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Books on Home Repair If you're likely to shop for tools and supplies at a Home Depot, then I recommend you have a look at their own series of home improvement books. (Note that there is considerable redundancy between the various volumes they offer.) These books provide detailed instructions for a wide variety of basic repairs, as do several of the previously mentioned books, but I find the HD books especially helpful because every product and tool mentioned in the books is readily available in the store. With other books, I sometimes find myself looking for an item that is hard to find (and therefore more expensive or aggravating to use, or even no longer code-compliant) or I only know the item by a name different from the one used by local suppliers. The HD books read more like a cookbook where you know that all the ingredients are waiting for you in one place, or a catalog with step-by-step illustrated instructions. Of course, I rarely need all the tools they recommend I buy for a given project-- don't go overboard on tools if you're just getting started. You can also consult a copy of these books in the store as you face an array of choices. (Of course, you can usually get excellent advice and personal instructions at your small local hardware store, if HD hasn't put them out of business yet. I do have some reservations about these "big-box" stores.) On the other end of the spectrum, if you want more technical advice and are working on an antique home, check the internet. While this is an essential resource for professional preservationists, there are many more basic materials there as well. Sometimes the approach encouraged by today's hardware stores and DIY books-- to rip out the old and install all new-- is the worst thing you can do to your home and its future value. The standard DIY guides show you *how* to do projects without considering whether or not you *should*. I'm currently undoing some skilfully-done "remuddeling" projects inflicted on my own lovely Victorian home by previous owners... More input from WikiAnswers Contributors:

  • I agree that the Home Depot or Lowe's books are both good. Check the public library as they usually have quite a few. To really learn, go to Home Depot or Lowe's when they have their free clinics as you will get hands on practice and get to talk with someone who does it all the time. I have learned a lot at them.
  • There are now hundreds of home repair books on the market. Some are general information that cover everything, others are specific to one type of problem/project (Build a Deck, Repairing Plumbing, Wiring 101, etc.) Try going to your library and looking up a few "Home Repair" books. You can see which ones you prefer and then buy them in the store or use the library's copy.
  • 1001 Do-It-Yourself Hints & Tips : Tricks, Shortcuts, How-To's, and Other Great Ideas for Inside, Outside, and All Around Your House
  • New Complete Do-It-Yourself Manual
  • The Big Book of Small Household Repairs: Your Goof-Proof Guide to Fixing over 200 Annoying Breakdowns
  • 1001 Do-It-Yourself Hints & Tips : Tricks, Shortcuts, How-To's, and Other Great Ideas for Inside, Outside, and All Around Your House by Readers Digest
  • Popular Mechanics Plumbing & Heating
  • Insulate and Weatherize: Expert Advice from Start to Finish
  • Home Heating and Air Conditioning System
  • Home Heating and Cooling (Fix It Yourself)
  • Home Depot-123 repairs
ANSWER I recommend almost any book put out by Taunton Press (aka Fine Home Building) and to repeat an answer above go to the local library There are many good books out there. I also have a membership to TheProperHome website that allows me to ask experts the questions that books do not cover. With the combination of books, videos and TheProperHome, I have always had great success with my home improvement projects.

ANSWER If and when you hire someone to do the task, watch them and ask questions. It is a rare task that needs doing once in a lifetime.

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Q: What books would you suggest for someone who wants to make basic home repairs on their own?
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