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Dare to Repair: A Do-it-Herself Guide to Fixing (Almost) Anything in the Home Paperback – Bargain Price, September 3, 2002

4.2 out of 5 stars 90 customer reviews

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  • Dare to Repair: A Do-it-Herself Guide to Fixing (Almost) Anything in the Home
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Whether you identify with riot grrrls or Rosie the Riveter, you'll love the tackle-it-yourself empowerment style of Dare to Repair. Covering simple tasks like unclogging bathroom sinks and switching directions on a ceiling fan along with more intimidating projects such as patching holes in drywall or creating a circuit map, this no-nonsense guide will walk you through those simple steps of maintaining, and perhaps even improving, your home. Forget about Martha and her hot-glue-gun projects--this is about drain snakes, electrical tape, and the kind of screwdrivers you can't order from a bartender.

Authors Julie Sussman and Stephanie Glakas-Tenet mix goofy "Your fridge is running? Better catch it!" jokes with a very matter-of-fact tone that assumes from the start you're woman enough for the job. Sections are arranged by general category (electricity, plumbing, etc.), and every entry is accompanied by clear illustrations of items and processes. For women who live alone or are starting up a business, this is a serious money-saving guide; for those of us with roommates, there's no quicker way to impress than to whip out your toolbox and get down to business. --Jill Lightner

From Library Journal

Owing to choice or happenstance, many women don't have men around to repair things, and even if they do there is no guarantee that the man isn't a complete bonehead when it comes to fixing things. Sussman and Glakas-Tenet, both wives of CIA employees who were never around to help with household problems, show women how to perform a number of the most common repairs, including unclogging drains and toilets, replacing electrical switches and outlets, leveling appliances, lighting pilot lights, unsticking windows, and installing a door peephole. The authors assume that the reader is a complete newcomer to home repair, so everything is explained in detail (down to what tools to use), but the tone is never condescending. The very readabable text is supplemented by black-and-white drawings. This is a wonderful book that should be purchased by every public library.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; 1 edition (September 3, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060959843
  • ASIN: B0002MKE84
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #864,889 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on November 12, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book demystifies some of the simple, around-the-house chores that you always thought you should be able to handle on your own, but somehow still weren't sure how to tackle.
The projects are well explained and have given me the courage and confidence to take some of them on. It's also nice to know the guide is in the book case, so when I start to think about calling a plumber or an electrician, I'll be able to look in the book and decide whether or not I really do need to make that call.
I've noticed that some people think the book's simplistic, while others seem to think it's too heavily slanted toward a female audience. Since women have not traditionally done a lot of home repair (myself included), I think the book is ideally suited to its target group.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book for my Mom for Christmas last year. She was on her own for the first time in her life. When I visited her this Christmas, she was complaining about her toilet running. I said, "Mom, get the book" She got the book out, I read the instructions out loud to her, and she fixed her OWN toilet. She was so proud of herself. Everyone that called on Christmas got the blow by blow account of how she fixed her own toilet. Buy this book. You will learn how to fix alot of those annoying household problems. Save money, and get a feeling of accomplishment. Buy it for your Mom, Dad, everyone. Highly recommended!
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I have to say that this is a great book for anyone who has just purchased their first home. If you are in a position where you have noone to depend on but yourself, get a copy. Although, a reviewer did pan the book, stating that it gave instructions on how to change a bulb, this is not the whole truth-the bulb that they are referring to in the book, is in your gas or electric oven-big difference. It gives details on how to ignite a pilot light on a water heater safely-( which, unfortunately, I have had to do twice )- and several other things that you may not even think about until it is too late. Better to buy the book, and familiarize yourself. Do you know how to shut off your gas supply in an emergency, or repair a leaking water tank on a Sunday, or worse, in the middle of the night? Where is your toolbox? Do you even have a tool box? I admit, I did'nt even consider these things before. Buying a house for the first time, most of us are knee deep in carpet samples, decorating books, and paint chips-and most of us don't focus on gas leaks, frozen pipes, broken toilets, clogged showers, or loss of hot water. Like a good scout, BE PREPARED!
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Format: Paperback
So I get home after work, and all I really want is a shower. That's it. So I'm taking out my contacts......

.....and one flips right out of my eye. I hear it slide across the sink, and the unmistakable sound of it going down the drain.

{INSERT CHOICE OF CURSE WORD HERE].

So I stand there, frozen.

All of a sudden, I remember a book my mom got me last christmas. Dare to Repair. I look through it, and sure enough, there's a section on retrieving lost items from the drain.

I weigh the options. Nasty slimy drain which I don't really have the tools for? Or going without a contacts for two weeks while I go through the hassle of the eye doctor? Not to mention my lenses are a hundred bucks each (gas permeable). AND my insurance only covers either glasses or contacts, not both, and this was the year to get new glasses.

So, I try it. I empty out all the stuff from under the sink. I get my bucket. I have no wrenches the right size, so I just try twisting the pvc pipe. IT CAME OFF! No tools at all! I empty the sink trap into the bucket, and sure enough... there's the darn lens. I screw everything back up, turn on the faucet, no leaks!!!

I am so extraordinarily tickled.

THANK YOU, Dare to Repair! You saved me a hundred bucks!
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Format: Paperback
I'm a guy, and despite the pretense we guys like to present, men are not born knowing how to fix stuff.

Now, I'm not real happy with the sales schtick on this book. Why only women? Discriminiation, I say: we men need this book as much as any woman. Change the title from "Dare to Repair: A Do-It-Herself Guide to Fixing (Almost) Anything in the Home" to something more masculine (or neutral) and Sussman will sell a bunch more.

All my whining aside, "Dare to Repair" is a straight-to-the-point practical guide. It covers the basics, and has no delusions about being the last word in fixing things. There's nothing intimidating or overwhelming, but the reader mustn't be afraid of a little dirt. Broken stuff is often dirty, you know.

Buy the book. It'll come in handy, and pay for itself the first time you use it successfully instead of hiring an overpaid fixit person.

I fully recommend "Dare to Repair: A Do-It-Herself Guide to Fixing (Almost) Anything in the Home" by Julie Sussman, Stephanie Glakas-Tenet.

Anthony Trendl
editor, HungarianBookstore.com
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Format: Paperback
While I'm a little terrified of major repairs, this book is great for the kind of things that are too small to deal with the expense of calling a plumber but too big to just leave it alone. Good instructions, fun to read. Make sure you have all the tools before you start! I read over the instructions, wrote down what I needed, went to the hardware store and stopped by own damn toilet from running.
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