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Staying Put: Remodel Your House to Get the Home You Want Paperback – November 15, 2011
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"Staying Put: Remodel Your House to Get the Home You Want "($24, The Taunton Press, 2011) is an everyman's guide to innovative, thoughtful renovations that make the most of what you've got....Whether it's a growing family that needs more space, or an empty-nest couple looking for a "fresh" start, Dickinson has it covered. His passion for visually appealing home improvement, while staying on a budget, results in basic strategies that will allow you to turn the house you have into the house you love.
--Alyssa Lusky"boston.com" (01/20/2012)
Duo Dickinson is not only a talented architect and author, but also an irrepressible spirit who isn't afraid to tweak the whiskers of the king or call a spade a spade. This book is not only about a subject that is extremely timely, given the state of both the housing market and the economy, but also an absolute delight to read. How many books do you know that can give you multiple and frequent full-throttle belly laughs while delivering basic and simple advice about how to make friends with, and even come to love, the house that until recently you'd imagined you'd be moving up from sometime in the not-too-distant future? Duo's latest opus does just that. I loved every page of this fact-filled, practical book. It's worth your time to read, even if you're not planning to remodel any time soon. But my guess is that by the time you're finished, you may be closer to a remodeling than you thought.
--SARAH SUSANKA, FAIA--architect and author of "Not So Big Remodeling, "and" The Not So Big House" series
A book whose subject is home renovation but is just as much about common sense as it is about aesthetic sense. Dickinson, whose designs tend toward the traditional and the comfortable, argues that our obsession with the now-burst real estate bubble propelled people to design houses for resale value rather than for livability, and to imagine that by constantly moving up, they'd get the home they always wanted. You may not be so eager (or able) to trade up now, but the architect shows you how a so-so house can become just right. These pages are crammed with good advice (avoid gutters at all costs; add wide eaves instead) and realistic assessments of the way we live now. Straightforward before-and-after photographs fit the mood of this cheerful, no-nonsense book. -PILAR VILADAS, "T: The New York Times "
Could there be a more perfect book for this American moment? Figuring out how to hunker down happily--replacing unsustainable fantasies of shelter porn with long-term,
"This lengthy first chapter, on its own, makes "Staying Put" an essential resource for every homeowner contemplating a remodel, upside down, house-bound or not. Dickinson puts his years of experience to very effective use, creating decision tools for homeowners to understand the properties of their home and their visions vis-a-vis the most common remodeling disasters, which can involve spiraling costs and unsatisfactory outcomes. He empowers readers to make informed decisions about which projects to take on and whether to remodel at all. And if the dozens and dozens of images in the book are not enough, the companion site stayingput.com offers many more for your inspiration." --Tara-Nicholle Nelson, Inman News
About the Author
Architect DUO DICKINSON truly knows the ins and outs of home remodeling. Recognized as a maverick within the profession he's spent 30 years trying to reform, Duo is a successful author of six books on residential design, including "The House You Build." "The New York Times "captured his design philosophy as: "Design it small, make it as beautiful as possible, and practice every trick in the book to keep it as cheap as possible."
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My husband and I are totally new to this process, and this book has helped us avoid some expensive mistakes. We hired an architect who designed an ideal whole-house remodel. On advice from this book, we got some ballpark estimates that showed us the plans were way over budget. We met with several general contractors. It took five before we found someone who suggested that we work in phases, the way the author of this book described, and he also had good ideas on how we could scale back the plans and still achieve what we wanted.
There were some very good pieces of advice in this book. Had I read this book 20 years ago, I might not have added on our sun porch in Colorado. It's been very expensive to heat and air condition, as this author says. We would have been smarter to add onto our existing kitchen. It would have been more expensive initially, but we are now tearing down the sun room because it has not done well with our clay soil and we can no longer completely shut the windows and doors. $20,000 down the drain.
There were many pictures of projects, with a small picture of "before" and a larger picture of "after"; Usually there were diagrams to show the original floor plan and the changes that were made.
What made this book less useful than it could have been was that there were usually only two pages devoted to each project, and most of that space was devoted to the "after" picture. It would have been helpful to have more written detail about the projects. I've read articles in magazines and and other books that gave more description of the problems that needed to be solved and how they arrived at the solutions and would have liked to have seen that here.