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567 of 575 people found the following review helpful
on February 20, 2000
There are certain skills that are "wasted" on no one. Home repair is one such skill. I believe that 5 weeks after purchasing this book - the book has already paid for itself. My parents moved back into my grandmother's 1960-era house after she passed away last year. The house was in need of a few repairs, but money was a limiting factor. I had to find a way to teach myself (and my dad) how to weatherproof the basement, replacing an ancient water heater & dishwasher, replace several outlets with new GFCI (p. 397!) outlets, and finally, how to update the upstair's faucets and fixtures. I logged onto and typed-in HOME REPAIR. To be honest, I chose this book because it had 500+ pages and two 5-star reviews. When this book arrived, I instantly felt the weight and quality of the binding.(think college textbook material) I quickly found DETAILED descriptions of the tasks I would soon have to perform. I called my father and said "Get ready we're going to Home Depot!" On the phone, my father expressed concern over our lack of experience. When my father got in my truck, I handed him the the Black&Decker text. I had put PostIt's on the pages with our projects. He slipped on his glasses and peered through his bi-focals and didn't say a word on the way to purchase tools & supplies. Once in the parking lot, I could hardly turn-off the engine before he was pointing to pictures saying "Ours looks just like this! I want some gloves like that!" And he was making a bee-line for the door!(the old man can move!) He was excited and so was I. Now, it has beeen 5 weeks since that first trip to Home Depot. Both my father and I have the cuts and scrapes and the ever present sore backs to prove that we have done our own home repairs. My father now keeps the Black&Decker text at his house "for safe keeping." He cleans the text with a moist cloth after each project. The projects don't seem to have an end in sight, which I believe is a direct result of my dad reading the text for "suggestions." My suggestion....don't let anyone "borrow" this text, unless of course - you love him!
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140 of 148 people found the following review helpful
on October 5, 1999
I just bought this book and really love it. It's simple and easy to understand, and considering that I have never done much home repair before, this was a plus. It's the hammer and nail equivilent to that Betty Crocker cookbook we've all be hauling around for years. Always something new that you never knew you needed!
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61 of 62 people found the following review helpful
I'm reading the other reviews here, so I thought I'd weigh in, hoping it will help the prospective buyer. This book is about as good as it gets for do-it-yourself home repair. Lots of home repairs are far easier than you think, and just take time and maybe some new tools. Even with the cost of new tools, it will often be cheaper than calling a professional. Yes--there are really complicated repairs I would leave to a professional, but this book helps with the simple things that you just need basic instruction on.

Case in point--my toilet was leaking from the base. I have never installed a toilet or taken one apart. I had no clue why it was leaking. I turned to the leaky toilet page and saw that there is something called the "closet" where the toilet connects to the floor and there is a wax seal that may have leaked. A plumber could cost $50-$100 just to come out and look at the toilet. Maybe more for his labor.

I went to Home Depot and bought a new wax seal for $3.50, and a mini-shop vac for $40 (new tool--yay!). Turned off the water valve, flushed the toilet, used the shop-vac to suck out the residual water, disconnected the water line, removed the 2 bolts connecting the tank to the bowl and removed the tank, removed the 2 bolts connecting the bowl to the floor and removed the bowl. Scrape off the old wax, put on the new wax, bolt bowl to floor, bolt tank to bowl, reconnect water. Yes--I may have figured this out on my own, but one is always hesitant to go in to a job not knowing what to expect. This book holds your hand a bit and has great photos. Now, if I had removed the toilet and found the closet flange overly corroded, I may have called a plumber. But I fixed the whole thing for $43.50, an hour of time, and I got a new shop-vac!

If you don't know a screwdriver from a hammer, then no book in the world, including this one, will help you. But if you have basic tool knowledge and a bit of courage, this book is the perfect and only companion you need. And when all else fails, you can always call a professional to fix it up. Armed with lingo from this book, you will be able to describe the problem better and perhaps avoid being ripped off as well.
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114 of 121 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2005
We recently purchased an old home with lots of "problems". I borrowed this book from my local library (along with Black & Decker's Home Improvement) and was amazed at how clear and detailed it was. I think the best part is how they use real photos of everything, and not sketches. There are well over 2000 photos. Within days, I was dealing with and solving basement issues, plumbing problems, electrical outlets, and many more things that I did not even thing of. The books helped so much that I decided to go ahead and purchase them here on Amazon. There are countless home improvement books out there and some rank better than others. From what I've seen, the Black & Decker series ranks at the top and are an invaluable resource. It literally pays for itself with all the money saving tips and instructions. I recommend this book, along with Black & Decker's Home Improvement and Outdoor to anyone looking to save money on home repairs.
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61 of 65 people found the following review helpful
A good home repair guide is an absolute requirement for those of us who know very little about home repair but feel the urge on occasion to tackle some of those odd jobs around the house. While there are many guides on the market today the best ones have an abundance of photographs or detailed illustrations to help the reader see what they are supposed to be doing. With over 2,300 photos Black and Decker's The Complete Photo Guide to Home Repair is the epitome of this class of books. Processes and techniques are described step by step in detail with no prior knowledge assumed. Everything is so well done anyone can complete any of the projects if they can read and follow directions. I've had several home repair books, but this one just became my top choice for the one I want to have around as my primary reference. The Complete Photo Guide to Home Repair is a very highly recommended book for every homeowner or handyman.
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2000
was looking for a book with many visuals and pointers, in the style of DK books. The library had the usual books of mostly text and poor visuals, but this one really breaks ranks and stands out to help as a instant information assistant.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on June 30, 2003
I bought this book right after I bought my first house (which was 12 years old at the time I moved in). I have owned the house for 2 years now and have owned a copy of this book for the same time.
1. I had no idea how the systems (ac, plumbing, various kithcen appliences, etc.) of the house worked when I moved in. This book gives a clear overview of the various systems and how they work. I could easily figure out the items that needed a maintenance schedule. I was also able to talk to various service providers (plumbers, electrical contractors, etc.) meanigfully as I was armed with the appropriate information.
2. I was struggling finding the right tools that I needed to have for various "do it yourself" repairs. This book clearly lists the tools that need to be used for every repair with pictures. You will never be lost in "Home Depot" again.
3. I have had a few unplanned repairs that needed to be made. I was easily able to look up the index to go to the relevant section and carry out the repair (after a couple of visits to Home Depot to get appropriate tools).
This book was worth every penny. Anyone moving into a new house should have a copy of this book with him or her.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2001
This is a great home repair book. Note that I said home REPAIR, not home IMPROVEMENT. B&D apparently also has another book on home improvement, which I have not read.
Anyway, this is a great book. We have proceeded to replace some faucets, upgrade some 2-pronged outlets to 3-pronged outlets, paint some rooms, fix some plumbing, troubleshoot a drain problem, and 4 or 5 other problems using this book. The pictures, as noted by other reviewers, are invaluable and very well done. Product placement is, of course, present but not obtrusive.
In short, as many repair projects turn into improvement projects, this is probably not the only book you'll need if you're a homeowner, but you'll definately find yourself referring to it time and again.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2008
I have had this book for over a year now. It has helped me with small projects like changing a light fixture and unclogging the drain to painting and hanging large pictures and an LCD TV, and to remove and plane down my door that always sticks. I have never been particularly "handy" but the pictures and step by step instructions are actually really good. The only real downside is that sometimes they expect me to follow from one step to the next with minimal instruction, and I cannot based on my lack of experience. This is far and away the exception, and most times I could figure it out anyway. It has inspired me to take on bigger and more complicated projects and I refer to it often.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on August 4, 2006
Some people are mechanically inclined, and there are those like myself who can't fix anything. For those of us who need a little help in the home repair department, this book will help you through almost any home repair project.

The book is loaded with photographs and easy to follow instructions for projects such as fixing a clogged drain to installing a shower. I recently used the book for advice on how to patch a hole in drywall. The specific section I needed was full of step-by-step instructions and photographs. After consulting this book, my own drywall patch project turned out wonderfully.

I highly recommend this fine book. The illustrations and directions are clear, concise, and easy to follow. For those of us not blessed with much mechanical ability, this book is a must-own.
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