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Publicly Available Published by De Gruyter Oldenbourg 2017

Maintaining, Repairing, Refurbishing: The Western German Do-it-Yourselfers and their Homes

From the book Band 18 Housing Capital

  • Jonathan Voges


Joyful work or “forced labour” - evaluations of do-it-yourself-activities could not be more contradictory but, nonetheless, they had something in common: the emphasis on the special relationship between the do-it-yourselfer and his home. How was this relationship interpreted by do-it-yourself-publications and by do-it-yourselfers themselves? In what sense was the house described as a form of property? Using different sources (media coverage, handbooks, magazines, and surveys) this contribution analyses how the house was presented as an asset that was, on the one hand, a materialisation of the owners’ well-being and, on the other, of his (and in some cases, especially since the 1970s her) manual skills. During the second half of the twentieth century, homes required not only financial investment, but also investments of (leisure) time and manpower in order to maintain, or even increase, their value.

© 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston
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