Black & Decker Complete Photo Guide to Home Repair: with 350 Projects and 2000 Photos

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Product Description

Got a problem with grout? Open The Complete Photo Guide to Home Repair (to page 98) and watch your tiling worries dissolve before the simple beauty of photography. Black & Decker has anticipated your every question and problem with interior, exterior, and home systems repairs, and detailed the solutions in just over 500 pages. In no other human endeavor is a visual guide so important as home repair (well, maybe brain surgery), so this is a crucial aid to the handyperson. Easy-to-find sections on floors, insulation, roofing, chimneys, water heaters, wall switches, air conditioning, and much more are well-designed, brilliantly illustrated, and carefully outlined with step-by-step instructions from masters. The photos in particular are extremely valuable, offering many different views (sometimes even exploded) of the operation in question, and always showing just enough to communicate without overwhelming the reader with too much detail. These alone would be worth the price of the book, but the written explanations and instructions are also very helpful, offering tools, materials lists, and hints that wouldn't occur to the amateur. The book finishes with a maintenance schedule to help you keep repairs from becoming serious, and the end papers have conversion charts and tables that you'll use time and again. If you can't have Norm the master carpenter over to help you fix your old house, The Complete Photo Guide to Home Repair is the next best thing. --Rob Lightner

Bigger and better than ever

The two previous editions of the book known by home improvement retailers as “Big Red” sold nearly 600,000 copies. This new edition features a larger portrait format for better visual clarity, and incorporates a new page layout style. But all the features that made the original America’s best-selling “bible” of home repair are still present herea??thousands of color photographs and detailed step-by-step directions.

The third edition also includes more than 30 projects not found in the original edition, as well as more than 300 new photos.

The new edition of a home repair classic. The most up-to-date, complete, and useful guide to home repair a homeowner can have. With more than 350 projects and 2300 photos, virtually every home repair challenge is covered. New in this major revision to an all-time classic best-seller are important chapters on: choosing and using hand and power tools; diagnosing and correcting home safety and health problems; and creating and maintaining a home workshop. We've made the best home repair book even better! More than 300 new photos. Information on how to choose and use the latest hand and power tools. Updated to reflect the latest building code changes. Shows how to test for radon, lead, asbestos and water contaminants. Workshop section includes helpful reference tables and charts for hardware, lumber, and other building materials. Includes helpful building projects for workshops, including building utility shelves, workbenches, and sawhorses.

Customer Reviews:

  • We Did It Ourselves!
    We've had various home repairs in preparation for selling our home. To keep costs down, we got this book. The many pictures helped me get a good viual, but the detailed instructions made sure the job was being done right. Thanks to the tool and material lists provided, we were well prepared by the time we began working and didn't have to make multiple trips back to the store. We replaced ceiling fixtures, light switches, faucets, and refurbished the shower with new tile, doors, and caulking. We're keeping this book accessible for the new house!...more info
  • Outstanding guide
    I'm in the process of looking for my first home, and I bought this book knowing that I'd need to do repairs as a homeowner. I got more than I had asked for. The text is very clear, and the pictures are precise and thorough.
    Not only do I feel more prepared to make my own home repairs after this book, but it has also helped me to spot problem areas within the homes I've looked at. If you're looking for one book that's got it all, BUY THIS BOOK!...more info
  • Home Owner's Delight
    This is a beautiful book with the clearest photos I have seen. It is the perfect housewarming present....more info
  • My new favorite home repair guide
    A good home repair guide is an absolute requirement for those of us who know very little about home repair but feel the urge on occasion to tackle some of those odd jobs around the house. While there are many guides on the market today the best ones have an abundance of photographs or detailed illustrations to help the reader see what they are supposed to be doing. With over 2,300 photos Black and Decker's The Complete Photo Guide to Home Repair is the epitome of this class of books. Processes and techniques are described step by step in detail with no prior knowledge assumed. Everything is so well done anyone can complete any of the projects if they can read and follow directions. I've had several home repair books, but this one just became my top choice for the one I want to have around as my primary reference. The Complete Photo Guide to Home Repair is a very highly recommended book for every homeowner or handyman....more info
  • black and decker complete photo guide to home repair
    I am an old carpenter/repairer/remodeler/preservationist. This book stands out with talent and efficiency, rendering some of the better and best ways to accomplish 350 home repair tasks. I wish I had read it when I was 20 years old. I would have been quite a bit better at what I was doing than I am. ...more info
  • Shelves??
    I'm not kidding here, this book does not have a section on building shelves. I was in the bookstore doing comparisons between home repair manuals, and I chose something universal like shelves to compare them, and this book doesn't even have the word 'shelves' in the index. Shelves for pete's sake! What this book does have in it seems done really well, but omitting what just might be the #1 home repair/improvement made me highly suspect. I ended up going with the Home Depot 1-2-3.. even though the illustrations were not as good, the layout and language was really friendly for home repair newbies. The Stanley book was good as well, though not quite as geared towards the novice as the Home Depot book....more info
  • Fantastic guide!
    Not only does this book have lots of useful, step-by-step instructions but it also has clear and detailed photos to help you along! Highly recommended!...more info
  • Very pleased with its content
    The pictures are clear and concise. The material is pertinent and to the point. Very good for the average home owner to help save him and buck or two and do it him/herself....more info
  • Must Have for the homeowner
    This book is ideal for someone who is a first time homeowner. Covers nearly all repairs that I could practically conceive tackling as a DIY. I needed a book that could cover diverse topics from plumbing to patching drywall and pointing masonry. It contains a large number of pictures that allows one to get a feel for what is involved quickly. Instructions, material, and equipment needed for every repair described are listed for every repair topic that I read....more info
  • The best tool for a handyman of the house
    I have a lot of tools like hammer, screwdrivers etc., but they are not of much use without some guidance on how to use them. This book not only tells you how to use which tools effectively but also gives detailed instructions on fixing common problems in the house. Since I like fixing things I find this book the best tool I can have, I have learnt a lot from this book and have fixed toilets, done plumbing work, filling nail holes etc.. You will definitely learn a lot from this book if you like fixing things in/around the house....more info
  • Must-have for do-it-yourselfers
    This is a great home repair book. Note that I said home REPAIR, not home IMPROVEMENT. B&D apparently also has another book on home improvement, which I have not read.

    Anyway, this is a great book. We have proceeded to replace some faucets, upgrade some 2-pronged outlets to 3-pronged outlets, paint some rooms, fix some plumbing, troubleshoot a drain problem, and 4 or 5 other problems using this book. The pictures, as noted by other reviewers, are invaluable and very well done. Product placement is, of course, present but not obtrusive.

    In short, as many repair projects turn into improvement projects, this is probably not the only book you'll need if you're a homeowner, but you'll definately find yourself referring to it time and again....more info

  • Great Book
    Absolutely wonderful book with endless projects. I have yet to do a project that was not in this book. It is like an unabridged dictionary for home repair....more info
  • Frustratingly professional, not for the idiot :)
    I have this book for the last 3 years. I could never make use of the book because it assumes that I'm already a plumber, a technician, a carpentar, a mason etc...

    This book is not for the ordinary people like me; rather it is for a professional who is already in this type of craft and trying to improve himself.

    However, I turn the pages from time to time like a National Geographic Atlas, or my high school photo album.

    I never ever recommend this for people like me. If you are not in this "home repair" business, please refrain from the idea of having this heavy gizmo....more info

  • Black & Decker Home repair hand book
    Excellent for reference. Haven't get anything to work on at the moment, but definitely love it. ...more info
  • Good enough to hold a conversation
    A little background: the bad news is I didn't grow up with Saturday power tool time with Dad, and I now just bought an old, old house that needs lots and lots of renovations. The good news is that I do like to learn, and after calling a few all-inclusive contractors, I found out quickly that it's much cheaper to do it myself (if/when I find the time).

    I bought both this and the Reader's Digest. Both are great, as I can cross reference both of them, and the "instructions on the box." Further, when it's a job I think that's too big for me/beyond my skill set, I at least have a clue as to what is going on and can have an intelligent conversation with the handyman. Plus, I can pick his brain on his experience on other issues not related, and get check it against what I read as well.

    Great book(s) for anyone owning a home, and doesn't have the money/luxury of affording a gc. ...more info
  • Paid For Itself On First Day
    This book really makes it easy to do your own home repairs and save a lot of money. This will be my housewarming gift for every friend who buys a home!...more info
  • Crisp, Clean, & Surgical instructions
    There are certain skills that are "wasted" on no one. Home repair is one such skill. I believe that 5 weeks after purchasing this book - the book has already paid for itself. My parents moved back into my grandmother's 1960-era house after she passed away last year. The house was in need of a few repairs, but money was a limiting factor. I had to find a way to teach myself (and my dad) how to weatherproof the basement, replacing an ancient water heater & dishwasher, replace several outlets with new GFCI (p. 397!) outlets, and finally, how to update the upstair's faucets and fixtures. I logged onto and typed-in HOME REPAIR. To be honest, I chose this book because it had 500+ pages and two 5-star reviews. When this book arrived, I instantly felt the weight and quality of the binding.(think college textbook material) I quickly found DETAILED descriptions of the tasks I would soon have to perform. I called my father and said "Get ready we're going to Home Depot!" On the phone, my father expressed concern over our lack of experience. When my father got in my truck, I handed him the the Black&Decker text. I had put PostIt's on the pages with our projects. He slipped on his glasses and peered through his bi-focals and didn't say a word on the way to purchase tools & supplies. Once in the parking lot, I could hardly turn-off the engine before he was pointing to pictures saying "Ours looks just like this! I want some gloves like that!" And he was making a bee-line for the door!(the old man can move!) He was excited and so was I. Now, it has beeen 5 weeks since that first trip to Home Depot. Both my father and I have the cuts and scrapes and the ever present sore backs to prove that we have done our own home repairs. My father now keeps the Black&Decker text at his house "for safe keeping." He cleans the text with a moist cloth after each project. The projects don't seem to have an end in sight, which I believe is a direct result of my dad reading the text for "suggestions." My suggestion....don't let anyone "borrow" this text, unless of course - you love him!...more info
  • Good Buy
    This is a Good Buy for the average home owner DIY. It is very good with details for the novice to understand and follow directions.
    ...more info
  • Home Repair
    This is a good book for those do-it-yourselfers that like photos with their instructions. It covers a wide variety of general repairs and would be good for a novice to home repair...more info
  • Great basic guide
    Between this and the B&D Home Improvement book, pretty much everything you need to know for basic homeowner do-it-yourself projects and repairs is covered. I've used it several times in a few months, and it is wonderful to have on hand as a reference. The book is sturdy and easy to understand too. It would get 5 stars if there weren't so much overlap with the Home Improvement guide--the two should be better coordinated to avoid redundancies....more info
  • Did my first repair thanks to this book!
    I'm reading the other reviews here, so I thought I'd weigh in, hoping it will help the prospective buyer. This book is about as good as it gets for do-it-yourself home repair. Lots of home repairs are far easier than you think, and just take time and maybe some new tools. Even with the cost of new tools, it will often be cheaper than calling a professional. Yes--there are really complicated repairs I would leave to a professional, but this book helps with the simple things that you just need basic instruction on.

    Case in point--my toilet was leaking from the base. I have never installed a toilet or taken one apart. I had no clue why it was leaking. I turned to the leaky toilet page and saw that there is something called the "closet" where the toilet connects to the floor and there is a wax seal that may have leaked. A plumber could cost $50-$100 just to come out and look at the toilet. Maybe more for his labor.

    I went to Home Depot and bought a new wax seal for $3.50, and a mini-shop vac for $40 (new tool--yay!). Turned off the water valve, flushed the toilet, used the shop-vac to suck out the residual water, disconnected the water line, removed the 2 bolts connecting the tank to the bowl and removed the tank, removed the 2 bolts connecting the bowl to the floor and removed the bowl. Scrape off the old wax, put on the new wax, bolt bowl to floor, bolt tank to bowl, reconnect water. Yes--I may have figured this out on my own, but one is always hesitant to go in to a job not knowing what to expect. This book holds your hand a bit and has great photos. Now, if I had removed the toilet and found the closet flange overly corroded, I may have called a plumber. But I fixed the whole thing for $43.50, an hour of time, and I got a new shop-vac!

    If you don't know a screwdriver from a hammer, then no book in the world, including this one, will help you. But if you have basic tool knowledge and a bit of courage, this book is the perfect and only companion you need. And when all else fails, you can always call a professional to fix it up. Armed with lingo from this book, you will be able to describe the problem better and perhaps avoid being ripped off as well....more info
  • Very Good DIY Reference Book
    This is my 2nd book for our house. I have no idea of tools and what should I do to maintain our house. There are photos ad instruction to interior and exterior repairing and installation. Plus introduction to tools and materials to work with.

    This book is not only good for DIY project, also a good reference to establish the foundmental knowledge of the general house....more info

  • A great new homeowner starter book!
    I just bought this book and really love it. It's simple and easy to understand, and considering that I have never done much home repair before, this was a plus. It's the hammer and nail equivilent to that Betty Crocker cookbook we've all be hauling around for years. Always something new that you never knew you needed!...more info
  • Wonderful Information for the beginner!
    I just purchased my first house. I wanted a good book to learn how to take care of it. This book is so easy to follow and gives so much information. It is an excellent starter for people like me!...more info
  • the book chapters are short
    I would like more detailed discussions. At least for the painting part, the book is too short....more info
  • Solid book on the basics of home repair...
    Good pictures, good text, and good coverage of basic repair tasks for a house. Though not a reference guide, this provides a good foundation for handling basic home repairs....more info
  • A great book for most jobs
    I have used this book for several small around the house projects, but found it to have some limitations. This book doesn't go into detail on how to do some jobs that are "second level" skills, but these can be filled in by other more focused books. In my opinion, if this book is supplemented by focused books for specific bigger jobs (such as electrical wiring) and with a magazine subscription (such as The Family Handyman), the practitioner will be able to accomplish most home repair tasks.

    Overall, an excellent and thorough treatment of most of the jobs a homeowner would want to accomplish by himself!...more info
  • Excellent primer
    I have had this book for over a year now. It has helped me with small projects like changing a light fixture and unclogging the drain to painting and hanging large pictures and an LCD TV, and to remove and plane down my door that always sticks. I have never been particularly "handy" but the pictures and step by step instructions are actually really good. The only real downside is that sometimes they expect me to follow from one step to the next with minimal instruction, and I cannot based on my lack of experience. This is far and away the exception, and most times I could figure it out anyway. It has inspired me to take on bigger and more complicated projects and I refer to it often....more info
  • A "Must Have" For Any Homeowner
    I purchased this book about 2 weeks ago and I am pleasantly surprised. The best thing about this book is the pictures. The pictures are large, in color and very detailed.....and there are a ton of them. I very highly recommend this book to any homeowner, but especially to first-time homeowners such as myself....more info
  • A PICTURE IS WORTH #2......
  • Great book
    Very useful for a person who does not know much about home maintenance and repair but wants to be able to do it him/herself. At the back of this book is a monthly and yearly maintenance checklist - a big plus. Photos, details, and instructions are excellent. I also bought the B&D Home Improvement book (blue cover) and it's just as fabulous. Highly recommend these books....more info
  • Good Book
    The book tells you what you need to know to fix just about anything in your house. It has color photos to show you step by step how to do it. If you can't fix it with this book you need to hire a contractor anyways....more info
  • Very Complete Guide
    This is wonderful and is now my "bible" for repairing just about anything. The best part? The pictures.....which make all the difference in the world for a "newbie" like me. The step by step instructions make the hardest tasks seem easy. If you want an all-in-one guide, this is the one to buy....more info
  • Invaluable Resource
    We recently purchased an old home with lots of "problems". I borrowed this book from my local library (along with Black & Decker's Home Improvement) and was amazed at how clear and detailed it was. I think the best part is how they use real photos of everything, and not sketches. There are well over 2000 photos. Within days, I was dealing with and solving basement issues, plumbing problems, electrical outlets, and many more things that I did not even thing of. The books helped so much that I decided to go ahead and purchase them here on Amazon. There are countless home improvement books out there and some rank better than others. From what I've seen, the Black & Decker series ranks at the top and are an invaluable resource. It literally pays for itself with all the money saving tips and instructions. I recommend this book, along with Black & Decker's Home Improvement and Outdoor to anyone looking to save money on home repairs....more info
  • Great Reference
    Good book with lots of color photos, helped me replace all elecrical outlets in a couple of rooms. Great to look at to get an idea for projects and "how to". Very informative on tool types and also the items you will encounter during the project. I would reccomemd to a rookie homeowner to an advanced. Wish had some info on ceiling fans, washing machines and dryers. But altogether great!! Want to buy the new one coming out!...more info
  • Black and Decker Home Repair Book
    My husband loves this book..a friend had one and he too just had to have it....more info
  • Book Review
    The recipient of this book, a new homeowner, was thrilled with this gift! His father, a homeowner for over 30 years, wished he had been the recipient....more info
  • about time
    was looking for a book with many visuals and pointers, in the style of DK books. The library had the usual books of mostly text and poor visuals, but this one really breaks ranks and stands out to help as a instant information assistant....more info
  • Excellent Book!!!
    Excellent book! Very comprehensive book on materials, techniques and just a very detailed how-to DIY manual in general. Tons of detailed pictures and small steps to help the biggest layman out there. I am very happy with my purchase, got exactly what I wanted....more info
  • Ideal for do-it-yourself homeowners.
    Over two hundred color photos pack a home repair guide which covers most of the common repairs a homeowner will need to know about; from caulking windows and fixing door knobs and locks to exterior painting and insulating. A recommended pick for any homeowner, Complete Photo Guide To Home Repair deserves a place on personal as well as professional bookshelves....more info
  • Good book
    Its a great book to give you ideas for how to fix things or how to make general home improvements. ...more info
  • Good Book
    I am not a handyman by any means. This book gives you the know how to work your way through any home project!...more info
  • Excellent Book
    Being a first-time homebuyer, I knew i would have many projects to accomplished. After purchasing my home, I quickly realized my lack of both skills and knowledge of basic home improvements and or repairs. I decided to shop around for a home improvement book. After a couple of hours, I came upon a pot of gold(The complete photo guide to home repair). This book is filled with useful information. If you are looking for the perfect home improvement book, do purchase this book....more info
  • No cd-rom with some copies
    Some of these copies don't come with the cd-rom. All the books on our shelves had the same ISBN # BUT the copies with the cd-rom had an extra "FREE CD INSIDE" sticker stuck onto the front cover (cd was designed for Windows 3.1 or 95). If you want a cd-rom - look for sticker on front cover, make sure it's included (page 504) or ask the seller before you buy. This is a great book....more info
    An excellent "do it yourself" "PICTURE" book which is quite fitting for the home improvment newbie. Everything from "A" to "Z" is practically covered. Also receommended are the Black and Decker specific projects books, i.e. wiring, plumbing, baths, carpentry, etc......more info
  • Comprehensive Home Repair
    I haven't had a chance to really dig through this book. But gazing through, I found many useful topics with plenty of detailed information and associated pictures. I looked at a couple other home repair manuals and found this one to be the most comprehensive. I recommend! ...more info
  • Good How To For The Home Owner
    Good book that covers basic how-to in every area of your house. Slightly basic, but has everything in color pictures and illustrations.

    Lots of basic repairs and some more advanced repairs. I would say every home owner could use this book...more info

  • A Useful Resource for Homeowners
    Some people are mechanically inclined, and there are those like myself who can't fix anything. For those of us who need a little help in the home repair department, this book will help you through almost any home repair project.

    The book is loaded with photographs and easy to follow instructions for projects such as fixing a clogged drain to installing a shower. I recently used the book for advice on how to patch a hole in drywall. The specific section I needed was full of step-by-step instructions and photographs. After consulting this book, my own drywall patch project turned out wonderfully.

    I highly recommend this fine book. The illustrations and directions are clear, concise, and easy to follow. For those of us not blessed with much mechanical ability, this book is a must-own....more info
  • Excellent book for folks buying their first house
    I bought this book right after I bought my first house (which was 12 years old at the time I moved in). I have owned the house for 2 years now and have owned a copy of this book for the same time.
    1. I had no idea how the systems (ac, plumbing, various kithcen appliences, etc.) of the house worked when I moved in. This book gives a clear overview of the various systems and how they work. I could easily figure out the items that needed a maintenance schedule. I was also able to talk to various service providers (plumbers, electrical contractors, etc.) meanigfully as I was armed with the appropriate information.
    2. I was struggling finding the right tools that I needed to have for various "do it yourself" repairs. This book clearly lists the tools that need to be used for every repair with pictures. You will never be lost in "Home Depot" again.
    3. I have had a few unplanned repairs that needed to be made. I was easily able to look up the index to go to the relevant section and carry out the repair (after a couple of visits to Home Depot to get appropriate tools).
    This book was worth every penny. Anyone moving into a new house should have a copy of this book with him or her....more info
  • complete guide to home repair (black and decker)
    overall good info, but not enough on hvac systems - I don't need a book to refer me to a repairperson, i had hoped for detailed photos to assist me in doing the repair myself, not just in understanding what needed to be done by another.......more info


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