The Sunday Telegraph Guide to Looking After Your Property: Everything You Need to Know About Maintaining Your Home Paperback – 10 May 2002
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"By far the best guide I've read - I now feel armed with enough knowledge to deal with tradesmen and sort the diamonds from the cowboys." (Amazon)
"The best wedding present anyone could get! This is no ordinary DIY book. Jeff Howell really knows what he is talking about, and the book is full of inside information from the building industry that I just haven't seen anywhere else." (Amazon)
"This should be compulsory reading for all home owners faced with the often difficult task of dealing with tradesmen." (Amazon) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Fully revised and updated guide to buying and maintaining your home by hugely respected author --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
There are criticisms of this book, however. Because, as I said it operates, like a FAQ, it can be repetitive: "use lime mortar, use lime mortar, use lime mortar"; but this assists in it being used as a reference text rather than read straight through. Additionally, there are few diagrams (new edition may be different) and the solutions given are cursory in detail so you will require other texts to fill in the gaps and help you along if you are as fresh to DIY as me.
The only problem I really have is the book is that I feel he tends to be a little too apprehensive about modern materials. But that's a minor (and inexpert) quibble in an outstanding book.
Possibly me. Mr Howell's books have this effect on even the most casual and ignorant reader. I began reading this book on a crowded Central Line Tube at Oxford Circus, by the time I had reached Holborn I was aware that my fellow passengers were straining to read it over my shoulder. Conversation broke out, opinions flowed, soon we were fast friends. Combining a knowledge of his subject with a dry wit and a passion for uncovering the myths, lies and ignorance that permeate UK house maintenance Jeff Howell's latest book consolidates a deserved reputation for straight talking informed by experience and a pan European knowledge base. Written in the form of readers' questions, followed by Mr Howell's answers, makes this an easy book in which to dip casually or pick a subject. I now know why our cistern is constantly dripping and how to fix it. A first for a spanner-phobic such as myself.
I am reliably told by people of all sexual persuasions that possession of practical skills, a willingness to get out of bed and use them, combined with a pair of rugged overalls renders a man (and some women) deeply, physically attractive. In reading this book I feel I have made a start. This guide has the power to get your radiators balanced and render you irresistible to passing strangers. I was exchanging phone numbers by Shepherds Bush. Buy it, read it and wait for the effect.
Very good book; well written. The author has a degree in nuclear engineering and can handle technical ideas. The format is readers' letters -- they could be you -- introduced with Howell's commentaries. The revised version is overdesigned for my taste - many colours, larger format, thinner. It's indexed. The earlier drawings reappear, but smaller. There are some photos.
He emphatically continues his pro-lime mortar & anti-condenser boiler & dislike of PVC-U campaigns -- house owners should know about these things! Good on assessing beam strengths, removing walls, and other structural matters -- he also refers to and recommends organisations. Good material in passing on wood -- e.g. getting your own floorboards cut and drawbacks of chipboard. Individual chapters on soundproofing, hazards [e.g. asbestos], conservatories, self-build etc. Some interesting points are left undecided or unmentioned; is it easy to move radiators? Are lightning conductors needed? What about wallpaper?
He slags off surveyors & trade organisations & legal weaknesses in a satisfying way.
For me, an annoyance is the removal of the entire section on cellars, perhaps because some accountant noticed that not many people have them. However, many old houses do. Howell is pro-drained membranes [he mentioned Triton & Newlath] as opposed to concrete floor on plastic, which often traps water. The only reason I heard of Howell is a chance chat with a man in B&Q who reads the Sunday Telegraph. It's exasperating to think people may wreck their cellars because this is now omitted.Read more ›
The sections on house insulation are invaluable and are a warning to everyone that things are not what they seem - even government insulation schemes may make your house colder or damper than it was before.
On the building front there are so many traps for the unwary, and this book may well help you to avoid a few.
The Seller gave me first class service, promptly sending me a postage-paid return address label and crediting my account immediately.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent book full of useful information on all aspects of building and construction. Great for solving problems for property owners.Published 8 months ago by melton
Most of this is common sense stuff that I knew already, but great for newbies.Published 12 months ago by eve
Really useful and comprehensive book to have around the house.Published 14 months ago by J. S. Woolley
this is a brilliant book, I bought it used for a penny plus shipping but would have been very happy with it had I paid full price. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Dilo