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Complete Do-It-Yourself Manual: Completely Revised and Updated [Hardcover]

Editors Of The Family Handyman
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Feb. 18 2005
Completely revised and redesigned with over 3,000 color photos and illustrations, facts on the latest tools and techniques, and user-friendly instructions for a wide range of projects, this definitive do-it-yourself guide to home repair,maintenance,and improvement, is designed to save you time and money.

Since 1973 over 10 million copies of READER’S DIGEST COMPLETE DO-IT-YOURSELF MANUAL have been sold. And now, the definitive “on-the-job” manual has just gotten bigger and better than ever. The editors of Reader’s Digest and The Family Handyman magazine have joined forces to completely revise, update, rewrite, and redesign this home improvement classic. The new edition combines the best elements of the original manuals with The Family Handyman’s rich informational and photographic archives, new illustrations and photographs, and the wisdom and experience of over 150 of the best experts in the field today.

COMPLETE DO-IT-YOURSELF MANUAL is written in a style of text that addresses readers in a very accessible, conversational tone for easy, user-friendly assistance with every do-it-yourself task. All instructions and materials have been updated to address current codes (electrical, plumbing and building), and revised to indicate the very latest in materials, tools, and technology. Suitable for beginners and experts alike, the new innovative ideas and features include:
• Over 3,000 photos and illustrations including more than 1,500 new full-color photos and 100 new technical drawings
• New sidebars, such as Shop Smart, Handy Hints, Go Figure, and Safety First, providing readers with helpful information
• Two new chapters, Landscaping and Storage Projects that include material and cutting lists
• Yellow-highlighter notes of caution or important points to remember
• Cross-references at the top of each page
• Metrics are given with most measurements throughout the text and a complete metric conversion chart is included at the rear of the book

The book’s tried-and-true instructions provide do-it-yourself solutions to a ton of problems that could cost a fortune if you had to hire a professional. This manual is a “must-have” reference guide for every home-owning man or woman.

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From Publishers Weekly

This super-handy manual, first published in 1973, has received a major upgrade. Seventeen chapters' worth of fixer-upper opportunities are enhanced with more than 3,000 photos and illustrations that would look equally at home in an upscale home decorating catalogue. The first few chapters cover hand and power tools, fasteners and adhesives, and are enough to incite hardware envy among even dwellers of tiny apartments. There is strange beauty in the cutaway views of five different hollow-wall fasteners and the machinations of nine types of pliers. But homeowners are, of course, the real target audience, and an all-new section on Landscaping reflects this with entries on fences, water gardens and retaining walls. The plumbing section offers a mega-view of wastewater-treatment systems as well as a micro-exploration of unclogging a toilet. Another new section, Storage Projects, is full of cabinets and shelves that either "Swing-out" or "Fold-away." New technologies are generally overlooked in favor of meat-and-potatoes projects. For instance, a home satellite dish is pictured but not indexed or dwelled upon, while carpeting is charted, graphed and deconstructed in the extreme. Intriguing sidebars on wood refinishers (the fastest drying versus the safest), the financial benefits of renting specialty tools for a large drywall project and other subjects round out this must-have guide. (Apr. 1)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every homeowner should own this book! Nov. 15 2010
By Becky
I got this book when I bought my first house. Not only has it saved me a lot of money while renovating, but it has helped me understand how things work in a house. Would make a great housewarming gift.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  116 reviews
93 of 93 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just buy it. Period. Nov. 14 2009
By ProfWombat - Published on Amazon.com
The 1973 version was one of the first things I bought when moving from a NY City apartment, where maintenance involved calling the super, to a 220 year old house previously owned by a succession of people who did it themselves and thought they knew what they were doing. Every time a tradesman walked into our basement, his eyes would light up, and a sly smile would flash over his otherwise imperturbable countenance. I had no skills whatever at that point.

We had no money at all to hire these guys. So within a couple of years, I'd replaced the entire hot water circulating baseboards, most of the supply plumbing, a whole lot of knob-and-tube wiring, added GFCIs, put in new cartridge circulators north of the boiler, and replaced the hot water heater. Among other things: windows, doors, toilets, on and on. Like the morning on the day we were leaving for Kazakstan, and I went into the basement to find a new pinhole leak that I fixed within the hour so we could make our plane without shutting off the water to the whole house.

This book saved me, conservatively, $15-20,000, and an enormous amount of aggravation. And the house became mine in a way it wouldn't have had someone else done all the work. The revision makes it better. Just buy the damned thing. Even if all it does for you is let you talk intelligently with a contractor, it's more than worth it.
39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beats saving all the Handyman Magazines Sept. 30 2007
By R. William Pratt - Published on Amazon.com
This is an excellent "fix it yourself" book that includes many fixes you can find only in The Handyman Magazine. The magazine is a top-notch periodical, in my opinion, for guys like me - mediocre at making everyday fixes to common problems around the home. This is the latest upadate I could find, and for the price, it was an excellent deal. For all you do-it-yourselfers who have two left hands, and for indepent women who need to economize, this is an a very good book. Covers most every day maintenance and repair stuff that comes up when you least expect and need a fairl quick, but easy and inexpensive fix. I'd buy this one again.
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice book July 27 2010
By PH - Published on Amazon.com
its a nice well-rounded general know-how-to book. It doesn't get too deep into any one particular project, yet the info is good.Some of the graphics look a bit dated despite the claim of it being recently revised. I suppose all is well though, how much does plumbing change over the years? Hammering a nail is still hammering a nail.

i've enjoyed this book and plan on using it as a main point of reference for future household projects.

UPDATE: OK, so a wood flooring project came up and I was a bit stuck mid-project. Then I remembered I had this great book. A few flips of the pages, look at a few pictures, read a bit... and voila! I became unstuck and masterfully completed the floor I was working on.
64 of 75 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good! Feb. 22 2006
By Guy Chamberlin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This do-it-yourself book is very good. It is an excellent resource for the homeowner with some to many handyman skills. My first complaint is that several projects are way beyond the capacity of the weekend home-warrior. Secondly, many of the instructions are not detailed enough. You are forced to figure out internal steps to procedures on your own. I have the original 1973 edition, and its new look and upgrade is amazing. It is a book I wouldn't do without.
21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book Jan. 3 2007
By BayMan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Pretty useful book that covers a wide variety of topics and explains things pretty well through words and pictures. The only issue is that it is sometimes missing topics that probably should be in the book, but my complaints are few and far between. I recommend this book for what is already in it.
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