Complete Do-It-Yourself Manual: Completely Revised and Updated Hardcover – Feb 18 2005
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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)
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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.
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.
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