The first thing I'd like to make clear is that I own an earlier edition of this fantastic book; due to it's phenomenal success it has had several editions, mine is 2001 version.
I have chosen to offer a review of this edition because firstly I have had access to this most recent edition and can confirm that there are very few differences of note, a few changes in building/electrical regulations and some aesthetic improvements; and secondly there is more chance of my review being of some use to a prospecive buyer if it is alongside this most recent version.
I will start my review by making a few things clear.
Firstly this book has encouraged me to learn more about, and taught me more about, DIY than anything or anyone in my life.
Secondly, even though I have many books with a great deal being used regularly, no book I own (or have owned) has ever had as much use or suffered as much abuse as this one.
Thirdly, this book has saved me so much money that it has paid for itself literally dozens if not hundreds of times over.
Finally.......... I absolutely love this book!
Lets start with the basics, it's a big book; 552 pages, hardback, heavy and solidly bound (as it will probably need to be!).
The book is basically broken down into the key areas of construction and DIY, for example plumbing, electrics, carpentary, decorating etc; and the key areas of the home, such as living spaces, bathrooms, kitchens, gardens etc.
The book guides the user from the foundation stage up and literally offers the fundamental techniques to build a house from the planning stage (obviously some additional advice and help may be required!).
The book is full of photos and excellently produced illustrations that make the jobs so much easier to understand.
One difference between my earlier edition and this revised, updated and most recent volume is that most (if not all ) of the photographs have been replaced, many new illustrations added, and the books layout and navigation system modernised and improved.
As previously mentioned my edition was published in 2001, and that is more or less when I purchased it; even though I am fully aware of this books level of content, I have purchase additional books on various DIY subjects since. That is because this book ultimately offers an overview, albeit an extremely detailed one, so it is likely that more speialised reading material may be required for some of the more 'complicated' tasks. I have no doubt that at some point in the future I will upgrade my trusty old copy, but it's got a few more years left in it yet I hope!
I could go on describing the various elements in more detail and offering further praise for it's brilliance, but I think I've made my point.
This is a superb book that presents amazing value for money (even at it's RRP of £25.00), it is almost required reading for anyone with more than just a passing interest in DIY. It will ultimately educate, encourage and motivate, inspire and potentially save a great deal of money, and even your life (remember, DIY can be dangerous!).