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Home Improvement 1-2-3: Expert Advice from The Home Depot (Home Depot ... 1-2-3) Hardcover – Unabridged, March 15, 2003

4.5 out of 5 stars 99 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: Home Depot ... 1-2-3
  • Hardcover: 560 pages
  • Publisher: The Home Depot; 2 edition (March 15, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0696213273
  • ISBN-13: 978-0696213274
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 1.4 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,643 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By wcc2 VINE VOICE on September 27, 2004
Format: Hardcover
As a first time homeowner last year I didn't have a good sense of maintanence items and remodeling options. I picked this book up after looking at several competing home repair manuals at Home Depot.

The book is very "user friendly" for the new home owner. The book is well organization, offers wide coverage, and is based around photos. The sections are color coded by topic like plumbing, painting, electrical so that you can find your project quickly. Once in the general category the book covers numerous related projects, which allows you to consider whether related projects are also important. Both finding your project and considering related projects are vastly helped by all the pictures. The writers/editors have tried to have pictures (that are all in color) for every major stage of a project, which makes evaluating each project much easier (competing home repair manuals are more texted base with fewer color photos).

These three attributes can lead to "project spillovers" - you find related topics quickly. For example, I was interested in what was required to replace/repair roofing shingles and found on nearby pages how to install vent collars on the roof, which made me realize that I was missing collars on my house. Installing a collar turned out to stop the source of a small leak. I may have never noticed this (or taken longer to notice this) without the user friendliness of the Home Depot guide.

The user friendliness is also the source of its weaknesses. They try to squeeze each project onto one or two pages, which does not allow much detail.
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Format: Hardcover
Very disappointed with the almost complete abscence of "expert advice" being offered by the "Editors at Home Depot" in this purported reference book, so I'm returning it the next time I'm in the store.

Almost every subject area I looked at was as far from "expert advice" as it's possible to get -- unless you consider "drill a hole in the wall and drag your [cable, wire, pipe, etc.] through it" to be a revelation of cosmic proportions. The "editors" seemed to be more concerned with how many flashy pictures and other garbage they could squeeze onto every page, instead of focusing on the technical aspects of the job.

Take "Telephone Wiring" on pages 213 and 214 for example, which in essence says nothing more than "Connect your phone to the wires."

Well, yeah, no duh! How about telling us which wires go to what posts, and how we can tell if they're "live" or "dead", and what the voltages should normally be, and how to hook a voltmeter to the wires to tell if the circuit is wired correctly, and how to connect the wires so they'll pass through to other phones in the house, and what to do if they don't work after you've connected them, and... well, the list of what you REALLY need to know is why you'd buy a book like this in the first place, isn't it? And their advice for "Thermostat" on pages 219-220 is just as bad, if not worse -- "Contact a dealer for repairs." Sheesh!

Save your money. Look elsewhere for a home maintenance and repair guide, because these guys are operating without a clue.
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Format: Hardcover
I found the book very informative. I didn't know much about home improvement or being a handyman when we bought an older home about six months ago. I mean, I had hardly done anything more than tighten the odd loose screw and certainly had never used a power tool. The numerous pictures in the book were exactly what I needed and I found its humorous style appealing. I recently wired a telephone extension to another bedroom in my house following the instructions, and the phone worked immediately I plugged it in. This book hasn't turned me into an expert, but I don't think that is the audience this book addresses. If you already have some technical knowledge and are looking for in-depth stuff, skip this one. However if like me you're a complete novice with an older home and looking for some basic information then get this book.
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Format: Hardcover
I got this book shortly after moving into a new condo that could use a little work. I found it to be exactly what I needed. If you're looking for a basic guide for easy home repairs, this is the book for you. So far, it's helped me regrout my floor, and sand, prime, and paint my bathroom and trim (looks great). It has a nice little feature at the beginning of any home improvement project, where it estimates the difficulty level of a project and the time it will take. This makes it easier to decide if you really want to try a project on your own. It also gives you a supply list, which makes things easier to plan.

If you're looking for an in-depth guide to specific repairs, this isn't it. However, if you're a first time homeowner looking for a guide to basic repairs, this is a good starting point. Again, I can't recommend that painting guide strongly enough.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Home Depot's take on home improvement is to pick common household repair items (e.g. replace toilet) and then go into excruciating detail about how to accomplish it.

This means you could fail to recognize a hammer, and still get walked through a subject matter and feel competent to complete it.

Yet, in other areas, they offer no more than a few quick tips. If you are a bit handy around the house and have done a few projects, this is enough to get started or at least get you pointed in the right direction for asking questions at the hardware store or doing more online research.

Overall, useful to have around as I am finishing my basement right now and have lots of little projects and lots of questions.
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