Do It Yourself: A step-by-step guide to fixing, building, and installing almost anything in your home

A good general introduction to the myriad of tasks involved in owning and maintaining a home.

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Do It Yourself: A step-by-step guide to fixing, building, and installing almost anything in your home



There are a number of comprehensive home improvement books of this nature on the market. These books are meant as reference books, typically geared to the novice home owner, with little or no experience in home maintenance.
 
Do It Yourself is similar to other books of this type - heavy on photos and light on text. The book is massive, with over 500 pages, and probably a million photos - well, maybe not that many, but there are scads of them.
 
The first 60 or so pages are devoted to tools, equipment and materials. While there is a lot of material covered, don't expect much detail. This section largely provides an overview of the various kinds of tools likely to be useful in home maintenance, and their various functions.
 
However there is scant attention paid to how the tools are best used, which is somewhat understandable given the volume of material covered. Unfortunately, many books seem to include this kind of 'tool list'.
 

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The second and subsequent chapters present information on just about every conceivable home improvement task you'll likely want to enquire about. There is a lot of good material here, and this is where the book really shines.
 
Much of the book is done in a kind of photo journalistic style - a brief introductory text followed by copies photos with cut lines explaining what is happening in the photos.
 
I feel that this is a very good way of presenting this kind of material. After all, a lot of home improvement tasks are not overly difficult to do, and oftentimes it's easier to show a person what needs to be done rather than explain it.
 
It's understandable that some topics are treated somewhat superficially. For example, the section on sharpening a blade consists of about 100 words of text and three photos. Laying a hardwood floor is covered in two pages - a topic I found much too sparse to be of any real value.
 
I think that this book makes a good general introduction to the myriad of tasks involved in owning and maintaining a home, and a first time home buyer will certainly find a lot of material to digest here. It's a comprehensive reference book, but a bit short on detail.

CHAPTERS:


  • How to use this book
  • Introduction
  • Not doing it yourself
  • Assessing your home
  • Tools, Equipment and Materials
  • Kitchens and Bathrooms
  • Decorating and Finishing
  • Improving Home Performance
  • Outdoor Alterations and Repairs
  • Electrics
  • Plumbing
  • Heating
  • First aid and emergency
  • Glossary
  • Index
PUBLISHER:Dorling Kindersley Ltd.
AVAILABLE FROM:Your local bookseller or online
RETAIL PRICE:$25.20
FORMAT:Hardcover, 512 pages
ISBN:978-1553639785
YEAR PUBLISHED:2008
AUTHOR:Julian Cassell

Carl Duguay
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