of two young children, Sheldon enjoys playing guitar and rec hockey when he can find the time. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org Call him at 204-697-7112
Updated on Thursday, March 7, 2019 4:08 PM CST: Corrects dates of events.