Saturday, 19 January 2013

Books - Save $20,000 With a Nail

Welcome to my first book review.  Any one who knows me will tell you that I am an avid reader.  Often I'll have more then one book on the go as well, usually one that is fiction for when I just want to relax as well as more informative books on history, finances, home maintenance, or child psychology.  Often the mood will strike me that I do not know enough on a particular subject, so I will race out to the library, raid their supplies, and spend the next month educating myself.  I hope to introduce you to some of my favourite (and most informative) reads over time.

Save $20,000 With A Nail - over 1,900 Practical Tips for Every Homeowner
By Reader's Digest 2011 - Available in Hardcover or Softcover

Of all the home maintenance books that I've read (and there have been quite a few) this has been my absolute favourite.  So much so that instead of continually borrowing it from the library I got a copy myself, which is rare.  The best thing about this book is that it is not just about how to fix major problems, it goes strait to the source and tells you how to avoid them.

It starts right with the basics, which is a God-send for beginners.  Beginning with clearly outlining the must haves for tools and supplies to take care of your home, the book then takes the time to break down the different types of tools and their uses.  It expands to talk about nice to have tools suitable for those who are enthusiastic about DIY projects.  There is basic advice on how to talk to trades persons as well as a seasonal checklist of maintenance that should be done around the house in order to avoid damage.

You are taken step by step through your house as the book covers; the inside the house (walls and ceilings, floors and stairs), the outside of the house (siding, doors and windows, roof, masonry, weatherproofing, house extensions), the home's systems (electrical, plumbing, heating and cooling, major appliances) the property (lawn and garden, outdoor structures) and threats to the home (safety and security, natural disasters).

Each section, for example carpets, gives at least half a dozen ideas for maintenance and then half a dozen ideas for do it yourself repairs.  Frequently these sections include details on the pros and cons of a variety of products available.  It is clearly written out in several sections (especially electricity and plumbing) what projects should not be taken on by a person who is not a qualified professional.  The fact that they draw a line of what should not be done by the average joe gives a fair bit of faith that all the other projects suggested are suitable for the average home owner.

Over all the book is an easy read.  The writing is clearly and illustrations are provided to help with some of the more complicated instructions.  Only about a third of the book is applicable to any one house, however this book will cover the various aspects of almost any house.  I would recommend this book to any home owner, be it your first home or your fifth.

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