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Lately I’ve been diving into some good old fashioned book-in-hand research. Checking books out of the library or ordering them and reading them seems to be a dying practice. But there are things I’ve looked up on the internet and not found cohesive answers to, and then I’ve found whole books on the topic, so I’m sold on returning to my roots! Here’s a quick list of book resources for DIY home improvement that have caught my eye and been helpful lately, as well as a list of books I’ve yet to check out but are on my up-next reading list.
Why books? There’s something about holding it in your hand and poring over its pages that you just can’t get from googling something on your smartphone and scrolling through so many articles and blogs. (Somewhat ironic to be saying this on a blog, that I hope people read and learn from, but hey – it’s the truth!) Check out some of these books and you’ll soon see what I mean. Plus the great thing about reference books is they’re not meant to be read cover to cover, so even those who claim to detest reading can’t complain about skimming a few useful chapters!
DIY Home Improvement
In the same way that reading books may be out of vogue, DIY and home improvement with our own two hands is somewhat out of vogue, at least in many parts of the United States. (My perspective starts here, what can I say?)
But there is so much to be gained from learning these skills ourselves, and being able to share them with the next generation! There is so much satisfaction in work we do with our own hands that makes our homes and sanctuaries places that we truly enjoy inhabiting, especially once we have families, or simply want to host friends in a space that we have poured our hearts into.
So it makes sense that if we find that our passions lie in these topics, books are an excellent place to turn, in addition to the myriad of resources available at our fingertips digitally.
So, without further ado…
Book Resources for DIY Home Improvement
- How Your House Works by Charlie Wing. This author has written endlessly on home improvement topics and does a lot of the material that Home Depot uses for their instructional content for contractors and DIYers alike. This particular book is subtitled, “a visual guide to understanding and maintaining your home” and it is exactly that. Each of the almost-200 page book has a diagram with labels and information about each system in your home, from appliances, plumbing, electrical, heating and cooling, framing, foundation, windows, etc. For those of us who are newer to understanding the intricacies of what lies behind our drywall, this book is a fabulous introduction to what things do and how they work.
- Ultimate Guide to Home Repair and Improvement by the Editors of Creative Homeowner. This book is HUGE at a whopping 607 pages after glossaries and indices are included! There are 23 sections ranging from masonry, plumbing, insulation, cabinets and counters, siding, decks, roofing etc, to tools and safety, and how to follow codes. Like I mentioned before, these are resource books, not “casual reading” types and they’re designed to look up particular information somewhat like your good old encyclopedias. The amount of information is astounding. I still only have this book from the library but it is one I will probably be purchasing in the near future. It can’t hurt to keep a copy on hand!
- Fix It, Clean It, and Make It Last – The Ultimate Guide to Making Your Household Items Last Forever by the Editors of FC&A. This book is more about fixing and repairing things than about modifying or updating them. Topics range from household appliances, cleaning, pest-proofing, electrical problems, preserving good carpets, plumbing, heating, and cooling, to mending clothing and doing routine maintenance on your vehicles. Again, it’s a resource book, but the topics are endlessly interesting to me! I am realizing that self-sufficiency is a growing passion of mine, and ditching a consumerist disposable-products mentality for a durable-products mentality is high on my list of achievable goals – especially with resources like this to learn from! And guess what… it’s all DIY!
- The Backyard Homestead – Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre! by Storey Publishing with Carleen Madigan. This book is only about “home improvement” if you consider self-sufficiency to be an improvement to your home or lifestyle. But purchasing this book has helped me to plan my garden for our second year this coming spring, and to be realistic about the possibilities. Gardening vegetables and food for our table is definitely a DIY experience and in my book it definitely constitutes an improvement to our lives and home. Plus it frees up financial resources to put towards “actual” home improvement projects like finishing our flooring and leveling our sinking addition!
- if you are interested in more books about self-sufficiency, I have a further list I’m checking out, but I’ll leave them off this list as many probably consider that a very separate topic. But comment below if that is a book list you’d like me to post about as well!
The next books
The books on DIY home improvement that I haven’t checked out are numerous, but hopefully I’ll be able to look into them soon! If you have recommendations please leave them for me in the comments, or send us an email because I’d love to chat more about it with anyone who is interested!
- 100 Things Every Homeowner Must Know
- Home Maintenance for Dummies
- Popular Mechanics How to Fix Everything
- The Martha Manual How to Do (Almost) Everything
Have any recommendations to add?
I hope that this list is helpful to those looking for book resources for DIY home improvement. That’s what we’re all about here at The Welder and His Wife, and sharing what we learn is our other true passion. If you have other resources that you love, please send us an email or leave a comment and let us know! And if you have digital resources like YouTuve Channels, podcasts, blogs, websites, or social media, please let us know! I hope to have a post soon about other resources that can be accessed online, and I’m always looking to grow my own knowledge!
Thanks for coming by!