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Renovation: A Complete Guide (Updated 2nd Edition) Paperback – June 30, 1997

14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Litchfield's outstanding guide covers all aspects of home renovation, including how to assess a house's structure, tools, materials, wiring, plumbing, painting, flooring, etc. Instructions are to the point--there is less hand-holding here than in other titles because some remodeling experience is assumed. A classic. (LJ 6/15/97)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling; 2 edition (June 30, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0806997753
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806997759
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 8.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #882,162 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

In the course of writing 14 books on home renovation and launching Fine Homebuilding magazine, I have visited hundreds of job sites across North America. On every site, I've learned something useful and met builders who, though busy, were willing to explain what they were doing, answer my questions, and allow me to photograph them at work.

If you are renovating a house, you will find this first-hand, field-tested information very helpful. It is specific, often ingenious and as complete as I could make it. My most ambitious book--Renovation 4th Edition--is 624 pages long, covers remodeling from planning to finish surfaces and its 1,000 photos were gleaned from 40,000 taken over the years. It's also very readable.

Armed with the wisdom of hundreds of seasoned builders, you can tackle your next renovation project with confidence. As the old saying goes, "Many hands make work light."

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 45 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
I whole heartedly agree with other posters that if you buy only one do-it-yourself style book for your home, this is the one. Even if you plan on hiring a contractor to do the work, this book will help you clearly understand the tasks at hand. If you ever wondered what lies behind the walls of your home, here's your own inexpensive x-ray machine! The figures & photos are excellent and are a great compliment to the writing.
I showed my copy of this book to someone at work and they went to the book store the next day to buy their own copy. Yes, it's that impressive. Maybe a professional contractor would argue against my point, but for the average person, it's fantastic.
Once you read it, you'll go back to it again and again. In my opinion, it's well worth the cost.
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 20, 2002
Format: Paperback
I am a first-time female homeowner of a pre-war apartment. It is amazing what you can do after reading this book. Most people I know find doing-it-yourself an intimidating process and wouldn't conceive of undertaking the simplest of jobs themselves. They just wouldn't know where to begin. "Renovation" has taken me from life-long yuppie renter to where my power drill is now my best friend.
Litchfield does a great job of guiding you through each aspect of home renovation. The explanations are well-written and clear, the illustrations are extremely helpful, so while it does not seem dumbed-down in any way, the first-time DIYer will find it very useful. Now when I go to Home Depot, I can ask intelligent questions about what I need to buy.
It's going to become a regular housewarming gift for my friends.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Lev Liberman on December 16, 1997
Format: Paperback
An instant classic! Retooling your hut under the benign guidance of RENOVATION is like having the world's most savvy contractor for an older brother... sharing his thermos of coffee while teaching you House Zen... wagging a cautionary finger when you're about to fall off the roof or electrocute yourself.
Readable as all-get-out, Litchfield's RENOVATION manages to be authoritative and encyclopedic as well; I haven't stumped it yet. The paperbound format makes this book as handy on the job as a crowbar and putty knife; my copy wears its grout-stains with pride, and has saved my neck more times than I care to admit.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 16, 1998
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
From a bookshelf cluttered with books about how to fix and maintain a house, this is always the first book I take down. It's usually the only book I need to open: it's complete, comprehensive, concise, clearly illustrated, and accessible. This is the book that my friends borrow, and which I then have to either tear out of their hands or make a gift of and buy another copy -- this will make my third!
This book is well worth the price for even the journeyman do-it-yourselfer. In my opinion, if you buy only one book, this is the one; if you buy lots, this is one of them.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 3, 1998
Format: Paperback
After looking an many, many how-to books on home repair/improvement, I have found two worth recommending beyond all others: "Do-it-yourself Housebuilding: A complete handbook" by Nash and Dahlquist and this book by Litchfield. Each of these large books contains a wealth of information saving me more money (by orders of magnatude) than the cost of the book (not counting new projects inspired by reading them).
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By David Ripley on January 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
Not a long endorsement, but to say that this book is phenomenal and has been a godsend over the past four (4) years as my wife and I gutted and completely rebuilt the insides of a wonderful old home that had been terribly neglected.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By misterbeets on October 24, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Has an engaging style that should serve as a model for all those belaboredly humorous ...for Dummies and Idiot's Guide to... books. The writing is as clear and easygoing as technical writing gets, and it comes as no surprise to find the author went on to found Fine Homebuilding magazine.
There's nothing fancy about the pictures or illustrations, and it's now been six years since the last edition, but it's still an excellent guide for those new to renovation.
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