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Complete Do-It-Yourself Manual: Completely Revised and Updated Hardcover – February 18, 2005


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Readers Digest; Revised edition (February 18, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762105798
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762105793
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 1.4 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (124 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,422 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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.

Customer Reviews

Easy to understand instructions and pictures.
M. J. Davis
This book is my favorite go to book for home repair/improvement.
Surfer Ed
I purchased this book as a gift for my husband.
Cynthia

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

97 of 97 people found the following review helpful By ProfWombat on November 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover
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.
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful By R. William Pratt on September 30, 2007
Format: Hardcover
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.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By PH on July 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover
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.
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64 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Guy Chamberlin on February 22, 2006
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.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If your in the market for the house, a current homeowner, or renting this is the book. For those searching for a home read how this book tells you to look for signs of damage, wear, cracks or water leaks. For the homeowner or for those wanting to fix stuff around the rental or the apartment, confidence is the what you'll get from this book. Anecdotally I went from being scared of wiring to having the confidence to wire my entire basement after I built it myself, oh and bye the way two years ago I couldn't nail two pieces of wood together. Every new homeowner should be issued this book as standard equipment, this thing will get some wear helping you fix wiring, concrete, siding, roofing, plumbing and outdoor projects. Three words "GET THIS BOOK". Wow that's all I have to say.
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful By BayMan on January 3, 2007
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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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia on December 8, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased this book as a gift for my husband. Being new homeowners, we're often frustrated not knowing how to take care of issues around the house. This book has EVERYTHING you need to know to do almost any project around the house. Great illustrations, photos and directions. I know we'll be reaching for this book again and again! Would make a great housewarming gift!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Frank E. Trinkle VINE VOICE on December 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I own a TON of DIY, tool, method, and Home Improvement books... but I have found this book to be one of the most comprehensive and helpful on the market. The TIPS alone are worth the price of the book, and the projects are functional, useful and easy to build.

The repair methods and descriptions are well documented and easy to understand and complete.

The section on tools and machines is great for those who don't fully understand the uses of various implements and power tools.

All of this book is easy to understand; well-written, and complete in its material. A very very welcome addition to my DIY library!!! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
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