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The Complete Photo Guide to Home Improvement: Over 1700 Photos, 250 Step-by-Step Projects (Black & Decker Complete Photo Guide) Hardcover – August 1, 2001


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Product Details

  • Series: Black & Decker Complete Photo Guide
  • Hardcover: 504 pages
  • Publisher: Creative Publishing international (August 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865735808
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865735804
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 1.4 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,132,719 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

The editors of Creative Publishing international have created dozens of best-selling titles in the fields of home repair, home improvement, home decor, and landscaping.

Customer Reviews

The pictures are nice and the text is written in a clear manner.
SoulCatcher
I found this book very helpful with gaining familiarity with terms of homebuilding.
Beau
This is the best book on the market for home improvement projects.
Frank Jackson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

161 of 162 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 30, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is the best home improvement manual I've been able to find. I recently embarked on a journey to convert a kitchen pantry into a half bath. Although I'm fairly handy with tools, I've never done a significant house project before. After starting in on the destruction of the pantry (ripping down plaster) my neighbor loaned me this book to poke through. Eventually I picked it up and the more I read, the more I found relevant to my project. Eventually I found myself hovered over this book prior to doing just about anything short of driving a nail (I may have even looked that up!) Let me say that everything involved in installing a bathroom is in this book - framing for the new walls, installing drywall, taping and finishing drywall, installing DWV pipes, installing plumbing supply lines, installing the electricity, installing ceramic tile floor, installing the sink, everything, and more. The first 100 pages or so are dedicated to the high-level subjects (carpentry, plumbing, wiring, etc) and even include some general building code information.
Unfortunately, my neighbor came to reclaim the book, and after looking for a book of similar substance, I have circled back to this one. Today I'm buying this book with the Complete Photo Guide to Outdoor Home Improvement (I've been asked to build a brick patio next.) As a former Army helicopter mechanic, I used to feel as though with a chopper manual and the right tools I could fix anything. Seriously, this book makes me feel the same way about home improvement projects. I can't think of anything you could do to the interior of a home that's not in this book. Want to rip down an interior wall to open up living space? In here. How about a glass block partition around your shower stall? Yep. Skylights? A bay window? Parquet floors? Stucco finish on the walls? All in this book.
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91 of 92 people found the following review helpful By An Engineer on December 29, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book just before purchasing my first home. It provided me with the information I needed to make successful improvements to my home.
Within a week after purchasing my house, I was installing new flooring, toilets, sinks, faucets, electrical outlets and switches, and light fixtures. These are things that I had NEVER done, but was able to do successfully with the help of this book.
If you do get this book, I also strongly recommend the Black & Decker Complete Guide to Home Repair as a companion. There is some overlap between the two books, but there are important pieces that are exclusive to each. Best wishes with your project!

---Original Review 2003----UPDATE 4/3/2015--------------------------------
While not as essential as it once was with the easily availability of project guides and videos online, this is still a useful starting point for many projects and I would still recommend new homeowners check it out. I still have my copy, but find myself referring more often to books with greater depth and detail around the specific task, as well as online video tutorials, to get jobs done that I haven't tackled before.
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44 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Wazu on August 11, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The B&D Home Improvement book is the core of my home improvement library. I reviewed other home improvement books at Home Depot, but liked B&D's books. I also own the B&D Home Repair and B&D Bathrooms books. The three books use many of the same pictures, but I do not regret buying any of them. I prefer this book over the others because the projects it covers are things I would like to do, like remodeling a bathroom, etc. In addition, the book covers making things from "scratch" which is how many projects are once you finish the demolition phase. In comparison, the home repair book focuses on repairs rather than new projects.
As an engineer, I consider myself "above average" in home repair. However, this book has saved me a few times, when I got lost, such as helping me to understand a three way electric switch circuit for my kitchen light.
The cut away diagrams are very useful; especially for the plumbing sections. They literally cut things in half, to show you the inside view, whether it be a garbage disposal or a shower stall.
Black & Decker used significant resources in making this book because in a way it is an advertisement for B&D tools. The book conveniently displays and uses Black & Decker tools in the pictures. Bear in mind that Black & Decker is in the business of selling tools, not books. However, that being said the book is still a great reference.
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 2, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book is excellent! I own my own business as a real estate entrepreneur and part of the business at times involves repairing and/or remodeling older homes before I sell or rent them. After doing a significant amount of research on home repair/improvement books on the market by paging through several at bookstores and reading online reviews, I came to the conclusion that this book would suit my needs the best.
I already purchased the complimentary book, "The Complete Photo Guide to Home Repair" by the same publisher about 6 months ago and this book is of similar quality and style.
The first thing you notice is its weight. It must weight at least 6 pounds! The numerous full color photos illustrating each of the 250 home improvement projects are what seperates this book from the others (which frequently only contain diagrams and/or illustrations). The photos make it much easier to understand the step-by-step tasks and instructions for each project.
The first 20 pages of the book discuss project planning followed by 120 pages discussing basic techniques of carpentry, plumbing, and wiring before going into the details of each of the projects. This makes sure the readers have a good foundation of general knowledge before embarking on the instructions and details of each project.
AS I said, I highly recommend this book along with its counterpart "The Complete Photo Guide to Home Repair". These books have already helped my save a significant amount of money by allowing me to tackle some or the repair/improvement projects myself.
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