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Remodeling A Basement Revised Edition [Bargain Price] [Paperback]

Roger German
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 5 2010 Taunton's Build Like a Pro

Finishing a basement is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to increase living space and the value of a home. This new edition of a classic bestseller is updated to the latest code. The book includes new information about egress windows and takes readers through the entire remodeling process, showing how to construct new family rooms, bathrooms, laundry rooms, workshops, and hobby rooms. Filled with inspiring photos of finished basements, the latest “Build Like a Pro” release is packed with nuts-and-bolts information about wiring, plumbing, windows, and doors, as well as basic construction techniques and the special problems that arise with basement building. This hands-on guide will help homeowners and contractors get the job done right the first time.

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About the Author

A general contractor, Roger German has worked in the home building and remodeling fields for over 30 years. German has remodeled more than 100 basements. He has also taught a basement-remodeling course at Southeast Community College in Lincoln, Nebraska, where he lives.

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"That new basement rec room, bedroom, and office you've dreamed of is about to take shape." Read the first page
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
I've been slowly remodeling and fixing up all aspects of our house for the last ten years, and when my wife recently wanted to remodel our basement I did a lot of research into various books on the subject. This is by far the best of the bunch, and arguably the best home-owners how-to book I've ever come across. It's a shame the author doesn't have an entire line covering all aspects of home remodeling.
The treatment of the subject and necessary details is in-depth, but broken down and presented in such a way that anyone with a modicum of common sense can understand and apply it to their own basement. I've found that many of the tricks of the trade he gives are also applicable to projects spanning other parts of the house, making this a great book for anyone interested in remodeling any part of their home. I would have liked to see an entire chapter on sound proofing your basement (I have three hellions who keep us up until late hours of the night with their shenanigans downstairs), but this is a very minor, and personal, gripe. The plethora of pictures and diagrams are great, as are the "Pro Tips", which cover a lot of things missed by similar books on the subject. My basement turned out beautifully, it's too bad I can't post pictures here. Good luck with your own projects.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for novices, but bad insulation advice April 27 2004
By Taylor
First, let me say that I think Mr German is an excellent teacher, especially for idiot novices like myself. I've had difficulty with other DIY books assuming a certain vocabulary. German provides an excellent intro to DIY in framing, carpentry, plumbing, electrical etc. I now feel I can start reading more advanced DIY books on each of these topics.
My criticism, and my reason for 4 stars, is that his story on insulation flies in the face of recent thinking about the dangers of mold in basement insulation. I suggest reading "Insulate and Weatherize" by Bruce Harley, or "Renovating Old Houses" by George Nash, or look at the buildingscience.com web site, for more information. I urge Mr German to update his book with a better discussion of insulation, mold and vapor barriers, the most mind-bending aspect of home improvement that I have been able to find.
The book also talks about water-proofing on page 46-47. I haven't seen this approach elsewhere, and I'm disappointed not to see discussion of external drain mats and so on. Every book says you have to keep plants away from the house. Well I and I suspect others can't do that and stay married, so I'll probably end up building a watertight flower box above a drain mat. This might be a good project to add to a second edition of the book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best June 23 2004
By A Customer
I have been planning the finishing of my basement for 4 months. I have purchased and read several books on the subject. Without question this is the most comprehensive and easily understood of all of them. It is the best. Highly recommend.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book for beginners Jan. 14 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent resource for someone who doesn't have much remodeling experience. There are a few things i wish there was more detail on, like installing vent fan for bathroom, and building a bar, but those are things i can look up online. Overall I recommend this bok if you're looking to finish your basement and need some knowledge.
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By Rob DIY
Overall, the problem with reviews is that there is no mention of how handy we, the reviews are. We should take the review in context..depending on the years of experience and actual project work done.
i'm an on and off handyman and diy car mech. with prof. training, i finished only 10 basements. this book is for those already experienced and not afraid to move piping, plumbing or electrical wires around. knowing how to use a drill and mitre saw (power tools), hand tools, measuring tools is important. jigs are a bonus.

what this book lacked was the prevention of mold/mildew that may develop years later - regarding wall insulation. also, bringing the cold air return down to floor level would help keep heating costs down over the Winter months. Add a second cold air return near the bottom of the stairs because cold air will come down from the first floor...thereby making your basement even colder in the Winter months.
Adding an extra heat register won't negatively affect the overall flow in the home. you might run into relatives/friends who turn the heat down in the whole house because they want to save heating costs and they hardly use the basement. they hardly use the basement because of the poor ventilation! no one would want to enter a cold, dark, dingy basement...these HVAC changes work...hot air rises and cold air decends...nothing new here.

Maybe mention up-to-date materials on the market...including cork or leather floors. dri-core sub-floor.

i would definetely recommend this book. I'm a father with 2 little ones running around and I give myself 6-8 months to finish 1,000sqft. basement without a washroom... just one large area. to reduce risk, i'll be hiring an electrician (even though i can do it to code, myself).
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