Top positive review
157 people found this helpful
How to do everything ... in two paragraphs
on 7 December 2007
There is no denying the scope of this book is, to say the least, comprehensive. It covers almost every topic imaginable in DIY from dry lining your basement to capping the chimney and covers it at every range whether you just want to change a fuse or rewire the entire building.
That scope though is both its virtue and its problem. Yes I can pick this up and be fairly confident that it will tell me how to go about building a stud wall but I know that it is also likely to be something of an overview of the subject rattled off in a few paragraphs. Often that is enough. There are a lot of jobs where a grasp of the basics and a willingness to have a go are good enough and if I'm laying new paving slabs I'll read this and go for it. Alternatively there are some jobs where I'd like a little more expertise than this can provide. Yes this book will tell me how to change the main fuse box but I'm not going to do that when it means working on the live side of a 100 amp line! In those cases though at least it lets me know roughly how difficult the job is so that I don't sound like a complete numpty when I call an electrician and ask if they could replace the 'thingummy by the front door with the fuses in it'.
The new (2007) edition has some changes most are improvements, some are not, but the improvements could be sufficient to make it getting the new edition. On the downside the binding is not as good as previous issues so this is a book which could suffer in use. On the upside there is more detail about building regulations and approval. Not in so much detail that it gets in the way of what you want to do but enough to give an overview of the process and in a nod to the way the world moves there are now sections on 'communications' and the 'office at home'.
I'd say to anyone that they should buy this book even if you don't ever intend to do the DIY yourself. If you do the DIY this is a good first reference to find out what to do. If it's not comprehensive enough then it will give enough of an overview that you will know what to look for when searching for more detail and if you do get someone else to do the job you've a better chance of knowing if they're doing the right thing.