Customer Reviews: Dare to Repair: A Do-it-Herself Guide to Fixing (Almost) Anything in the Home
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on November 12, 2002
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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on January 2, 2006
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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on March 18, 2004
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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on October 19, 2004
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.


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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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
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on July 26, 2006
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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This work is an important reference for anyone attempting
to do basic home repair work. A strength of the presentation
is that the many diagrams are simple to read and interpret.
Practically every imaginable plumbing and electrical job
is described in sufficient detail to enable ease of
replication by the household novice. Today, most repairs
are costly. This work describes difficult repair jobs in
simple english with uncluttered diagrams of the basic steps.
I would purchase this book if your intent is to attempt
some simple to intermediate home repairs.
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on May 22, 2006
I didn't find that there was enough basic information in this book to be useful to me. I think the author is trying to make money off of the "concept" rather than provide lots of informative information. And I admit, I was lured into the "concept" and bought the book, with much disapointment.

For me the 1001 Do It Yourself hints & tips by reader's digest is more comprehensive with 100x more information than this book. In addition, the reader's digest books is geared towards ANYONE, because this is information that everyone needs for their first home, not just "women". In the reader's digest book you learn about plumbing basics, how to deal with kitchen fires, leaks and everything inbetween. (You can preview the book on Amazon too!)
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on September 2, 2005
I've always been accused of being "Martha Stewart unplugged" cause I'll tackle ANYTHING to decorate or cook. Well, with the help of Dare to Repair, I'm now crusading for a new title of "Bobbie the Builder" - I'm changing out light fixtures, removing old electrical outlets. This is a GREAT BOOK! I got one for my daughter, too - she's following in mom's footsteps!
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on March 12, 2005
I'm a first-time home buyer in my 30s, and though I'm not dumb, there's things I just don't know how to do. I suppose you could say I'm ignorant on the matters of home maintenance, though I've always just had to call the landlord.

The book really is practical for the basic things. If you've owned a home before, or even just paid attention watching others, then you probably don't need this book. I needed something to remind me of the basic home maintenance tasks (what, I have to change furnace filters?) that I just never bothered with before.

So yes, if you're vaguely familiar with home maintenance, I can see how some people would find it too low-level. But for someone like me, it's great! I plan on installing a peephole on the door leading to the garage, and this will explain how to do it. I feel confident that I can do simple things, like change my water heater temperature, relight pilot lights without blowing the house up, or deal with the circuit breaker (oh yeah, mapping it would probably be good, right). Simple, but if you don't know where to look then hey, you don't know where to look.

My one complaint is that it's a bit too girly-girly for me in some sections. It compares some home repairs to things like painting your nails, and frosting a cake, and really I could have done without that. But hey! It's helped me learn what I wanted to learn, so I'm happy.
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